2020 Recreational Family Shellfish Permits

Recreational Family Shellfish Permits
Town of Orleans, MA - Natural Resources
Shellfish and Harbormaster Department
(508) 240-3755

2020 Recreational/Family Shellfish Permits are required
April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021
Permits are available to purchase through mail, online, or in the sticker office.
See below for more information.


"Family Permit"
 is defined as a recreational license issued which permits spouses and dependent(s) who are domiciled and living under the same roof to harvest shellfish.

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!

Please remember to carefully review the Shellfish Regulations and open/closed areas (see below) 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.


Important information to review prior to shellfishing:

Current Open/Closed Shellfish Areas

Current Shellfish Regulations

Current Tides


Recreational Fees:

$20 for persons domiciled in Orleans or Eastham
$20 for Veterans living in Massachusetts (64 years old or younger)
$10 for Veterans living in Massachusetts (65 years old or older)
$10 for persons 65 years or older domiciled in Orleans or Eastham
$20 for Orleans property owners
$70 for Massachusetts Residents
$70 for Out of State Residents

Where to Purchase?
Recreational/Family Shellfish Permits can be purchased by mail, online, or at the Orleans Sticker Office (in season).
To purchase online,
use our online sticker portal. Be prepared to upload required documentation.

To request by mail, please send the following:
> Copy of your driver’s license
> 2019 Shellfish permit with your catch noted on the back, if applicable.
> Payment (see fee schedule above) check or money order payable to “Town of Orleans"
> Business sized self-addressed stamped envelope with two stamps
> Mail to: Natural Resources Dept, 40 Giddiah Hill Road - Orleans, MA 02653


Some special tips to remember when shellfishing in Orleans:

> Keep your shellfish permit with you. A sealable plastic bag will keep it dry.
> Carry your shellfish gauge with you. Most folks tie them to their clam baskets.
> Leave the shovels at home.  You can only dig with rakes or your hands.
> Re-bury any undersized shellfish.  Let them grow to be enjoyed another day.
> Don’t forget bug-spray!  No see-ums and greenhead flies love the tidal flats.
> Wear boots or old sneakers to prevent cuts from broken shells.


Note: In accordance with Town of Orleans Bylaws Chapter 94-6, the renewal or granting of Town licenses or permits may be denied if the taxpayer, owner, permit customer, or subject property has tax bills, water charges, betterments, assessments, or other municipal charges more than twelve (12) months past due. See Treasurer/Collectors Department section for further explanation.