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Shellfishing

hard clams, also known as quahogs
Hard clams or quahogs are harvested by
both commercial and recreational clam diggers.

Shellfish Alerts

There are no temporary shellfish closures at this time.

Please see Official Descriptions of all Shellfish Closures ( Part 41) and Classification Maps to view normal regulatory shellfish closures.

Going Clamming?

New York State has a wide variety of shellfish available for harvest: hard clams or quahogs, blue mussels, razor clams, soft clams, oysters and bay scallops. Most of these bivalve mollusks can be caught by recreational shellfish harvesters. Many are also caught by commercial harvesters and are available at your local markets.

If you want to catch your own shellfish to eat, be sure to review the list below before heading to the water!

  • First, make sure the area where you want to go clamming is open to shellfish harvesting. A list of shellfish closures is available below under regulatory and temporary closures.
  • Second, check the harvesting limits for the shellfish species you wish to take.
  • Lastly, enjoy preparing your locally caught seafood! Some of our favorite dishes are stuffed baked clams, Manhattan style clam chowder, mussels marinara, oysters Rockefeller, or deep fried scallops.

For more information read NYS Conservationist magazine article, Digging for Buried Treasure - Clamming in New York's Waters (PDF, 662 KB).

Types of Shellfish Closures:

There are two types of shellfish closures: regulatory closures and temporary closures.

  • Regulatory closures are based on the annual water quality analysis of a specific area. Changes in the regulatory classifications are determined by year-round water quality monitoring and are not changed often.
  • Temporary closures can occur when an area that is normally open experiences sudden, short-term degradations in water quality. This could be the result of excessive amounts of stormwater runoff or the presence of harmful algal blooms or biotoxins in the water. Once the event that caused the poor water quality has ended and water quality has improved, the area may be reopened to harvest. Temporary shellfish closures are also implemented when predictable conditions pose a threat to water quality. These closures usually occur during high use periods, such as holidays and special events, when increased numbers of mooring boats increase the possibility that recreational boaters may occasionally discharge waste overboard.

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