• can be pried off rocks at low tide with a knife.
  • after cooking, discard the dark portion (organs) nested within the peak of the shell.
  • varieties in the Pacific Northwest are Ribbed limpet (Lottia digitalis), Shield limpet (Lottia pelta), Rough limpet (Lottia scabra), Mask limpet (Lottia persona), and Rough keyhole limpet (DioDora aspera).
  • also occurring on Pacific shores of the United States are the File limpet (Lottia limatula), and Volcano limpet (Fissurella volcano).
  • there is limited data regarding whether eating limpets during a red tide could cause PSP poisoning. But it seems that since there are not filter feeders, toxins do not build up in their tissue as with mussels and other shellfish.
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Field Notes
I use a thin knife blade to pry the limpets off the rocks; it's easier if you catch them unaware, since they cling even harder to the rock once disturbed. Boiling any quantity of whole limpets will turn the water and the sides of the pot a light green color, and gave the water a faintly unpleasant smell. For soups, cook the limpets seperately and cut away the darkly colored organs to avoid that problem. Cook for no more than a couple minutes, otherwise the meat become too rubbery. Though there's not much meat in a single limpet, they're easy to gather in quantity!