Recreational Shellfishing

clam in rake above water

Each year, nearly ten thousand people head to Connecticut’s coastal waters to harvest shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops. It’s a popular pastime and it provides an inexpensive and healthy source of local seafood. Fifteen coastal towns offer permits for sale and have local bait and tackle shops where harvesting supplies can be purchased. 

Learn more about:

  • Permit Sales and Rules  - Guide to Shellishing Along the Connecticut Coast
  • Harvest Area Locations - Mapping Atlas
  • Economic Impact - Catching Value Report
  • Keeping it Cool - Brochure


Recreational shellfishing is offered in many of Connecticut's coastal towns. Each town sets its own rules including permit fees, species, seasons and catch limits. Always remember to have a cooler full of ice when heading out. Keep the shellfish cold and immediately transfer to refrigerator upon return.

Guide to Recreational Shellfishing in Connecticut (2024 coming soon!)

Shellfish Harvest Area Maps (select "recreational shellfish beds" from the layer list and zoom to your town)

Management Guidance State Regulatory Guidance Documents Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Manual

Did you know?

  • Revenue from permit sales alone contributes greater than $100,000 to the local economy.

Annual Gathering of Shellfish Commissions

Organized by Connecticut Sea Grant, this meeting covers all aspects of local shellfisheries management and features regulatory guidance from the Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Aquaculture. Contact: or (860) 405-9104.

Year Event Agenda Presentations:
2024 20th Annual GSFC Meeting Thomas (art of wampum) Dragan (conditional area management), Bienlien (shellfish diseases) Marquis (DoAG website) Gilman & Macklin (shell recycling)
2023 19th Annual GSFC Meeting Dragan (conditional area management), Marquis (HAB, diseases, Vibrio) Getchis (shell restoration), Gilman-Macklin (shell recycling)
2022 18th Annual GSFC Meeting Dragan (conditional area management), Marquis (HAB, diseases, Vibrio), Getchis (restoration), David (natural beds), Brown-Dragan (pumpout program), Surabian (coastal zone soil survey)
2021 17th Annual GSFC VanGulick (HAB), VanGulick (Cyanobacteria), Dragan (Conditional area mgmt) and handout, DeRosia-Banick (disease update), Getchis (restoration) Getchis/DeRosia-Banick (climate)
2020 16th Annual GSFC agenda Barrett (climate) Haynes )(plastics), DeRosia-Banick, Dragan (Conditional area mgmt, Carey, Van Gulick (HAB)
2019 15th Annual GSFC agenda
2018 14th Annual GSFC agenda
2017 13th Annual GSFC agenda DeRosia-Banick, Yeadon, Dragan, Pomeroy, Concepcion, Getchis
2016 12th Annual GFSC agenda Brysh, DeRosia-BanickGetchis, Macklin, Nikituk, Savona Surabian, UConnEngr, Yang
2015 11th Annual GSFC agenda Getchis, Pawlik, DeRosia-Banick, Pomeroy, Chadwick
2014 10th Annual GSFC agenda
2013 9th Annual GSFC agenda
2012 8th Annual GSFC agenda
2011 7th Annual GSFC agenda
2010 6th Annual GSFC agenda
2009 5th Annual GSFC agenda
2008 4th Annual GSFC agenda
2007 3rd Annual GSFC agenda
2006 2nd Annual GSFC
2005 1st Annual GSFC
2001-2004 Eastern Commission Meetings