🌊 Connecticut Clamming: Season, Limits & Licensing

People have different types of hobbies, and it seems as though collecting shellfish like clams are definitely one of them. Clamming refers to the act of collecting shellfish. This may also refer to harvesting shellfish for a living. Many people also collect shellfish or clams for recreational purposes. Some people enjoy collecting clams as a nourishing food source. Nevertheless, there might be several reasons why you might be interested in clamming.

Recommended Equipment

Clamming Shovel

Seymour Trenching Shovel
  • Length: 48″
  • Spade Width: 5″
  • Fiberglass handle.
  • Cushioned grip for improved comfort and stability.

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Clamming Gun

Murff’s Claminator Steel Clam Gun
  • Comes in 5 separate sizes.
  • Perfect for anyone 5′-6′ and up!
  • Stainless steel.
  • Barrel diameter: 5″

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Clamming Gloves

Glacier ‘Pro Angler’ Clamming Gloves
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • 100% waterproof.
  • Made of 2mm neoprene.
  • Fleece lining.
  • Sharkskin textured.

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Clamming Waders

TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Waders
  • Sizes: 10 different sizes.
  • Chest-high waterproofing.
  • Very lightweight nylon construction.
  • H-back suspenders with quick release buckles.
  • Perfect for multi-purpose use.

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Clamming Basket

DII Stackable Metal Clam Bin
  • Size: 12″ x 12″ x 10″
  • Colors: White, Black & Bronze
  • Made of wired mesh.
  • Rust resistant.
  • FDA food safe.

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Clam Shucker

Vollrath Clam Shucker Machine
  • The Vollrath Oyster King Shucker Machine opens clams, oysters easily in a single stroke.
  • The blade is durable and efficient.
  • The machine comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • The handle has a rubber grip that makes the handling convenient.

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If you reside in Connecticut, you might be concerned about laws and justice system related to clamming. Aquaculture might be crucial to the state of Connecticut. According to research by Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture, clamming contributes to 5 percent of agricultural revenue. You might require a clamming license as well. However, some sources have suggested that a permit is not required in Milford. We shall address some questions related to laws in Connecticut when it comes to going clamming. Following are some of the main queries that people usually have about clamming in Connecticut:

What Is the Clamming Permit Fee Structure?

The very first thing that comes into mind is the fee structure involved with clamming. The amount of permit fees varies according to different parts of Connecticut. Some counties in Connecticut have higher permit fees. The permit fees for adults are much higher than it is for senior residents. In fact, senior citizens do not require to pay fees in some towns and counties of Connecticut.

Currently, there is no permit fee for clamming in Milford for both adults and senior citizens. Moreover, there is no clamming fee for senior citizens in towns like Darien. However, only individuals aged 65 or above can qualify as senior citizens.

Why Do You Need a Permit for Clamming?

Although collecting shellfish might seem like an innocent recreational activity, it should not be done excessively. Shellfish are a part of the ecology in the sea, and the local authorities are responsible for making sure that these shellfish are restored so that they do not eliminate them from that area. If there is no requirement for a permit to collect shellfish, there is a possibility that people start doing it excessively. As people will start clamming more freely, this will cause a scarcity of these shellfish in the area. Therefore, to limit this activity so that the shellfish has the chance to reproduce, permits are issued for clamming.

Understanding Connecticut’s Harvesting Limits

There are certain harvesting limits that you should know before you go clamming in the state of Connecticut. Like a varying fee structure, different harvesting limits greatly vary from county to county and town to town in Connecticut. The standard unit used when it comes to calculating harvests of clams is a bushel.

The total permissible harvesting limits in towns like Guilford, Fairfield, Milford, Branford, Clinton, Norwalk, Stonington, Westport, Stamford, Waterford, and Darien is approximately ½ bushel. Some towns have a bit higher harvesting limits. For example, towns like Greenwich, Groton, Niantic River, Madison, and East Lyme have a harvesting limit of up to ¼ bushel. It is crucial to note that non-residents of Guilford are permitted to harvest ¼ bushel of clams. It is still a better idea to double-check these limits before clamming.

Connecticut Clamming Season

Understanding when the clamming season begins is crucial, as it allows you to harvest more and more clams throughout the process. Moreover, it is possible to collect high-quality clams if you search for them in suitable conditions. The analogy is somewhat similar to that of gardening. You would be gaining more and more benefits out of it.

If you sow the seed and conditions are favorable, then you would reap high-quality fruit. The same rule applies to clamming. According to research that was presented by the experts of Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture, it has been proposed that suitable clamming seasons start at the beginning of October and continue till the end of March every time.

Are There Any Programs in Place to Monitor the Safety of Clamming?

Various sanitization programs in Connecticut are responsible for regulating the clamming activities and maintaining the shellfish’s safety. National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) monitors the Connecticut Shellfish Program to ensure the clams’ preservation and safety. The program is responsible for ensuring the safety of the clamming areas for both commercial and recreational purposes. Moreover, it is also in charge of maintaining compliance with the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

How Important is Clamming to Connecticut’s Economy?

In Connecticut, clamming makes over $30 million in sales a year on average. The clamming industry provides jobs to more than 300 people throughout the state. To make the most out of the clamming industry, around 70,000 acres of shellfish farms are harvested into Connecticut’s coastal areas to generate more revenue.

Final Words

Out of many activities that people do as their hobbies, clamming is quite a unique one. There are only a few people that are interested in going clamming as their recreational activity. However, increasing awareness about people and social media influence has made many people try this unique activity. However, before trying out anything new, you should know the rules and regulations you need to abide by. Also, note that getting a permit to go clamming varies in different areas. There are also some seasons when clamming is restricted to let the shellfish reproduce. However, usually, the permits are granted all year long.

In Connecticut, clamming is one of the most popular activities, and therefore the government tries to restore and maintain it. Clamming in Connecticut serves not only as a recreational activity but also as a yielding economic activity.