🌊 South Carolina Clamming

If you reside in South Carolina, you might be curious about the laws related to clamming there. There must be a number of questions spiraling up in your head right now. So worry no more as we have got you covered! We tried our best to gather up all the key factors that must be aware of regarding clamming and wrote them down for your convenience. This article will shed light upon several questions, about the laws of clamming in South Carolina, which you clammers must be wondering about.

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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What is the primary clam that clammers look for in South Carolina?

The primary clams that clammers look for in this state are hard clams, Mercenaria mercenaria. In the U.S, hard clams carry the highest dollar value of the commercially collected clams. There are three categories under which these clams are sold. These categories are based on size. The smallest and the most expensive ones are known as littlenecks. The medium-sized ones are called cherrystones. Then come the largest and the least expensive ones, called chowders, which are usually marketed in order to make clam chowder.

How large do the clams need to be so we can legally keep them in South Carolina?

If you are a clammer, you must be already aware of the fact that the harvested clams must be above a certain size so they can legally qualify. The clams collected should be at least an inch thick, in order to be considered legal. Any size below that is just unacceptable. Therefore, one must pay attention while harvesting the clams that to make them legally acceptable, the catch should be above the specified size.

What is the harvesting limit in this state?

We admit that clamming must seem like a simple leisure activity; however, you must understand that there are certain restrictions applied to it. These restrictions are there to prevent excess harvesting of clams. There is a limit on the catch which is that a half U.S Bushel of clams shall be harvested by each person, per day. It is considered illegal to collect more than 1 personal limit of shellfish on more than two days, per any 7-day period. There is a maximum collection limit which consists of 3 personal limits per vehicle/boat. You must always confirm these limits from a reliable source before leaving for clamming.

When does clamming season begin in South Carolina?

The clamming season in South Carolina lies somewhere in between 1st of October all the way to the 15th of May. Sometimes, certain conditions cause an extension or a shortening in this season. To make sure of everything that interferes in your clamming harvest, you can check your local newspaper or directly contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

It is considered illegal to collect clams between a specified period of time. This time period lies between a half-hour after the official sunset and half hour before the official sunrise.

Where are the best locations to go clamming in this state?

You must know that there are special areas located in South Carolina, which would help you harvest the best of clams. The DNR has presented a map which contains all the areas where you can go for collecting your clams. Areas that are marked as the state selfish grounds (Represented by an S) and public selfish grounds (represented by an R) are suitable for recreational harvesters. It is important to know that most of these clamping areas are the easiest to reach via a boat.


In today’s world, clamming is considered a unique hobby. A lot of people are not even aware of such activity even existing. There is a very low amount of population that actually considers clamming their leisure activity. As time progresses, people have started gaining more knowledge about clam harvesting. A lot of people have tried clamming under peer pressure or social media’s influence. However, before deciding to go out and trying a certain activity, you must be aware of the conditions that you must follow. This not only helps you become a better citizen by understanding the law better, but it also saves you from getting yourself in danger.

For South Carolina, clamming is not only seen as a recreational activity but it also holds a place in its economy. That is one of the major reasons why it holds immense importance in this state. We strongly encourage you to do your personal research before trying out this activity so that you can make the best out of this amazing experience!