Recreational Shellfishing Information

Orleans offers its visitors and residents alike a wonderful opportunity to experience New England culture at its best.  From steamers to quahogs to blue mussels, the shellfish in Orleans is some of the finest in the world and the experience of harvesting these tasty treats will create memories that will last a lifetime!
Family Shellfish Permits are available during the summer season at the Orleans Sticker office, 139 Main St (lower level). Permits are available in person or by mail.  Hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Thursdays through Mondays (closed Tuesday and Wednesday only).  When you obtain your family shellfish permit, you will be provided with a map indicating areas that are open for shellfishing and a copy of the Orleans Shellfish Regulations.  The shellfishing map is updated frequently and may be viewed anytime on-line.
Please remember to carefully review the Shellfish Regulations before you go out shellfishing and feel free to call the Harbormaster / Shellfish Department at (508)240-3755 should you have any questions or wish to report a violation.  
Some special tips to remember when shellfishing in Orleans-
circlebullet.jpg        Keep your shellfish permit with you.  A sealable plastic bag will keep it dry.
circlebullet.jpg        Carry your shellfish gauge with you.  Most folks tie them to their clam baskets.
circlebullet.jpg        Leave the shovels at home.  You can only dig with rakes or your hands.
circlebullet.jpg        Re-bury any undersized shellfish.  Let them grow to be enjoyed another day.
circlebullet.jpg        Don’t forget bug-spray!  No see-ums and greenhead flies love the tidal flats.
circlebullet.jpg        Wear boots or old sneakers to prevent cuts from broken shells.