Environmental Resources > SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT

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The Town of Oyster Bay Shellfish Hatchery

The only municipal hatchery located on the north shore.  The hatchery was designed to enhance shellfish restoration efforts in the surrounding Town of Oyster Bay waters through breeding, maturing and seeding efforts.  Increasing shellfish reproduction and conservation has been proven to aid in water quality and marine health. Our staff, trained in aqua culture, receives juvenile clams and oysters seasonally for the purpose of growing them within tanks specially designed to facilitate growth from algae consumption.  These tanks are closely monitored for cleanliness, sustainability and functionality.  Once matured to a specific size, increasing survival probability, the shellfish are then transferred to our FLUPSYS grow out system, a mid-way point on their journey to the harbor.  In its current state the Hatchery can produce approximately 2 million clams and oysters annually.


Floating Upwelling System.  The Department of Environmental Resources is currently in possession of 20 FLUPSYS units.  Each unit can host approximately 500,000 shellfish with the capacity to host approximately 10-20 million shellfish total.  A FLUPSYS is a floating motorized dock with 12 in-water silos that suck water up from the bay and filter it out.  The process of pulling water up into the silos instead flushing water down and out of the silos is essential for rapid growth and shell formation.  While growing in the FLUPSYS, our aqua culturists monitor the development and health of the shellfish in preparation for seeding.  Once they are matured, they are removed from the silos and released into protected Bay Management areas where the bottom sediment is optimal for survival and reproduction.

Shellfish Seeding

Upon maturing, millions of shellfish are seeded into our Bay Management areas and Spawner Sanctuaries for reproduction and water quality restoration due to their incredible natural filtration process.  Adult Oysters are able to filter 50 gallons of water per day, per oyster. Adult Clams can filter approximately 24 gallons of water per day, per clam.  For more information about our Bay Management areas and Spawner Sanctuaries please visit our Waterway Conservation and Management page.


The Oyster Bay Town Clerk issues commercial and recreational shellfishing permits.  Applicants for commercial or recreational permits, which are renewable annually, must be 14 years of age or older and residents of the Town.  Proper ID and proof of residency must be shown.

Commercial permits are issued only at the Town Clerk’s office in Oyster Bay.  Recreational permits are issued in the Town Clerk’s offices in Oyster Bay and Massapequa.  Senior residents over the age of 60 may obtain a permanent ID Card, for recreational clamming only, for a one-time fee of $7.50.  Restrictions include a minimum thickness for hard clams of 1 inch.  Anything smaller must be put back.

For further information on shellfishing permits, call the Town Clerk’s Office at (516) 624-6320.

Crabbing and Lobster trapping

Crabbing and lobster trapping licenses can be obtained from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at Stony Brook.  For information, call (631) 444-0475.