Clamming Regulations Overview

In Wisconsin, clamming regulations are in place to protect freshwater mussels, commonly referred to as clams. Here's a concise summary of the regulations governing clamming in the state:

Commercial Clamming - Closed

  • Status: All Wisconsin waters are closed to commercial clamming.

Personal Clamming and Pearl Hunting

  • Harvesting Live Clams: Harvesting live clams from inland waters is illegal.
  • Dead Clams: Dead clams (excluding threatened or endangered species) can be harvested year-round from boundary and outlying waters, except in the Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters of the St. Croix River, where no harvest is allowed.
  • Collection Restrictions: Collection of even dead shells is prohibited in all waters within the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Threatened or Endangered Mussel Species

  • Protection: It is illegal to remove threatened or endangered clams from any Wisconsin water.
  • Protected Species: Certain mussel species are protected and may not be harvested. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will provide updates on any changes to the protected species list.
  • Penalties: Penalties for taking, possessing, transporting, or selling threatened or endangered species are more severe than for other mussel species. When in doubt, it's best to leave the shell where it's found.

For detailed information on clamming statutes and regulations, refer to Section 29.537, Wis. Stat., and Chapter NR 24, Wis. Admin. Code. Additionally, requirements concerning threatened and endangered species can be found in Section 29.604, Wis. Stat., and Chapter NR 27, Wis. Admin. Code.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.