Best Spots for Quahogging
Friday, July 13, 2012
Conimicut Point, Warwick
Not only is this a key spot for digging for quahogs, but it's got a bonus: great views of Conimicut Lighthouse, built in 1883. You can actually walk out to the light, about one-half mile offshore in low tide. (However unpredictable currents and rips can make this unwise.) Nyatt lighthouse is also visible across the bay and views of Mt Hope bridge can be seen to the south and Providence to the north.
Experts who go there for quahogs say the swimming is subpar... that's not why you're there, right? The beach has a great deal of kelp, dead sea life, glass (not the good kind yet!) and other flotsam. It can smell pretty bad down by the water. Good news? Free parking.
Point Judith Pond, South Kingstown/ Narragansett
Point Judith Pond, the second largest salt pond in South County, is actually the Saugatucket River estuary, where the river empties into the sea. The state’s largest fishing port, Galilee, forms the mouth of the estuary. Each provides a nice spot to enjoy a picnic and a cool swim. Along the east side of the islands are Harbor Island and Jonathan Island. The state’s largest aquaculture operation inhabits seven acres. “Moonstone oysters” as well as quahaugs and bay scallops are grown there in submerged cages. If you see the workers cleaning cages, you might ask for a tour.
This 207-acre island lies to the west of northern Prudence Island. At their closest, the two islands are only 900 feet apart. Patience island's coastal areas are used extensively by migrant and wintering waterfowl species such as horned grebes, greater scaup, black ducks and scoters, and quahogs are abundant in the sandy sediment. Interested? You'll need a boat... or a friend with a boat, as there's no ferry service available to the island. And always be aware that there is a high population of ticks, the trails may be overgrown, and camping is not permitted.
Colt Park, Bristol
Colt State Park in Bristol is often referred to as the 'gem' of the State Parks System. The entire western border of the park is an open panorama onto Narragansett Bay. Open year round, the park offers four miles of bicycle trails passing along the Bay and through 464 acres of groomed fruit trees, carefully nurtured flowering bushes, and manicured lawns. Rich in history, it proudly displays ten large playfields, a historical museum, six picnic groves containing 400+ picnic tables and its' popular open air Chapel-By-The-Sea. Only dig for quahogs here when the bay is open--not closed for environmental reasons.
These four acres of beachfront overlooking Narragansett Bay are another great spot to harvest quahogs. Again, only dig when the bay is open. Lifeguards on duty from June to September. Parking available to Barrington residents only with season parking passes sold at gatehouse.
Ninigret Pond, Charlestown
You may know Ninigret as a great place to walk and enjoy the solitude, but fishing and shellfishing are also very popular here. Marine fisheries laws and regulations are available at Burlingame State Park and at all local marinas and bait shops. No licenses are needed for Rhode Island residents, but nonresidents must be licensed to harvest shellfish.
Also known as Charlestown Pond, this 1,711-acre coastal lagoon is totally located within the town of Charlestown. A small channel under Creek Bridge connects Ninigret with Green Hill Pond in South Kingstown. The pond is bounded on the south by barrier beaches, to the west by the village of Quonochontaug, and on the east by Charlestown Beach.
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