Rhode Island boy digs up massive mollusk

NARRAGANSETT, RHODE ISLAND (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 last Monday 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 last Thursday.

The clam is 14.5 centimetres across and weighs nearly 1.3 kilogrammes. The state Department of Environmental Management does not keep quahog records, but a typical quahog grows to about 10 centimetres 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, ‘Wow, 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. The Manager of the URI Marine Science Research Facility Ed Baker plans to put the quahog on display.

Cooper Monaco holds the large quahog he found last Monday while clamming with his grandfather in Westerly, Rhode Island. PHOTO: AP