🌊 New Hampshire Clamming: Season, Licensing & Locations

New Hampshire is located at the North-Eastern extreme corner of the United States. If you are new to this state and are looking for a memorable activity with friends or a resident exploring clamming for the first time, don’t worry. We have got you covered in this article. As with any fishing act, you would need to follow specific regulations and paperwork before stepping out into the water. To make that process less hectic for you, here are some details that you must keep in mind:

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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License Requirements

A clamming and shell-fishing license is required to catch clams in the area. This facility is limited to the residents-only; if you are a resident, you are in luck. For residents, the license can be obtained online. Online purchases will make it easy for you to get a license from the comfort of your house. All residents who are 68 years old or older can get a free clamming license. All this only shows how much value is given to the residents of New Hampshire.

Recreational Clamming in New Hampshire

Below are some varieties of clams with their regulations to make your recreational experience much more convenient.

Soft-shell Clams

When you are out clamming for soft-shell clams, one of the best things about it is that there is no legal size of clams to worry about. You would need a license, so make sure you have it while clamming.  About the quantity, well, you can catch 10 liquid quarts unsucked each day.  Once you catch your desired amount, don’t try to sell it and keep the license number displayed on your container at all times. You are allowed to have handheld tools only, with 18 inches max handle size.  Sucked clams are not permitted to be caught or taken from New Hampshire.

Soft Clam Season

If you are planning to catch soft shell clams, it is essential to know the right season. Some areas are open year-round, while some have specific months to follow. Below are some areas and seasons which you can choose from:

  1. Seabrook Estuary/Hampton:here, the season starts on November 1 and ends on May 31.
  2. Lower Little Bay from Fox Point to Dover point /Durham Point, Bellamy River Open Areas, Oyster River:in this region, you can catch clams only on Saturdays. You can begin at 9 AM and end till sunset.
  3. Upper Little Bay from Adams Point to Fox Point in open Areas: In this region, every Saturday, clamming time starts at 9 AM and ends at sunset.

Cherrystone, Quahog, Surf, and Razor Clams

Sadly, if you wish to get your hands on some cherrystone clams, there is no open season for that. There are again no size limits, legal age, and even a license to be careful about in quahog, surf, and razor clams. These clams can be caught by hand or using handheld tools only. They can be caught in the 500 feet, low tide line limit about quahogs and surf clams. Like soft clams, razor, surf, and quahogs can be caught in the regions below:

  1. Lower Little Bay from Fox Point to Dover point /Durham Point, Bellamy River Open Areas, Oyster River:in this region, you can catch clams only on Saturdays. You can begin at 9 AM and end till sunset.
  2. Upper Little Bay from Adams Point to Fox Point in open areas: In this region, every Saturday, clamming time starts at 9 AM and ends at sunset.

Commercial Clamming

Suppose you want to be a professional fisherman about to start his/her career in this business. In that case, here are a few things you must know before you make that big decision:

Mahogany Quahog, Surf, and Razor Clams

These types of clams are always open to you, which means that you have the entire year set out for you with no closed seasons. With nothing in your way, there are also no legal age limits of clams. You would need a license, though, so make sure the documents are ready. About catch limits, you are allowed 500 bushels each day.  If you think about the gear, you can use knives, dredge blades, and manifolds, but the size should not be more than 48 inches. Apart from that, you are required to report every month to the Marine division. All this shows that you can work freely, but a record of your activities is kept to keep a vigilant eye on the entire process’s statistics.

Clamming Locations

There are many sites to catch clams in this region, adding various natural spots to visit. Below are the areas which have access to boats and are great places to catch clams:

  1. Pierce Island
  2. The Odiorne Point State Park
  3. The Rye Harbor State Park
  4. The Hampton Harbor State Park
  5. The Exeter Town Landing
  6. The Stratham Town Landing
  7. Newfields Town Landing on the Squamscott River
  8. Chapman’s Landing
  9. Sandy Point Discovery Center
  10. Greenland Town Landing
  11. Newmarket Town Landing
  12. Adams Point Boat Launch
  13. Great Bay Marine
  14. Hilton State Park

Conclusion

New Hampshire offers a massive range of clams and sites. Open seasons and no legal clam age limits are two significant benefits to be happy about. Compared to other fish varieties, clams are not strictly controlled. That leaves considerable room for you to experiment with the techniques that best suit you. Keeping that in mind, it is crucial to have your hands on every piece of information, you can get before you go clamming. To avoid confusion and getting fined, it is imperative that you contact the authorities and have every step of your journey crystal clear. As you research the clamming regulations, you may start from this official website for fish and wildlife in the New Hampshire region.

https://www4.des.state.nh.us/CoastalAtlas/Shellfish_Map.html

We hope this article gave you some idea of the clamming process and what to explore further to be fully ready to go clamming!