Rhode Island boy digs up massive 2 1/2-pound mollusk

Cooper Monaco holds the large quahog he found July 27 while clamming with his grandfather in Westerly, R.I. The quahog is more than five inches across and weighing more than two pounds, and is among the largest ever harvested in the state. 

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (AP) — An 11-year-old Rhode Island boy clamming with his grandfather found a giant quahog that is thought to be one of the largest ever harvested in state waters.

Cooper Monaco, of Wakefield, found the massive mollusk July 27 in the Weekapaug section of Westerly, and donated it to the University of Rhode Island’s Marine Science Research Facility in Narragansett, the university said in a statement Thursday.

The clam is 5.75 inches across and weighs nearly 2½ pounds. The state Department of Environmental Management does not keep quahog records, but a typical quahog grows to about 4 inches across, the university said.

“I was down on my hands and knees in the water looking for clams, and I touched this huge rock thing,” Cooper said in the statement. “I always pull out rocks and throw them to the side and look under them. And then I felt the edge of it and I thought, ‘holy moly, this is a clam.’ So I pulled it out. It was amazing.”

He knew it was unsually large, so told his mother not to cook it.

Ed Baker, the manager of the URI Marine Science Research Facility, plans to put the quahog on display.

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