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Departments & Services > Conservation > Shellfish Program

Shellfish Program

The Shellfish Program affects over 1,000 acres of municipal shellfish beds from Ash Creek to Sasco Creek including Long Island Sound. This program regulates both recreational and commercial interests and includes water testing and management obligations by four town departments under a state-approved Memorandum of Understanding. The program improves water quality for swimming and clamming, provides opportunities for recreational shellfishing at Sasco Hill and Southport beaches, and commercial opportunities in all coastal waters.

Shellfish Permits

Permits can be obtained at the Conservation Department, Sullivan Independence Hall, Second Floor.

  • Permits are required for recreational and commercial gathering of shellfish in coastal waters of Fairfield

  • Proof of Connecticut residency is required. 

  • Fees are lower for residents of Fairfield with proof of residency.  

  • Children under 16 who are accompanied by an adult with a valid permit, do not need a permit unless they are filling their own basket

Recreational Shellfish Permits

  • Permit allows the gathering of shellfish (Hard Clams, Soft Clams, Razor Clams, Oysters, Mussels etc.) from the Conditionally Approved Shellfish Growing Area at Sasco Hill Beach.

  • Fee:  $20 for resident; $10 senior resident; $40 for non-resident.

  • 1 inch of rain in a 24 hour period closes Conditionally Approved Areas for 7 days

  • Permit Season:  January 1 through December 31 

  • Shellfish must be gathered with hand tools

Commercial Shellfish Permits

  • Fee: $25; Harvest fee charged at the end of the year

  • Permit Season, Seed Oyster Sept. 20 to July 20 of succeeding year; other shellfish Sept. 20 to Sept. 19 of succeeding year

  • Those using a boat must have a valid Commercial Boat Permit  

Commercial Shellfish Boat Permits

  • No fee is required.

  • Information required includes the name of the boat; type of boat; length; color; State & Registration Number; location of home port; location for loading, unloading; Vehicle Identification Number; make; model; color; year; size; Marker Number; location of parking in Fairfield; Connecticut Department of Agriculture - Aquaculture Division Permit (if applicable)