The 2019-2020 season for recreational harvest of shellfish (clams and oysters) in coastal waters of South Carolina will open one-half hour before official sunrise on Saturday, September 28, 2019. The recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2020, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.
In the event of another hurricane, major rain event, or pollution spill, shellfish beds may be temporarily closed by the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC). It is important for harvesters to check with DHEC to verify whether any closures are in effect. This information is available at 1-800-285-1618 and can be viewed on an interactive map at the DHEC website. DHEC will use these resources and your local newspaper throughout the year to announce temporary closures due to unusual rain events or spills.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) maintains State Shellfish Grounds for commercial and recreational harvesting of clams and oysters. Twenty Public Shellfish Grounds and 13 State Shellfish Grounds are managed exclusively for recreational gathering. An additional 52 State Shellfish Grounds are managed for recreational and commercial harvest. All state-managed grounds are posted with boundary signs.
Recreational harvesters should obtain updated Public or State Shellfish Ground maps at the beginning of each season, as areas open to harvest change from year to year. Maps of designated harvest areas may be downloaded from the SCDNR website or accessed online through the Recreational Map Web Application. Printed maps may also be obtained by calling (843) 953-9854 or writing the Shellfish Management Section, Attn: Ben Dyar, SCDNR, PO Box 12559, Charleston, SC 29422-2559. When requesting maps, please specify the general area where you wish to harvest. Maps for the 2019-20 season will be available prior to season opening on September 28, 2019.
Recreational harvesters must have a