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St. Augustine Clams?

SeaDoggSeaDogg MemberJax BeachPosts: 42 Deckhand
I have heard that there is areas in St Augustine that one can recreationally dig for clams. Has anyone ever done this? If so could you point me in the right direction? Thanks


  • JFR2000JFR2000 Member Posts: 76 Deckhand
    Allowable shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) harvesting areas are established and managed for public health purposes by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture. Shellfish harvesting areas are opened and closed in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Guidelines, and the open or closed status applies to both recreational and commercial harvest. You may view maps of these areas and determine the open or closed status at: or get additional information by calling 850-617-7600.
  • KnotabiteKnotabite Senior Member Posts: 331 Deckhand
    Used to go years ago with my grandpa back in creeks and dig clams then clean them and make fresh clam chowder with Datil pepper. So good. Few months back I was eating lunch on the go at lighthouse ramp and watched a guy row in from his sailboat and dig quite a few around each side of the ramp then he rowed back to his boat with a back pack full.
  • bswivbswiv Senior Member Posts: 8,475 Admiral
    Most important thing is to be sure the waters where you plan to dig are "open", both as a legal area for public harvest as from the standpoint of current water conditions. Lots of rain can have the effect of raising fecal coliform levels ( bacteria that can make you sick ) as what is on the land ( poop from animals or septic tanks ) is washed into the water in amounts to great for the water to deal with quickly. The drop in salinity exacerbates this as the saltier the water the safer it usually is for harvesting protein products to eat raw.

    In fact the triggers for the DEP closing harvest areas is not a test for bacteria but rain amounts that based on historical records would indicate a probability of a problem.

    One good point about the St. Augustine area as far as clam/oyster harvesting on your own is that with very minor exceptions ( The airport basin being one! ) your real health concerns with them is only biological, which even when they are 'closed' cooking well will render them safe, though I am in no way suggesting you harvest when they are not open. Simply pointing out the fact.
  • SeaDoggSeaDogg Member Jax BeachPosts: 42 Deckhand
    Thanks for all the info guys. I think I'm gonna give salt run a try one day.
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