CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Oyster lovers, listen up! The 2019-2020 season for recreational harvest of shellfish will open a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, September 28th.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said if another hurricane, major rain event or pollution spill should occur, shellfish beds may be temporarily closed by the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC).
They say it is important for harvesters to check with DHEC to verify whether any closures are in effect.
SCDNR maintains state shellfish grounds for commercial and recreational harvesting of clams and oysters. 20 public shellfish grounds and 13 state shellfish grounds are managed exclusively for recreational gathering.
An additional 52 state shellfish grounds are managed for recreational and commercial harvest.
All state-managed grounds are posted with boundary signs.
DNR said the recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2020, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.
Tips for Recycling Your Oyster Shells
- DO bring your shell to the nearest shell recycling center. Drop-off locations are available online. If a center is not shown near you, please call 843-953-9397.
- DO separate shell from trash. Shell mixed with trash (including shell in bags or containers) is not suitable for recycling. Provide separate containers at your events for shells and trash.
- DON’T put live or freshly shucked oysters in South Carolina waters. If the oysters you purchased were harvested outside South Carolina, it is illegal to place them in SC waters. Placing live oysters in our waters can create environmental problems and may harm local oysters or other animals. To avoid contamination, shell should be recycled to SCDNR and properly quarantined.