Town of Southampton, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The regulation for and control of the taking of shellfish from the waters and lands under waters in the Town of Southampton are deemed to protect the propagation of such shellfish, to preserve public peace and good order and to protect the public health and welfare.
B. 
Boundaries.
(1) 
The GPS coordinates of the Southampton Town/Brookhaven Town boundary line are:
(a) 
Northern point: 72 43 42.735 West and 40 48 52.948 North.
(b) 
Southern point: 72 43 45.313 West and 40 46 42.747 North.
(2) 
There is a distance between the two points of about 2.5 miles in the open bay. All the area west of this line is Brookhaven Town underwater land, and all the area east of this line is Southampton Town underwater land.
A. 
No person shall take shellfish from Town waters unless such a person:
(1) 
Is a freeholder, a resident, a temporary resident, or a taxpayer, as defined herein.
(2) 
Has obtained a permit as prescribed by this ordinance.
B. 
Shellfish may be taken by a freeholder, resident or taxpayer upon first applying for and obtaining a shellfish permit from the Town Trustees. Such permit shall expire on the last day of the third year after the date of issue. The permit fee, if any, shall be established by resolution duly adopted by the Board of Trustees.
C. 
Shellfish may be taken by a temporary resident upon first applying for and obtaining a temporary resident permit from the Southampton Town Trustees. Permits shall expire on the date marked thereon. Temporary residents must show a lease or a receipt for payment from a motel, hotel, rental or rooming house with date(s) showing length of stay in Southampton Town. The permit fee shall be established by resolution duly adopted by the Board of Trustees.
D. 
Shellfish may be taken for commercial purposes by a freeholder or resident over the age of 16 years upon first applying for and obtaining a commercial permit from the Board of Trustees. The permit shall expire on the 31st day of December in the year of issue. A freeholder or resident under the age of 16 years may obtain a commercial permit with parental consent. The permit fee shall be established by resolution duly adopted by the Board of Trustees.
E. 
Commercial shellfish permits shall only be issued to persons who have met the Trustees' eligibility requirements, all of which indicate the resident's name and a street address in the Town of Southampton.
F. 
Shellfish may be taken without obtaining a permit hereunder by one guest of a residential permittee, if accompanied by such permittee, or by a child under the age of 16 years who is a member of the immediate family of a freeholder, resident or taxpayer. A guest shall be deemed to be one person with the permittee for all purposes hereunder. This subsection shall not apply to a commercial permittee.
G. 
No person shall take shellfish of any kind from the waters of the Town of Southampton by means of, or with the aid of, any device or implement commonly used in the art or practice of scuba diving or by means of, or with the aid of, any device designed to permit submergence beneath the surface of the water beyond normal capability. Such taking is permitted with the use of a snorkel device.
A. 
Any person qualified as set forth above may obtain a permit for taking shellfish from the waters or lands under the waters of the Town of Southampton by making an application therefor and paying the fee as set forth above.
B. 
Residential application shall be made in duplicate, in writing, in the form prescribed by the Trustees and shall state:
(1) 
Applicant's full name.
(2) 
The applicant's residence with a street and number, if any.
(3) 
The length of the applicant's residence in the Town of Southampton.
(4) 
The applicant's age, sex, height, and color of eyes and hair.
(5) 
The applicant's domicile outside the Town of Southampton, with street and number, if any.
(6) 
The applicant's real property owned in the Town of Southampton, with street and number, if any.
C. 
Any permits issued hereunder shall become void if the holder ceases to be a freeholder, resident, temporary resident or taxpayer.
D. 
Permits shall be in the form prescribed by the Trustees and shall contain matters set forth upon the application. The original application shall be filed in the Trustees' office, and a duplicate application in the office of the Town Clerk.
E. 
Permits shall not be transferable, and any person engaged in taking shellfish from the waters and lands under the waters of the Town of Southampton shall be obligated to disclose his name, address and current permit number to any enforcement officer. Failure to do so shall be presumptive evidence that such person has not obtained such permit.
F. 
The Town Clerk, or Trustees, when any permit hereunder is issued, shall deliver simultaneously to the permittee a copy of the Rules and Regulations for the Management and Products of the Waters of the Town of Southampton then in force and effect.
G. 
Commercial shellfish permits require additional information, as set forth by the Trustees, on the current application form.
A. 
The taking of shellfish is restricted to such tidal and brackish bodies of water as are certified for the taking of shellfish by the Trustees and by the Department of Environmental Conservation of the State of New York.
B. 
The taking of shellfish from all freshwater bodies within the Town is prohibited.
A. 
No oysters shall be taken from the bottom of the waters of the Town of Southampton by any dredge or mechanical device operated or powered either by sail or by engine or motor.
B. 
No oysters shall be taken from the bottom or from any object affixed or appended to the bottom of the waters of the Town of Southampton between the hours of sunset and sunrise.
C. 
In Mecox Bay, oysters shall be taken only by means of hand-operated oyster tongs or an eagle-claw or scratch rake not to exceed 24 inches in width.
A. 
Escallops may be taken with a dredge or scrape, such dredge or scrape having an opening at the mouth not to exceed 36 inches in width, when towed by a boat operated by mechanical power or other means, provided that such dredge or scrape is brought aboard by hand power without the use of a mechanical device, only from the bottom of the following described waters within the Town of Southampton:
(1) 
Shinnecock Bay.
(2) 
Sag Harbor Cove (Upper and Lower).
(3) 
All of the waters from Tiana Bay westerly to the westerly boundary of the Town of Southampton at Seatuck.
(4) 
West Neck Creek complex. (The area in Sebonac Creek that is an eel grass sanctuary is off limits to dredging.)
B. 
No escallops shall be taken from Town waters between the hours of sunset and sunrise.
C. 
Escallops may be taken from the Town waters of the Town of Southampton during the period from the first Monday in November to March 31, both inclusive, in each year. Bay escallops shall not be taken on Sundays by use of a dredge or other device operated by power.
D. 
Only bay escallops having an annual growth line and measuring not less than 2 1/4 inches from the middle of the hinge to the middle of the bill may be taken. Bay escallops which do not meet the requirements of this section shall be returned immediately to the waters where taken. No more than three bushels of unculled escallops shall be on board any boat at any time.
E. 
No escallops shall be taken from Town waters by any device when towed by a boat operated by mechanical power, except as heretofore provided in Subsection A of this section.
A. 
No clams shall be taken from Town waters between the hours of sunset and sunrise.
B. 
Hard clams measuring less than one inch in thickness shall be returned immediately to the waters of the place where taken.
C. 
No hard clams shall be taken from the bottom of the waters of the Town of Southampton by any tool, instrument or device except the common rake and tongs used and operated by hand alone.
D. 
No hard clams shall be uncovered or located by any mechanically operated or power-driven propeller or by any other mechanically operated or power-driven device or means, and no cover, whether plant life or bottom material, shall be removed by any such mechanically operated or power-driven propeller or by such other mechanically operated or power driven device or means.
E. 
Long-lining hard clams:
(1) 
Long-lining hard clams by holders of a Southampton Town commercial shellfish permit shall be allowed within the area of Shinnecock Bay defined below:
Starting from a point 150 feet due south of the terminus of Atterbury Road remaining a distance of 150 feet offshore to the west side of the Middle Pond inlet; thence from an oak pole on the east side of the Middle Pond inlet to an oak pole on the west side of Fort Pond inlet; thence due east to a point 150 feet offshore of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation; thence southerly along the shoreline of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation remaining 150 feet offshore to a point on the southwesterly portion of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation locally known as "Volkswagen Point," thence due south to the northern edge of the Heady Creek channel; thence generally northwesterly along the northern edge of the Heady Creek channel to its entrance in Shinnecock Bay; thence northwesterly to a point 1,000 yards due south of Atterbury Road; and then due north back to the starting point.
(2) 
Equipment restrictions:
(a) 
Motors shall not exceed 40 HP.
(b) 
No "squat boards" or similar devices allowed.
(3) 
Special restriction: Should either oak pole mentioned in the definition of the area be missing due to ice, storm or for any other reason long lining is immediately suspended between Middle Pond and Fort Pond until the missing pole(s) is (are) replaced.
F. 
Towing of clam rakes is prohibited in all Town waters.
A. 
No clams shall be taken from Town waters between the hours of sunset and sunrise.
B. 
Soft clams measuring less than 1 1/2 inches in length shall be returned immediately to the waters of the place where taken except for propagation purposes in Town waters, and this may be done only after a written permit therefor has been granted by the Town Trustees upon written application therefor, subject to the supervision of the said Trustees or a committee thereof.
C. 
Harvesting methods: The methods for taking soft clams (Mya arenaria) from Southampton Town waters shall apply as follows:
(1) 
A resident or taxpayer who holds a valid Southampton Town resident shellfish permit may take soft clams using any of the several types of traditional devices commonly employed for the hand digging of shellfish.
(2) 
A resident who holds a valid Southampton Town commercial shellfish permit may hand dig for soft clams or employ the harvesting technique commonly known as "churning."
D. 
Mechanical constraints:
(1) 
The maximum size outboard engine used for churning shall not exceed 20 HP as rated by the manufacturer.
(2) 
The traditional frame used to house the outboard engine shall be the only acceptable mounting device when churning. The frame shall be designed to keep the propeller above underlying soils during operation.
E. 
Environmental protection:
(1) 
When hand digging or churning in areas adjacent to tidal banks, edges or beach slopes vegetated with spartina grass communities (alterniflora, patens), harvesting may not occur closer than four lineal feet at any point to the seaward edge of the primary emergent grass commonly known as "cordgrass" (Spartina alterniflora). Distance shall be measured from the base of the vertical bank, or edge or seaward side of a vegetated slope.
(2) 
During periods of dormancy, this rule shall be understood to mean that hand digging and churning methods may not occur closer than four lineal feet to the seaward edge of any unvegetated bank, edge or beach slope composed in part or whole of organic bog-like materials and soils commonly associated with Spartina alterniflora.
(3) 
Churning over or through submerged eelgrass beds is strictly prohibited.
F. 
Navigation and public safety:
(1) 
The harvesting of soft clams by churning or hand digging is strictly prohibited along the seaward face and/or closer than 50 lineal feet to the sides of any public ramp or public access point to Southampton Town waters and other estuarine areas or within the regulatory jurisdiction of the Southampton Town Trustees.
(2) 
Churning closer than 10 lineal feet to the lower edge of any navigable channel or passage is prohibited.
G. 
Seasonal closings:
(1) 
The taking of soft clams (Mya arenaria) shall be based on the establishment of a soft clam controlled harvest zone commencing each year on the first day of April and ending on the 15th day of May.
(2) 
In order to promote natural propagation and a sustained population of soft clams (Mya arenaria) in Southampton Town waters, the following Town waters are included in a controlled harvest zone and are subject to being periodically closed to the taking of soft clams:
Birch Creek
Cold Spring Pond
Davis Creek (North Sea)
Fresh Pond
Goose Creek
Hubbard Creek
Little Sebonac Creek
Mill Creek (Flanders)
Mill Creek (Noyack)
North Sea Harbor
Noyack Creek
Red Creek Pond
Sag Harbor Cove
Scallop Pond
Sebonac Creek
Squires Pond
West Neck Creek
Wooley Pond
A. 
No person shall take female crabs bearing eggs visible thereon from Town waters, or offer for sale or possess same within the Town of Southampton.
B. 
Crabs may be taken with a dredge, such dredge having an opening at the mouth not to exceed 36 inches in width, when towed by a boat operated by mechanical power or other means, provided that such dredge is brought aboard by hand power without the use of a mechanical device.
C. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall take blue claw crabs less than five inches from point to point by any means from any Town waters.
D. 
A commercial permittee shall have no limit on the number of blue claw crabs he may take per day. All other permittees may take up to 50 blue claw crabs per day.
If any fish and/or crustaceans are unintentionally taken, contrary to any provision hereof, they shall be returned to the water at once, without unnecessary injury. Starfish, drills, drum fish and moon snails, when taken, shall not be returned alive to the waters of the Town of Southampton.
A. 
Escallops:
(1) 
A commercial permittee may take five level bushels per day. Two or more such persons occupying the same boat while taking escallops may take, in the aggregate, not more than 10 level bushels in one day.
(2) 
All noncommercial permittees may take, individually, one bushel per day.
(3) 
Whenever the total catch on board a boat exceeds the authorized limit, all licensed persons on board shall be deemed in violation.
B. 
All other shellfish, as defined herein, except escallops:
(1) 
Commercial permittee: to be determined by the Board prior to opening day.
(2) 
Noncommercial permittees may take, individually, 1/2 bushel of combined shellfish, of which no more than 100 may be hard clams.
(3) 
Whenever the total catch on board a boat exceeds the authorized limit, all licensed persons on board shall be deemed in violation.
C. 
Razor clam harvest restrictions:
(1) 
No razor clams shall be taken from Town waters between the hours of sunset to sunrise.
(2) 
Harvest methods: The methods for taking razor clams (scientific name: Ensis directus) from Southampton Town waters shall apply as follows:
(a) 
A resident or taxpayer who holds a valid Southampton Town resident shellfish permit may take razor clams using any of the several types of traditional devices commonly employed for the hand digging of shellfish.
(b) 
A resident who holds a valid Southampton Town commercial shellfish permit may dig for razor clams or employ the harvesting technique commonly known as "churning."
(3) 
Mechanical constraints:
(a) 
The maximum size outboard engine used for churning shall not exceed 20 hp as rated by the manufacturer.
(b) 
The traditional frame used to house the outboard engine shall be the only acceptable mounting device when churning. The frame shall be designed to keep the propeller above underlying bay bottom during operation.
(4) 
Razor clam catch device restriction:
(a) 
The size of catch device can be no larger than 36 inches overall measurement, with maximum two-inch handles.
(b) 
The catch device is to be five-sided or paneled to be welded with no hinges, chutes or ramps attached.
(5) 
Environmental protection:
(a) 
When hand digging or churning in areas adjacent to tidal banks, edges or beach slopes vegetated with spartina grass communities (alterniflora, patens), harvesting may not occur closer than four lineal feet at any point to the seaward edge of primary emergent grass commonly known as "cordgrass" (Spartina alterniflora). Distance shall be measured from the base of the vertical bank, or edge or seaward side of a vegetated slope.
(b) 
During periods of dormancy, this rule shall be understood to mean that hand digging and churning methods may not occur closer than four lineal feet to the seaward edge of any unvegetated bank, edge or beach slop composed in part or whole of organic bog-like materials and soils commonly associated with Spartina alterniflora.
(c) 
When churning for razor clams, a ten-foot buffer from all submerged eelgrass beds must be maintained. Churning over or through eelgrass beds is strictly prohibited.
(6) 
Navigation and public safety:
(a) 
The harvesting of razor clams by churning or hand digging is strictly prohibited along the seaward face and/or closer than 50 lineal feet to the sides of any public ramp or public access point to Southampton Town waters and other estuarine areas or within the regulatory jurisdiction of the Southampton Town Trustees.
(b) 
Churning closer than 10 lineal feet to the lower edge of any navigable channel or passage is prohibited.
(7) 
Seasonal razor clam harvest restrictions:
(a) 
Daily limits.
[1] 
Days that harvest is permitted:
[a] 
West of the Ponquogue Bridge closes April 15 and reopens December 2.
[b] 
East of the Ponquogue Bridge closes May 15 and reopens September 16.
[2] 
During open periods, harvesting will be permitted on even days.
[3] 
Daily limit of 200 pounds/ per man or 400 pounds per boat for razor clams.
(b) 
During closed periods, hand harvesting of skimmer clams will be permitted.
D. 
No person without a commercial license issued by the Town of Southampton shall take shellfish while in the company of, or on board a boat with, a commercial permittee.
A. 
This article shall be enforced by any duly constituted law enforcement agency having jurisdiction within the Town of Southampton and the Bay Constables of the Town of Southampton.
B. 
The provisions of this article are declared to be severable. If any section, sentence, clause or phrase thereof shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses and phrases of this article, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this article shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.
A. 
The Trustees are hereby authorized from time to time to modify, amend or change the method or equipment used in taking shellfish whenever, in their discretion, they deem it necessary to protect shellfish propagation or if shellfish are in short supply or their existence in Town waters is endangered, upon giving not less than three days' notice by causing such notice to be published on the official website of the Town Trustees and on the official website of the Town of Southampton. Such notice shall contain the modification, amendment or change in the method or equipment used in taking shellfish and a brief explanatory statement thereof.
B. 
The Trustees are hereby authorized from time to time to increase or decrease the limits on shellfish to be taken in one day whenever, in their discretion, they deem it necessary for the protection of shellfish in Town waters, upon giving not less than three days' notice by causing such notice to be published on the official website of the Town Trustees and on the official website of the Town of Southampton. Such notice shall contain the limitation imposed on the number of shellfish to be taken in one day and a brief explanatory statement thereof.
C. 
The Trustees are hereby authorized from time to time to set the date and the period of time for taking shellfish whenever, in their discretion, they deem it necessary for the protection and taking of shellfish in Town waters, upon giving not less than three days' notice by causing such notice to be published on the official website of the Town Trustees and on the official website of the Town of Southampton. Such notice shall contain the date and period of time for taking shellfish and a brief explanatory statement thereof.
A. 
Spawner sanctuaries are located within the following Southampton Town waters:
(1) 
North Shore:
Mill Creek
North Sea Harbor
Noyack Creek
Red Creek Pond
Sag Harbor Cove
(2) 
South Shore:
Moriches Bay (west of Pickett Point)
Old Fort Pond
Quantuck Bay
Taylor Creek in Heady Creek
Weesuck Creek
B. 
Spawner sanctuaries within Southampton Town waters are off limits to commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting. For more specific information see the map at the Southampton Trustees' office or on the website.