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Shellfish License Information
A clamming license is now called a shellfish license and is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels.

Lifetime Resident Senior Clam Licenses sold prior to June 17, 2008, have been expanded to include all molluscan (shellfish) species, with the exception of conchs, which are addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations. In addition, a new Non-resident Commercial Shellfish License has been established.

Other specific commercial shellfish licenses exist such as surf clam dredge, Delaware Bay oyster dredge boat, and Delaware Bay licenses to harvest in Areas 1, 2 and 3.

Prior to harvesting any shellfish, be certain to consult the Shellfish Growing Water Classification Charts published by DEP’s Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring, available at any shellfish license agent, state shellfish offices, marine police station, online at www.nj.gov/dep/bmw/waterclass.htm or call the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring at 609-748-2000.

Resident Recreational Shellfish License $10.00
Resident Senior (62 and older) Recreational Shellfish License $2.00
Juvenile (under 14 years of age) Recreational Shellfish License (Resident/Non-Resident)$2.00
Non-Resident Recreational Shellfish License$20.00

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/marinelicenses.htm#shellfish
 

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I don't know if inshore mussels are good to eat. However I do rack about 50-100lbs of mussels and have a big mussel party every year. I take the mussels from the highest points(furthest away from the sand) of wrecks in Shark River Reef 16 miles offshore. I figure the water is cleaner there with the deep water and stronger currents. Once we get them up to the boat we put them into a heavy mesh bag tie them to about 12 feet of line and drag the mussels behind the boat for about 2 miles. This will force the mussels to open up and filter any debris they may have closed up in them example moss. They are delicious!!
 

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I eat them - Just be sure to have a shellfish license and harvest them in the areas on the map that show they are safe to eat. The state spends a lot of time testing the water and listing where they are safe. The ones we buy in the stores are raised just for market, therefore they are young and tender. The ones in the tidal creeks may be tougher due to sucking saltwater for ten years -
 

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are the mussels you find on the local jetties/rocks the same as the ones we get at local restaurants?? (i assume not all mussel marinara's use PEI's)


I asked a chef buddy in CMCH about this and he said no. He told me that they are edible but have a beard that needs to be removed, it looks like seaweed.
 

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Whats the difference between eating local clams and local mussels??? They are both filter feeders...

I know people who eat both with no problems, I was told the only difference between the local mussels and commercially harvested stuff was the beard that needs to be removed.
 

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I have eaten mussels wash up on shore beaches after a major storm a few times with no ill effects , Both me and my Dad have clamming licences. They are more labor intensive than store boughts and a bit smaller, but are definitely more tender and flavorful so the extra work makes it well worth it.



Live 2 Fish
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Forced 2 Work
 

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Learn to identify

Hi guys, just a note here

There are 3 different "mussels" that are common to NJ waters. They are the horse mussel, the ribbed mussel and the blue mussel.

The type you buy in the store, or see on Rest. menu's is the blue mussel found from Nova Scotia down to about Maryland. Sometimes they can survive down to Virginia/NC, but they are very temperature sensitive and don't like water temps over approximately 70 degrees. In fact, they will usually spawn in June and then Die. Oft times their life span here in NJ is less than 40 days from the time they begin their growth cycle to the time they mature and spawn.

The other two, the ribbed and the horse are different animals. When you are mucking around the salt marshes and sods, the millions of mussels you see in clumps are ribbed mussels. Although they are edible, they have a nasty flavor and they also enjoy a much higher percentage of bacterial ingestion. In other words they're edible, but they suck and could make you pretty ill at the wrong times.

The horse resembles the blue in color and shape, but can grow to enormous size. 5 inches isn't unheard of. It too is technically edible, but for all the wrong reasons, shouldn't be.

Although you can find blue mussels sometimes on pilings, etc, the "best" are found out in the bay in water from 3 to 12 feet deep. When you are floating across a patch of bottom and the water is clear, you can often see huge "strings" of them connected to the bottom. The harvest is easy, take a simple metal garden rake, extend the handle a few feet and "snag" a string. Because mussels attach themselves to structure and each other by fibrous "strings", you can often snag a string and in one pull have upwards of 100 mussels attached. Simply pull them off the string and place in your bucket. (when you get home you'll wash them and "debeard" them)

Our local blue mussels are some of the finest eating you can do. In general terms we locate our patches in late May, then wait as they grow to a size worth catching. They grow incredibly quick, and a patch that you find today at a half inch will often be two inches just two weeks later.

Once the water gets up around 68 it's almost the end. You will be amazed how fast they spawn and die. I've gone to may favorite patches on say a Monday and harvested a few hundred perfect mussels, only to come back Wednesday and the patch is dead, all spent out and rotting already.

Give em a shot, you'll love em.
 

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I never heard of anyone eating the ribbed mussels until I saw CGMillers pics and he said they're delicious. I won't eat them though because I was raised to believe that all shellfish close to shore like that was contaminated. It's something that I will never get over and it's personal aversion.
 

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Ive taken mussels from the beds along the jetty in barnegat inlet numerous times. Delicious.
 
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