Shellfish Harvest Limits
Clams, oysters, mussels and scallops may be taken only from areas designated by DEC as certified (or open) for the harvest of clams, oysters, mussels and scallops. Please check the list of Official Descriptions of all Shellfish Closures (Part 41) for uncertified (or closed) areas.
Seasons: Bay scallops may be taken only from the first Monday in November through March 31. All clams, oysters, mussels and other scallops may be taken throughout the year.
State law limits recreational harvest to no more than one bushel (combined total volume) of clams, oysters and mussels per day. In addition, one bushel of bay scallops per day may be taken during the season. No permit is required for recreational shellfish harvesting from state lands. Freshwater shellfish may only be taken or harvested with a license to collect or possess.
Some local towns have additional restrictions on catch limits, size limits, season, type of gear and may require residency and additional permits. Please contact towns for more information.
|Species||Size Limits||Recreational Catch Limits||Commercial
|Hard clam||1 inch thickness across the hinge||100 clams||Any Number||No mechanical means. Rakes and tongs allowed.
Teeth - 1 in spacing Basket - 15/16 in spacing
|Soft clam||1-1/2 in length||1/2 bushel||Any Number||No mechanical means except churning by propeller allowed below low tide|
|Oyster||3" longest diameter||1/2 bushel||Any Number||No mechanical means. Dredge with sail allowed on state land and in some towns. Size limit exempted for oysters cultured or transplanted under permit from DEC.|
|Blue mussel||None||1/2 bushel||Any number.
See Note 1
|No mechanical means, except that dredges may be used in some areas.|
|Bank mussel||None||1 bushel||Any number||No mechanical means|
|Bay scallop||2-1/4 inch length from mid hinge to mid bill and an annual growth ring||1 bushel||10 bu/person 20 bu/boat per day||Dredges allowed, 36 inch max. width. Use of mechanical means to retrieve dredge prohibited. Use of dredge prohibited on Sunday. Size limit exempted for bay scallops cultured under permit from DEC.|
|Sea scallop||None||1 bushel||Any number||None|
4 inches in Atlantic Ocean for use as food
|1 bushel||See Note 2||Special permit required for mechanical harvest|
|Ocean quahog||None||1 bushel||See Note 2||Special permit required for mechanical harvest|
Note 1: 15 bushels/person of blue mussels by dredge allowed in certain areas. Further information is included with the commercial harvesting (diggers) permit.
Note 2: There are restrictions on mechanical harvesting for surfclams and ocean quahogs. Further information is included with the surfclam/ocean quahog mechanical harvesting permit.
This information has been summarized from the NYS Environmental Conservation Law and NYS regulations. For other information, contact the Shellfisheries Section, 631 444-0475 or e-mail the Bureau of Marine Resources.