St. Lawrence species

Stimpson’s surf clam

Mactromeris polynyma

Type of resource

  • Seafood
  • Seafood - molluscs

Status of the resource

  • Not determined

In season

Fresh from March to December

SIZE : From 7.5 cm to 13 cm, up to 16 cm.

LIFE EXPECTANCY : 40 years, up to 92 years.

LIFE CYCLE : Sexual maturity when the Stimpson’s surf clam reaches around 6 cm.

Individuals are either male or female.

Reproduction takes place between late June and late July. Adults release eggs and sperm into the water column in a synchronized manner. The fertilized eggs will release larvae, which live for several weeks in the open sea before settling to the bottom and beginning their sedentary shellfish life.

The Stimpson’s surf clam shell is usually oval, and sometimes triangular. It is thick with a rough texture. It is whitish in color and covered with a thin, yellowish-brown coating that looks like leather. It is covered with concentric lines.

Coastal zone, between the low tide line and 100 m deep waters.

Stimpson’s surf clams bury themselves in sandy bottoms and favor water temperatures below 15 ° C.





Bottom fish


MACHINES : Hydraulic dredge.


  • Specified fishing season between March and September.
  • Limited number of permits.
  • Minimum size of 80 mm.
  • Specified fishing zones.
  • From 2018 to 2020, 99 % of the catch came from the North Shore. Recreational harvesting of Stimpson’s surf clams is prohibited.

BENEFITS : Stimpson’s surf clams are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and iron.

LET’S COOK Firm, soft texture. Sweet flavor with a hint of the sea. Taste similar to lobster.

The edible parts of the Stimpson’s surf clam are its foot (muscle) and its mantle. They are usually sold canned or in brine.

The foot, which is orange-red and white in color, is visually striking. It is mainly exported to Japan, where it is particularly appreciated in sushi.

The mantle is more often used in dishes such as chowders or seafood gratins.


  • It is important not to over-cook the muscle, as it quickly hardens and becomes rubbery.
  • Bought canned, Stimpson’s surf clam are usually eaten at room temperature. However, slightly heated, they are just as delicious.
  • Served with cheese and a bit of toasted bread, they make a perfect appetizer.

To avoid poisoning, it's important to always follow safe shellfish storage, handling and cooking practices.
Sources : DFO