Edjovees

NYC Shellfishing

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Greeting everyone, 

 

Ok so here is the question. I’m currently living in Queens and I want to do shellfishing and then eat what I fished. I already visited the page which’s says where is okay to fish and the uncertified zones, and also noticed that some parts require you to have a permit given only to residents of that specific town (oyster bay) and also those zones that people don’t recommend because they say that the water is dirty (short beach, Hempstead.
 

I’m really new about having any contact with nature (city spoiled boy ) but really believe that this might be my starting point on doing something “outside” for me, so could please somebody “guide” or just tell me by their experience: There is any zone with good shells and that they allow non-residents to get a permit? Could you recommend any other zone (even outside NY, like CT or RI) that I can go there and do shellfishing? How do I preserve them on my way home? (I suppose that have them in ice but I don’t really know) and Could you recommend an activity that might be similar?

 

thanks anybody who take the time to read and very much thanks who replys. 
 

—Edgar V

 

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Residents-only shellfish permits are pretty typical on Long Island.

 

You might want to check the websites of the Long Island towns to see whether some municipalities might issue nonresident permits; you may well find one or two.

 

Your next step is getting to the clams, and when you talk about Long Island shellfish, you're generally talking about clams; native oyster beds exist, but are much diminished from what they once were.  There are some blue mussels.  Scalloips were once abundant, but have been scarce in recent years, apparently due to in influx of pathogens benefitting from warmer water.  Just because a town allows clamming doesn't mean that you can clam everywhere.  Typically, a town will designate approved, or "certified" waters where clams are likely to be pathogen-free, while other areas, perhaps close to sewer outflows or other sources of pollution, are closed to clamming.  The approved areas can change during the year, normally open waters often close after heavy rains or during big holiday weekends that make it more likely that coliform bacteria will be introduced into safe areas.  Areas are sometimes opened during the winter that are closed during the warmer months, after most recreational boats are taken out of the water and the associated coliform bacteria counts go down.

 

The problem is that, in most places, it is difficult to access approved areas from shore.  There are some places where you might be able to access soft clams, but for eveything else, you'll probably need a boat.

 

So it's probably not going to be easy for you to access Long Island shellfish.  On the other hand, there's no reason not to do some Internet research re the non-resident permits, and then see whether an opportunity exists.

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Posted (edited)

Shellfish care is very easy.  Put them in a cooler with ice packs or soda bottles filled with water and frozen prior to loading the cooler up.  Freshly harvested hard shell clams and oysters will easily last 2 weeks in your refrigerator in the "Produce" tray.  Steamers (soft shell clams) and skimmer clams (Atlantic surf clams) will probably only last a week.  Unless you have access to fresh sea water, I do not recommend even thinking about storing shellfish in sea water.  I can ignore that rule because I can put hang them off my backyard dock in a lobster crate.

 

If you need longer term storage, I recommend shucking clams and freezing along with the clam juice.  I guess you could do the same for oysters, but I have no experience.  With them, I have had excellent results by opening them, putting any desired toppings on such as the spinach topping for Oysters Rockefeller, and other baked delights, and freezing in Tupperware containers in layers with plastic wrap separating them.  I pull them out and pop the in a 450°F oven while still frozen for about 20 min and they're outstanding.  I do the same with clams for baked clams, clams casino, etc.  The frozen clam/clam juice I have go for white clam sauce or chowder. 

 

I have never, nor would ever, tried freezing steamers.  I do shuck skimmer clams, but they're brined and frozen for bait; if I have access to hard shell clams, I don't use skimmers for dinner. 

Edited by Roccus7

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39 mins ago, hobobob said:

Short answer is no. 

100% correct.  DEC interactive map shows ALL NYC waters uncertified.  You're going to have to commute, and I'm guessing few, if any towns will sell non-resident shell fish permits...

638fe398402ac_nyshellfishmap.jpg.5ffad206b674047abb8b3f3568513a44.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Wellcome to SOL!

 

Maybe check out some fairfield county towns like Westport or Norwalk CT.   In CT, each town has their own regulations and license.  Some towns allow out of state, others don't.  Getting information about where to dig is even tougher as people are tight lipped about it and for good reason.  I recommend finding a town your invested in and them contacting the shellfish commissioner or enforcement officer.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.  Tackle shops can be another source of good info

 

Ask the following questions:

Are their shore based spots with public parking?

Places to launch a kayak near beds?

How frequently are the beds open for digging?

Where do I buy a license?

 

Next get out there and do some prospecting.  Move around alot initially until you find suitable digging.  Talk to others.  

 

I love clamming and find it very relaxing and rewarding.  I typically access beds using a kayak.  If your looking for a rake, look no further than ribb rake.  Top quality rakes and customer service that cannot be beat.

 

Good luck amd enjoy the journey and SOL.

Edited by MikeK

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short answer . if you look up in the RI DEM website 

there do sell a license to out of state residents  an with a little research 

there are area s that are available to  get  clam  s    hard shell / Quahogs

from shore  . ya have to really  do your home work to find both the clams an a place to park  . but it id doable 

if you have access to a yak, canoe , etc     then you would have no problem .

but its a long ride  for  the quantity allowed ><.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 mins ago, clammer said:

short answer . if you look up in the RI DEM website 

there do sell a license to out of state residents  an with a little research 

there are area s that are available to  get  clam  s    hard shell / Quahogs

from shore  . ya have to really  do your home work to find both the clams an a place to park  . but it id doable 

if you have access to a yak, canoe , etc     then you would have no problem .

but its a long ride  for  the quantity allowed ><.

 

 

 

 

 

Love RI clamming, but a $200 license after you use the first 2 week tourist license is steep for 1/2 peck limit....

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here is the interactive map. 

 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/mapviewer/index.html?webmap=08dcb8d758d84a74b4cc5dba914a5801

 

If I were you I would look into towns with non-resident daily or weekly recreational shellfishing permits or use the map to locate state or county parks on certified waters and shellfish there. I don't know if shellfishing is allowed by the parks or if they have their own set of regulations, so I would check with them before doing anything. 

 

Good luck 

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Posted (edited)

Everywhere I’ve checked on LI, licenses are issued by the town to residents only. Has been frustrating for me as well, plenty of clams in the waters regulated by my town, even an area accessible by foot, but I’ve been wanting to give oysters a shot which isn’t happening on the sandy south shore. 

Edited by C.Robin

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CT.  

We even have spots no shellfishing license is required. U can take the train in.   Probably less traffic as well.  

Ct DEEP website has all the info. 

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9 hours ago, C.Robin said:

Everywhere I’ve checked on LI, licenses are issued by the town to residents only. Has been frustrating for me as well, plenty of clams in the waters regulated by my town, even an area accessible by foot, but I’ve been wanting to give oysters a shot which isn’t happening on the sandy south shore. 

Yet in the early 1900s, Blue Point oysters from Great South Bay were the standard by which others were judged.  One of the most sought-after oysters in the northeast.

 

Too bad things have changed.

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7 hours ago, CWitek said:

Yet in the early 1900s, Blue Point oysters from Great South Bay were the standard by which others were judged.  One of the most sought-after oysters in the northeast.

 

Too bad things have changed.

Yup, on the south shore I have only occasionally spotted some on jetties or groins and never in anything near a harvestable quantity. North shore I’ve seen a lot more in recent years, though I’ve kept an eye out for them.

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