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Canal Beach Parking Closure Update 04-13-20 

In light of the closure of the parking area at Canal Beach, the Westport Shellfish Commission is advising recreational shellfishermen that access to Cockenoe Flats is by boat only. Parking is not available for the walk-in areas at this time. The parking area at Canal Beach will reopen when this crisis has abated.

Thank you for your understanding.


Thank you for your interest in Westport’s recreational shellfishing program. Careful and proactive management of shellfish beds is a hallmark of the Town of Westport’s shellfish program. 

2019 Season Recap:

This year, the Westport Shellfish Commission managed a successful program. We issued 557 annual recreational shellfishing permits. As of the end of November, the recreational beds were open 248 days and closed 86 days. Closures occur most notably after rain events of 1.5 inches, though there can and have been other environmental closures throughout the years.  

Of note, late in the season Marine 3, also known as the “shellfish boat”, was replaced by the Commission. The old boat had almost 20 years of service. The Marine Police Unit was able to test and work with the new boat during the last part of the season on outreach and enforcement. They look forward to getting out and working with you this coming year.



Recreational shellfish permit applications may be downloaded below. Permits are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each calendar year.

»Download Permit Application

When Applying for a Shellfish Permit, You Must Submit the Following:

  • Completed application with signature
  • Copy of valid drivers license or state-issued ID (For exceptions, please contact the office at 203.341.1087)
  • Permit fee – fees are listed on the second page of the application (back of page if double-sided)
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope – (if mailing in)

All mail-in applications will be returned as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after mailing. Applications with missing information will be returned along with a request for the additional information and may cause a delay in receiving your permit.

Access to the Recreational Shellfish Beds

  • The best access to the recreational shellfish beds is via boat. There is a state boat launch on Elaine Rd. off Compo Road South.
  • If arriving by car, there is a public parking area at Canal Road in Saugatuck Shores. The parking in this lot is limited to eight vehicles. Please note, the parking lot is surrounded by private property and there is no parking available on the street.
  • Recreational Shellfishing Map


 Shellfish by the Numbers




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