Hard clams or quahogs are harvested by
both commercial and recreational clam
There are temporary shellfish closures in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Please see Temporary Emergency Closures for the most current information on these closures.
The emergency closures in the Town of Hempstead are still in effect.
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 bivalves mollusks can be caught by recreational shellfish harvesters. Most are also caught by commercial harvesters and are available at your local markets.
If you want to go find your own shellfish to eat, be sure to check out a few things before heading out to your favorite clamming spot. First, learn if the area where you want to go clamming is open to shellfish harvesting. A list of shellfish closures is available online. Second, you should check to learn what the harvesting limits are for the shellfish species you wish to take. And lastly, enjoy...stuffed baked clams, Manhattan style clam chowder, mussels marinara, oysters Rockefeller, deep fried scallops....
Some information on shellfish closures
There are three types of shellfish closures: regulatory closures, temporary emergency closures, and special shellfish closures. Regulatory closures are based on the annual water quality analysis of a specific area. Changes in the regulatory classifications are determined by water quality over a long period and are not changed often. Temporary emergency closures occur when an area that is normally open experiences sudden, short-term degradations in water quality. This could be due to an excessive amount of stormwater runoff or the presence of a biotoxin in the water. Once the event that caused the poor water quality has passed and water quality has improved, the area may be reopened to harvest. Special shellfish closures are implemented when predictable conditions posed a threat to water quality. These usually occur during high use periods, such as holidays and special events, when increased numbers of mooring boats increases the possibility that boaters may occasionally discharge waste overboard.
More about Shellfishing:
- Harmful Algal Blooms and Marine Biotoxins - An overview of two common algal blooms on Long Island.
- Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures - Information regarding emergency shellfish area closures
- Special Shellfish Closures - Special holiday closures in popular anchorage areas
- Shellfish Harvest Areas - Shellfish Harvest Areas
- Shellfish Harvest Limits - Shellfish harvest limits for designated shellfishing areas in New York State
- Shellfish Safety - Frequently asked questions regarding shellfish safety and contamination, and the procedures to protect shellfish consumers
- Conditional Shellfish Harvesting Programs - Lists all current conditional programs by town and waterbody.