Recreational Fishing - Seasons and Limits for Oysters/Clams (Shellfishing)

All areas upstream of a line from Brent Point, VA (mouth of Aquia Creek) to Smith Point, MD are closed to taking oysters or clams at any time of the year. In addition, oyster sanctuaries are closed to recreational oystering.

List of oyster sanctuaries

Type of Shellfish License Required Season and Restrictions Method Catch Restrictions Size Limit Catch Limit
Oyster None ** however an oyster inspection tax per bushel is required (See additional information below) Oct 1 – Mar 31 Sunrise to 3:00 pm

No Saturdays or Sundays

hand shaft tongs or by diving with or without scuba and by no other means 3" min. no shells or cultch 1 bushel/person/day or 2 bushels/vessel with 2 or more people aboard vessel
Soft Shell Clams No No closed season hand held shovel, rake or hoe, or by hand and by no other means 2" min. 1 bushel per person per day
Razor Clams Permit required if used for commercial purposes No closed season hand held shovel, rake or hoe, or by hand and by no other means None None

** $2.00 per bushel oyster inspection tax is due along with a written report found under the Oyster Instpction Tax tab.

This tax and information are sent to:
Potomac River Fisheries Commission
P.O. Box 9
Colonial Beach, VA 22443

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission coordinates regulations with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, (DGIF) and with the other Atlantic coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).