More Shellfishing Info

NORTH, SOUTH, & HERRING RIVER SHELLFISH BEDS REMAIN CLOSED! Due to a recently-enforced (2020) federal regulation regarding proximity wastewater treatment plants, the North, South and Herring Rivers will not re-open this year.

After years of regular monitoring, our data proves that our local waters can meet the standards for recreational shellfishing from November – May. NSRWA has partnered with EarthRise Law Center to address this issue, and will continue to pursue all avenues to ensure that shellfishing within our watershed is not lost forever.

Typically, the clam flats in both the North and South Rivers are open from November 1 to May 31st, unless there is a Red Tide. This year (2021), all of these shellfish beds remain closed. Please visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website for more information.

Historically, the North River shellfish beds are open from the 3A bridge to the mouth. The South River shellfish beds are open from a line drawn across the South River from Grand View Avenue in Marshfield to Central Avenue to the Humarock section of Scituate. The beds are open to recreational harvest with a valid shellfish permit. Watch this space: We hope to see a restoration of this popular aspect of our cultural heritage.

The NSRWA’s role in opening shellfish beds

In spring of 2011, the South River shellfish beds reopened after twenty years of closures. Over the past two decades, we have together worked with the Towns of Scituate and Marshfield to improve water quality by increasing treatment of polluted runoff from rainstorms; upgrading septic systems; and extending the sewer system in Marshfield. Over the past 5 years, in order to open the beds the water quality had to be tested consistently to prove that water quality had improved to safe shellfishing levels. The town of Marshfield’s Harbormaster stepped up to help ensure that the Division of Marine Fisheries could collect that data consistently. We appreciate both the Town of Marshfield and Division of Marine Fisheries persistence in making the opening a reality. And of course thank you to our members for supporting the cause of cleaner water!