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I am not from here so was wondering about the rules around digging/gathering mussels/oysters/clams in the Pensacola area. I want to make a fresh chowder for my friend that lives here but don't know if it is legal right now OR where to go about digging where the catch could be safely consumed.

Thanks!
 

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When I was a Boy Scout back in the 70s, we camped on the east side of Perdido Bay near the old Bronson Field quite a bit...and there were a flying buttload of clams in the near-shore muck. We felt for them with our toes.
 

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Never looked for clams but I used to oyster pretty frequently. For oysters there is a season in our bays that ends I believe on June 1st. There is two areas that you are allowed to oyster, escamiba bay and east bay. You can find the maps on this link. http://floridaaquaculture.com/pdfmaps/02.pdf In addition to having restrictions on which areas that you are legally allowed to harvest oysters, the bays can be closed daily due to the amount of fresh water. You can check the whether the bays are open by going to this site. http://shellfish.floridaaquaculture.com/seas/seas_westgulf.htm.

There will be times where one bay is open and one bay is closed such as today. The new statuses are posted every day at 3 EST. You are allowed 4 five gallon buckets of oysters per day.

With all this said, escambia and east bays got hit very hard with dermo this year and have pretty much wiped out every oyster bed in the bays. If you are looking for fresh oysters you might need to buy a box from one of the seafood markets. I am not sure whether clams were affected.

Hope this helps......
 

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Formerly Hank Hill
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According to Fl Fish and wildlfie:

Clams (Hard)
1" thick across hinge​
May not harvest half hour after official sunset until half hour before official sunrise​
One 5 gal. bucket per harvester or 2 per vessel, whichever is less per day (whole in shell)​
Illegal to harvest from closed areas.
Go to
www.floridaaquaculture.com for allowable harvesting areas.



and a link to quick ref saltwater regs

http://myfwc.com/media/2075522/2012jan-saltwater-regs-chart.pdf
 

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Joe Pattis.
+1...

when i get a hankering for oysters, I'll get a box...when wifey makes gumbo, i have all the fish I need, just need shell fish and crab meat...
 
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