Oyster Harvesting Made Easier With New Map
If you’re interested in collecting oysters in South Carolina, a new tool can help you find shellfish grounds open to recreational harvesters.
SCDNR’s shellfish management section unveiled the web application at the beginning of the 2016-2017 shellfish season. The interactive map was designed to give recreational harvesters a new way of determining the locations of shellfish grounds, designated areas where harvesting oysters and clams is safe and legal. Detailed shellfish maps are always available on the SCDNR website, but accessing them on a mobile device – particularly in the field – can be a challenge.
"Previously, recreational harvesters needed to decide in advance where they would pick and print paper maps to carry with them," SCDNR shellfish manager Nancy Hadley said. "We hope this new app will be more convenient." Hadley also stressed that the new app is for recreational harvesters only. Commercial harvest is limited to certain areas and requires a printed map from SCDNR.
The arrival of Hurricane Matthew on October 8, 2016, just a week into shellfish season, put the brakes on oyster harvesting in South Carolina. But now that the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), which regulates shellfish ground closures, has determined that shellfish are once again safe to eat across most of the coast, recreational and commercial shellfish harvesters have returned to satisfy the state’s appetite for fresh, local oysters.
Anyone holding a saltwater recreational fishing license may harvest up to two U.S. bushels of oysters and/or one half-bushel of clams in South Carolina. Read more about shellfish harvesting regulations in South Carolina here – and after you enjoy your harvest, remember to recycle your oyster shells at one of our drop-off locations.
The new SCDNR web app does not show shellfish grounds closed by recent storm events. For the most up-to-date information about shellfish ground closures, always check with SCDHEC by visiting their website or calling (800) 285-1618.