Shellfishing requires a sense of adventure, but little equipment or expertiseRecreational shellfishing (or clamming or clam digging) in Connecticut is limited to approved areas. People shellfishing for recreation should contact the town health department where they wish to fish to find out where shellfishing is allowed, whether a local license is required, and other local shellfishing laws. Know the local rules on catch limits, size limits, and allowable tools to use. It's a fun sport and great way to get out into nature and enjoy the state's waterfront environments.
For more information, refer to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture or call the department at 860-713-2500.
Find lots of good information in Connecticut’s Guide to Shellfishing.
Darien Town Hall and Health Department, Renshaw Road Darien, CT, 06820 Phone: 203-656-7320
Fees: Annual fees are Darien and Stamford residents, $20; senior residents age 65 and over, free; non-resident, $40
Information: Please call the Shellfish Hotline at 203- 838-9807 to check whether the area is open or closed.
Bureau of Aquaculture, 190 Rogers Avenue Milford, CT Phone: 203-874-0696
Guilford Town Hall, 31 Park Street Guilford, CT, 06437 Phone: 203-453-8001
Permits: Permits can be purchased at Guilford Town Hall Town Clerk Office, 31 Park Street, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (203-453-8001); Captain Morgan’s Bait and Tackle, 21 Boston Post Road, Madison, (203-245-8665); and Guilford Lobster Pound, 505 Old Whitfield Street, Guilford, (203-453-6122)
Fees: Resident, $20; senior resident, $10; non-resident, $75; daily, $25.
Shellfish hotline: 203-453-8088.
East Lyme Town Hall, 108 Pennsylvania Avenue Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-739-6233
33 Laurel Street Branford, CT, 06405 Phone: 203-488-8394
Fees: Resident, $5; non-resident, $50; non-resident daily, $10; Branford seniors age 65 and older, free.
Information: Call 203-315-0678 for current information.
Madison Town Hall, 8 Campus Drive Madison, CT, 06443 Phone: 203-245-5600
Fees: $20 for taxpayers; $10 for senior taxpayers; $75 for non-taxpayers. Licenses are valid for one year from date of issue. Licensed Madison residents may be accompanied by one adult guest who shares the daily limit. Children under 16 years may accompany license holders provided they share the limit.
Limitations: All shellfishing waters are closed for at least one week after a 3-inch rainfall event, regardless of above category. Recreational shellfishing is permitted only in approved and conditionally approved areas, which may or may not be open depending on rainfall and bacteriological testing. The boundaries between the areas are marked by posted, diamond shaped signs along the shore. Click here for a shellfishing map (PDF).
137 East Avenue Norwalk, CT, 06851 Phone: 203-854-7776
Permits: Shellfish permits can be purchased at Fisherman’s World 2 Fort Point Street, Norwalk ((203-866-1075)
Fees: Resident adult, $12; resident senior, $5; non-residents, $27. Shellfishing map.
Recreational shellfish permit applications may be downloaded here. Permits are valid from January 1 to December 31. The town prefers mail-in applications for recreational shellfish permits.
Permit Fees: CT resident adult age 17 and older, $30; CT resident senior age 65 or older, $15; Out of state adult age 17 and older, $60; Out of state senior, $30; one-day permit, $15
Access to Shellfishing Beds: The best access to the recreational shellfish beds is via boat. There is a state boat launch on Elaine Road off Compo Road South. There is a public parking area at Canal Road in Saugatuck Shores. Shellfishing map.
Depot Road, off US Route 1 Groton, CT Phone: 860-444-7591
Walking in wooded peninsula and along rocky coast; seabird watching; shell fishing allowed
See full description of Bluff Point Coastal Reserve.
Groton Town Hall, 45 Fort Hill Road Groton, CT Phone: 860-441-6640
Fees: Residents: Daily,$5; weekly, $10; monthly, $12; yearly, $25; non-residents: daily, $8; weekly, $15; monthly, $20; yearly, $35. Senior resident, $10; senior non-resident, $20
Shellfish Infoline: 860-441-6793. Shellfishing map.
Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Road Waterford, CT, 06385 Phone: 860-444-5812
Fees: Yearly fee is $25 for residents; $35 for non-residents. Permit year is April 1 to December 31. Monthly fee is resident, $15; non-resident, $20. Weekly fee is residents, $10; non-resident, $15. Daily fee is resident, $5; non-resident, $10. Seniors pay $12 for resident and $25 for non-resident in all time periods.
Information: Shellfish Information Line is 860-739-6233. Shellfish Status Information is 860-444-5812
Old Town Hall / Sullivan Independence Hall, 611 Old Post Rd Fairfield, CT, 06824 Phone: 203-256-3000
Permits: Proof of Connecticut residency is required to obtain a recreational shellfishing permit. Permits can be obtained at the Conservation Department in Sullivan Independence Hall / Old Town Hall, 611 Old Post Road. Permit season is January 1 through December 31.
Fees: Fees are lower for residents of Fairfield with proof of residency. Fees are $15 for resident; $10 for senior residents; $25 for non-residents; $20 for non-resident taxpayers; $5 for residents for 14 days; $10 for non-residents for 14 days.
Greenwich Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road Greenwich, CT, 06830 Phone: 203-622-7700
Fees: Regular, $15; seniors age 65 and older, $10; junior age 5 through 13. $1.
Fees: Stonington resident, $15; resident senior, free; non-resident. $30; non-resident senior, $10. A shellfish permit is good for the calendar year in which it is issued. Buy permits at Don’s Dock, 228 North Water Street (860-535-0077) or at Shaffer’s Boat Livery, 106 Mason’s Island Road (860-536-8713)
Bed Closures: To determine the current status (open or closed) of recreational shellfishing areas in Stonington, call 860-599-7575. Recreational shellfishing map.