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Oysters & Clams

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Maryland residents may harvest oysters and clams for recreational purposes. No license is required.

Refer to maps of Maryland Shellfish Harvesting Areas for information on areas of restricted waters, closures, and coordinates of sanctuaries online via the DNR Shellfish Program webpage under related links: dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/oysters.

You may also call the Maryland Department of the Environment hotline 800-541-1210 to obtain information on conditional closures due to water quality or other environmental issues.

Recreational shellfish regulations for the Potomac River can be found at prfc.us.

It is Illegal

  • To take oysters or clams for recreational purposes while aboard a vessel where any person is engaged in commercial oystering or clamming.
  • To recreationally harvest oysters or clams within a leased area, harvest reserve area, sanctuary or any other area closed by the state.
  • To harvest oysters or clams if you are not a resident of Maryland. However, a nonresident may harvest clams in Worcester County.

Oysters

Season

October 1–March 31

Daily Harvest Restrictions

1 bushel/person/day

Time of Day

Harvest is only permitted:

  • Monday–Friday: Sunrise to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday: Sunrise until 12 p.m.

Gear Restrictions

A person may catch oysters ONLY by:

  • Hand
  • Shaft tongs
  • Rakes
  • Diving (includes SCUBA)

Minimum Size Limits

Three inches measured from hinge to
bill along the longest part of the shell.

Hard Clams

Daily Harvest Restrictions

250 clams/person/day

Gear Restrictions

Limited to hand-operated gear only including hand rakes. Mechanical harvesting is not allowed.

Minimum Size Limits

One inch transverse measurement

 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com