Recreational harvest of various types of shellfish is an activity enjoyed by many New Hampshire residents. State licenses are required to harvest softshell clam and oysters; other shellfish may have certain restrictions on taking, but require no license. Softshell clams are dug from flats at or near low tide. For advice on proper clam digging techniques, see Digging for Clams. Oysters are brought up from their shallow beds using tongs or simply picked up by hand. For season, limit and take requirements for shellfish, see Shellfish.
New Shellfish Maps Online in Early 2014!
In early 2014, the NH Department of Environmental Services will launch two websites, one for desktop computers and one for mobile devices, to help shellfish harvesters determine what areas are open for harvest. Interactive maps, updated on a weekly basis to match the weekly Clam Hotline message, will illustrate areas open for harvest. Users can also sign up for text or email alerts announcing when a new update is issued. Watch for our announcement of the new websites in early 2014 on the Fish and Game website (fishnh.com/marine) or the DES Shellfish Program website at des.nh.gov (search for “Shellfish”).
Clam Flat Hotline
For the latest information on closed and open shellfishing areas, call Fish and Game’s Clam Flat Hotline at 1-800-43-CLAMS. The hotline is updated weekly on Friday afternoons, but harvesters should check back frequently for unscheduled updates. Information is also posted at FishNH.com.
Did You Know?
Only New Hampshire residents are allowed to purchase licenses for the taking of clams and oysters.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.