Just a heads up on digging surf clams in Scarborough & OOB. They have been completely wiped out over the last 10 years and you would be pretty lucky to come up with 1 or 2 for a day of digging. 100s of Cambodians come up from Boston right as the snow melts and destroy the beach for a few days and then there are none left. DMR says there is nothing they can do about it as it is legal the way they have the rules set up, Warden I talked to said there are some violations in terms of rake sizes and whatnot but he doesn't bother since the resource is already destroyed.
Edit: If you are just digging for bait you can dig in the closed areas for steamers but you must dye them blue (or green?) as soon as you are done collecting them. This marks them as not fit for human consumption. However they probably are safe considering they way they test the water is pretty messed up and they tend to stir up the muck as they collect and get an incorrect reading because of it. Also closed and open areas are sometimes 100 feet apart, so who knows.
"The harvesting of marine mollusks from closed areas for the use of bait or other uses not meant for
human consumption, if the harvesting takes place according to rules adopted by the commissioner."
Chapter 49 Shellfish Bait Permit regulations are the regulations or rules established for this exemption and may be found in the following link:
The shellfish bait harvester permit regulation also contains a reference to reporting which may be found in Chapter 8.20(J):
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?
I went online and located the legal notice that describes and maps the water quality closures in that area. I have attached a link to this document as well as a link to all of the water quality and red tide closures. It looks like the closures for this area are listed under growing areas WF and WG; area number 10.
Maine DMR Bacterial Closures: Shellfish Pollution Area Inventory
It does appear that most of the area is closed to the taking of shellfish; however, if you look at the map there does appear to be a small seasonal opening at Hills Beach and also an opening in the area known as the pool. I don’t know if the Town requires a municipal license for shellfish harvest or not. Denis-Marc Nault could answer that question for you or you could call the Biddeford Town Office.
I did not see any red tide closures for soft shell clams but there are some other species that are closed for red tide in the area such as ocean quahogs and certain whelks. Maine DMR PSP (Red Tide) Closures: Shellfish Biotoxin Area Inventory You can call Darcie Couture at the Booth Bay Harbor Lab for more info: 633-9570
I am going to give you some contact information for Department staff that covers the southern Maine region in case you have any follow up questions.
1. Loraine Morris, Water Quality: 633-9513
2. Marine Patrol Division 1 Boothbay Harbor: 633-9595
3. Denis-Marc Nault, supervisor of the municipal shellfish program: 422-2092
I hope this is helpful but not overwhelming.
Department of Marine Resources
Division of Shellfish Management 949-4498.
Laurice U. Churchill
Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
PO Box 8
West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575-0008