Where can Fairfielders shellfish this summer?
Rakes and buckets, bare feet squishing in the cool wet sound: it’s time for summer shellfishing. Fairfield residents eager to dig for razor clams, mussels, hard clams, and oysters can enjoy about 1,000 acres of municipal shellfish beds from Ash Creek to Sasco Hill Beach and in Long Island Sound.
But before heading to the beach, remember to get a recreational-shellfishing permit from the Conservation Department. Proof of Connecticut residency is needed. Anyone 16 and under doesn’t need one if accompanied by an adult with a valid permit and not planning to fill their own basket. Only a half-bushel of shellfish is allowed per day harvested during daylight hours. If scallops are your thing, keep in mind that recreational scalloping is limited to people who have lived in Connecticut at least one year. Scalloping is restricted by local laws, ordinances, or regulations that may require a town scallop license.
Fresh clams are to a New England clambake as fireworks are to the Fourth of July. To keep shellfish safe for eating, put them in a cooler packed with ice until it can be refrigerated. Shellfish that are open and don’t close when tapped are dead. Throw those out. Also, store fresh shellfish in an open container, under a damp towel, in the refrigerator. Storing shellfish in water can cause them to spoil and die.
For more information, check out the Shellfish Commission—Town of Fairfield’s Facebook page, which will post recipes, shellfish harvesting tips, and more throughout the summer.