MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The season for harvesting shellfish in coastal waters of South Carolina will begin Thursday Oct. 1, and remain open through May. Harvesters are urged to leave dead shells to provide habitat benefits for future oysters.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains State Shellfish Grounds for commercial and recreational harvesting of shellfish.
Recreational harvesters should obtain updated public or state shellfish ground maps at the beginning of each season, as the areas open to harvest change from year to year. Maps of designated harvest areas may be downloaded from the DNR website or obtained by calling (843) 953-9854.
Recreational harvesters must have a saltwater recreational fishing license. To purchase a license online or to find list of license vendors visit the DNR website.
Additional rules and restrictions may be found in the DNR Rules and Regulations, available where licenses are purchased or online here
All harvesters are encouraged to "cull in place," leaving dead shell and smaller oysters on the shoreline where they will continue to grow and provide habitat for future generations of oysters. DNR uses saltwater recreational fishing license revenues to construct and enhance renewable oyster resources in the coastal counties by replanting recycled shell. All shell collected by DNR is used to restore shellfish grounds in coastal South Carolina, according to the DNR.