Hard clams or quahogs are
harvested by both commercial
and recreational clam diggers.
There are currently temporary emergency shellfish closures in the Towns of Riverhead, Southold and Southampton.
There are currently no special shellfish closures in effect.
Please see Official Descriptions of all Shellfish Closures ( Part 41) and Classification Maps to view normal regulatory shellfish closures.
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. 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:
- State Underwater Lands - This page describes state lands where people may harvest shellfish.
- Shellfish Permits and Licenses - Description of shellfishing permits.
- 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
- Vibrios and Shellfish Safety - Brief description of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and its effects.
- Conditional Shellfish Harvesting Programs - Lists all current conditional programs by town and waterbody.