Shellfish Conservation Committee General Information
- Abden Simmons, Chair (2022)
- Wayne Harvey II (2022)
- Arthur "Bay" Creamer (2022)
- Glen Melvin Vice-Chair (2023)
- Charles F. Reed (2023) Secretary
- Lee Bennett (2021)
- Israel Harvey (2021)
- William Pratt (2021)
- Improve water quality,
- Limiting the number of shellfish harvesters,
- Restricting the time and area where digging is permitted, and
- Limiting the minimum size of clams taken.
In March of each year, the Shellfish Conservation Committee must review the shellfish resources in consultation with the DMR Regional Biologist to determine the number and types of shellfish licenses to sell and request the allocation from DMR. This task has the greatest impact on the resource; a number of towns rely solely on this activity to manage the resource.
Establish Conservation Areas
This activity is designed to protect areas that have been seeded from harvesting activity until the seed has reached legal size, to set aside an area that doesn't freeze up in the winter for digging; and to rotate with other conservation areas to even out the effort, particularly for areas prone to over harvesting. Prior to closing or opening an area of a municipality to shellfish harvesting, the municipality needs to review the status of the resource to be affected, secure the recommendation of the Regional Biologist and receive approval of DMR.
Establish Shellfish Harvesting Restrictions
The Shellfish Conservation Commission is responsible for establishing in conjunction with DMR restricting amount, time or season of harvest.
A community must have a permit from the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) to harvest and possess undersized sublegal-sized clams for the purpose of reseeding shellfish areas. The permit also allows the harvest of seed clams from closed areas, provided the receiving flats are closed for six months.
The Shellfish Warden shall, in conjunction with the DMR area biologist, recommend an annual transplanting/reseeding program. Subsequent to the adoption of the transplanting/reseeding program by the Shellfish Committee, the Shellfish Warden will manage the annual reseeding program which may include seed with hatchery stock and/or reseeding from closed or high density areas and may include protective measures from predation utilizing fences, traps, or nets, and enhancing spatfall with brush, fences or nets.
Guidelines for the harvest of under sized clams require that the activity take place during daylight hours, on designed days, and be under the supervision of the town's shellfish warden or designee of the Shellfish Committee. All clams harvested must be less than 2" in the longest diameter, the area must be marked by orange flags, there must be a designated landing point, and the method and route of the transportation of product to the receiving area must be submitted to DMR.
During the harvesting activities, harvest crew diggers shall remain in the same area, close enough for immediate supervision of all diggers at all times by the supervisor.
Shoreline Clean Up
The Shellfish Warden shall be responsible for undertaking an annual shore line clean up in the spring during the month of May with the assistance of and under the general direction of the Shellfish Committee.
Annual Shellfish Management Review
An Annual Shellfish Management Review Report must be submitted to DMR by March 1st for the previous year (January 1 - December 31). The Annual Management Review Form is a 10-page document designed to address all aspects of a clam management program. The plan allows DMR to monitor and evaluate the clam management activities in a consistent manner to determine if the municipality is meeting its regulatory requirements under Marine Resource Regulations, Chapter 7.
Shellfish Warden Enforcement Activities Report
The Shellfish Warden shall complete a monthly Shellfish Warden Enforcement Activities Report and submit it to the Police Department for distribution to the Shellfish Committee, Office of the Town Manager and Office of the Selectmen. The DMR also requires a copy of this report twice annually. For the period January 1st to June 30th the report is due September 15th. For the period July 1st to December 31th, the report is due by March 1st.