Shellfish

Clam/Quahog

Note:

Bivalve shellfish harvest areas may be closed at any time due to dangerous bacterial and biotoxin levels. To check for up-to-date openings and closures:

The information included here pertains to the following clams/quahogs:

Bar clam

Bar clam

Bay quahog

Bay quahog

Razor clam (jackknife)

Razor clam (jackknife)

Soft shell clam

Soft shell clam

  • Season Dates
    • Fishing seasons vary depending on area. Please call the nearest DFO Office or check the Maritimes Orders Registry for up-to-date openings and closures before harvesting shellfish.
  • Time Restriction
    • No person shall fish for clams in Nova Scotia from sunset to sunrise (open sunrise to sunset)
  • Areas
    • The Maritimes Region is divided into seven Clam Harvesting Areas (CHA).
  • Nova Scotia – Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Coast and Bras d'Or lakes
    • CHA 1: Inland waters and tidal waters of the counties of Colchester, Cumberland and Hants that border and flow into the Bay of Fundy
    • CHA 2: Inland waters and tidal waters of the counties of Annapolis, Digby and Kings
    • CHA 3: Inland waters and tidal waters of Yarmouth County
    • CHA 4: Inland waters and tidal waters of the counties of Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg and that portion of Halifax County West of Pennant Point
    • CHA 5: Inland waters and tidal waters of Guysborough County and that portion of Halifax County East of Pennant Point
    • CHA 6: Inland waters and tidal waters of the counties of Richmond and Cape Breton, all of Victoria county except that portion between Cape North and Inverness County and that portion of Inverness county that borders on the Bras d'Or lakes
  • New Brunswick – Bay of Fundy
  • Size Limits
    • Bar clam: 76mm all CHAs
    • Bay quahog: 38 mm all CHAs
    • Razor clam: no size limit
    • Soft shell clam
      • CHA 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7: 44 mm
      • CHA 5: 50 mm
  • Daily Limits
    • CHA 1: daily limit is 100 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 2 (Annapolis Basin): daily limit is 100 clams/quahogs in total
    • Remainder of CHA 2: daily limit is 200 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 3: daily limit is 200 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 4: daily limit is 300 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 5: daily limit is 300 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 6: daily limit is 300 clams/quahogs in total
    • CHA 7: daily limit is 100 clams/quahogs in total
  • Gear Restrictions
    • Hand and handheld tools only
  • Licensing
    • No licence required

Mussel

Mussel

  • Season Dates
    • Fishing seasons vary depending on area. Please call the nearest DFO Office or check the Maritimes Orders Registry for up-to-date openings and closures before harvesting shellfish.
  • Areas
    • Fishing for mussels in the Bay of Fundy is prohibited.
  • Limits
    • 300 mussels per day
  • Licensing
    • No licence required

Oyster

Oyster

  • Season Dates
    • September 15 to November 30
    • Fishing seasons vary depending on area. Please call the nearest DFO Office or check the Maritimes Orders Registry for up-to-date openings and closures before harvesting shellfish.
  • Areas
    • No recreational oyster fishing permitted in Cape Breton Island, including the Bras d’Or Lake.
  • Daily Limit
    • 25 oysters per day
  • Size Limit
    • Minimum size is 76mm
  • Gear Restrictions
    • Tongs or rakes only
    • No diving permitted
  • Licensing
    • Licence required
    • Currently limited to existing licences only

Scallop

Photo Credit: Greg Croft, DFO
Photo Credit: Greg Croft, DFO

Photo Credit: Greg Croft, DFO
Photo Credit: Greg Croft, DFO

All recreational scallop fishing in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick requires a DFO licence and is subject to closures which are specified in the conditions of licence. Please call the nearest DFO Office or check the Maritimes Orders Registry for up-to-date openings and closures before harvesting shellfish.

  • Season Dates
    • Season dates vary by area and are specified in licence conditions
  • Gear Restrictions
    • Dip, dive or tong
  • Limits
    • The minimum scallop size that may be retained is based on shell height, varies by area and is specified in licence conditions.
    • The daily scallop bag limit is 100.
  • Reporting
    • Required, per licence conditions
  • Licensing
    • A DFO licence is required and available in the National Online Licensing System. The licence cost is $10 (plus HST).
    • The DFO licence is valid from Cape North, Cape Breton, NS to the Canada/US border in NB (Scallop Fishing Areas 28A, 28B, 28C, 28D and 29).
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