A clamming license is now called a shellfish license and is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Other specific commercial shellfish licenses exist such as surf clam dredge, Delaware Bay oyster dredge boat, and Delaware Bay licenses to harvest in Areas 1, 2 and 3.
Prior to harvesting any shellfish, be certain to consult the Shellfish Growing Water Classification Charts published by DEP’s Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring, available at any shellfish license agent, state shellfish offices, online at www.nj.gov/dep/bmw/waterclass.htm or call the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring at (609) 748-2000. Shellfish licenses are available for purchase online at WildlifeLicense.com/NJ/.
Shellfish License Fees
- Resident recreational shellfish: $10
Harvest limit of 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of catch prohibited.
- Non-resident recreational shellfish: $20
Harvest limit of 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of catch prohibited. License valid only during the months of June, July, August and September.
- Juvenile recreational shellfish: $2
For persons under 14 years of age. Subject to same restrictions as resident or nonresident adult recreational license holders.
- Resident commercial shellfish: $50
Unlimited harvest. Shellfish may be sold only to certified dealers.
- Non-resident Commercial Shellfish: $250
Unlimited harvest. Shellfish may be sold to certified dealers only.
- Senior citizen recreational shellfish license: FREE ($2 application fee)
NJ residents age 62 years or older. Harvest limit, 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of shellfish prohibited.
- Disabled veterans: Fish and Wildlife-certified disabled veterans are eligible for free shellfish license at any shellfish license agent location. For more information on how to become certified, call (908) 637-4125.
Crab licenses are available at all agent locations:
Recreational Crab Pot/Trot Line Licenses and Non-Commercial Crab Dredge Licenses are available for purchase online at: WildlifeLicense.com/nj/ or at any Fish and Wildlife-certified license agent including those license agents listed at right. For a current list of Fish and Wildlife-certified license agents, look in future hunting issues of the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Digest or go to NJFishandWildlife.com/agentlst.htm.
- Recreational crab pot/trot line license: $2
Harvest limit of one bushel per day. Refer to the shellfish regulations on page 14 for all recreational crabbing regulations.
- Non-commercial crab dredge license: $15
Harvest limit of one bushel per day during the crab dredge season. Refer to the crab regulations on page 14 for all recreational crabbing regulations.
Terrapin Excluders and Biodegradable Panels Are Required on Chesapeake-Style Crab Pots
Users of non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots should be aware that all pots set in any body of water less than 150-feet wide at mean low tide or in any manmade lagoon MUST include diamondback terrapin excluder devices. In addition, all non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots set in any body of water MUST include biodegradable panels.
These crab pot modifications will help reduce the unintentional drowning of terrapins and allow for escapement of these and other species in the event that pots are lost or abandoned. Terrapin excluder devices must be no larger than 2-inch high by 6-inch wide and securely fastened inside each funnel entrance. Biodegradable panels must measure at least 6½-inch wide by 5-inch high and be located in the upper section of the crab pot. The panel must be constructed of, or fastened to the pot with wood lath, cotton, hemp, sisal or jute twine not greater than 3/16″ diameter, or non-stainless steel, uncoated ferrous metal not greater than 3/32″ diameter. The door or a side of the pot may serve as the biodegradable panel ONLY if it is fastened to the pot with any of the material specified above. Crabbers should be aware that ALL non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots MUST be licensed and marked with the gear identification number of the owner. For crab pot license information and regulations, see the regulations on page 14 and license agents below.