Roccus7

Hen Clams, just where can you dig 'em????

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Learned Colleagues:

 

I may be totally zoning here, but if I check out all the maps at DMR it looks as if the entire coast of Maine is closed to bivalve collection in Red Stripes which means it's not conditional, it's for real.

 

If that statement is correct, I'm very, very confused.  For example Biddeford Pool is conditionally open, but the second you get outside the pool, everything is closed.  Would someone please explain that to me??  Logically, the closed, confined waters of the pool should be a bit more "dangerous" than the open water of the Gulf of Maine.

 

IF, and that's a big IF, my readings are correct I'd love to know what the logic of all of this is?  I'm thinking it's a lack of funding for extensive water testing, especially when you get into rivers with oyster farms and notice the waters around the farms are conditionally open, but the second you get outside that area, they're closed.  Never knew there was a barrier for the nasties to stay out of the oyster farms...

 

Anyone have the low-down on all this???

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The maps I looked at were in the "Bacterial Closure Notices With Maps" list.  Some of the Notices are dated 2015!!  Going to call them on Monday.  It's kind of a major cluster...

Edited by Roccus7

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I can educate you about this issue. I promise you I’ll refuse to spot burn this resource. But I can really shorten the learning curve.  
PM a cell number and I’ll call during normal folks hours. 

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On 1/31/2020 at 8:47 AM, Roccus7 said:

Learned Colleagues:

 

I may be totally zoning here, but if I check out all the maps at DMR it looks as if the entire coast of Maine is closed to bivalve collection in Red Stripes which means it's not conditional, it's for real.

 

If that statement is correct, I'm very, very confused.  For example Biddeford Pool is conditionally open, but the second you get outside the pool, everything is closed.  Would someone please explain that to me??  Logically, the closed, confined waters of the pool should be a bit more "dangerous" than the open water of the Gulf of Maine.

 

IF, and that's a big IF, my readings are correct I'd love to know what the logic of all of this is?  I'm thinking it's a lack of funding for extensive water testing, especially when you get into rivers with oyster farms and notice the waters around the farms are conditionally open, but the second you get outside that area, they're closed.  Never knew there was a barrier for the nasties to stay out of the oyster farms...

 

Anyone have the low-down on all this???

Biddeford Pool does not receive the **** that flows down river. I looked at the closure and a lot of them were due to recent rainfall events, sewage discharge, etc. They re-open after a period of time. 

 

Consequently just today a fishing buddy was telling me how they were coming up the river before heavy rainfall and saw raw sewage in the river. It was explained to him they calculate how much direct sewage they can dump in anticipation of heavy rain. :poopfan:

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23 mins ago, Sea Of Atlas said:

There is a link that explains all current closures and its up to date. 

Yes, the section entitled Growing Area Bacterial Closure Notices with Maps (PDF Files).  If you take the time to go through them, you'll see that almost the ENTIRE COAST not in estuaries is closed.  I've clipped out a section of my local one below that has an accompanying Notices dated April  25, 2018!!  I've seen some on that list with Notice dates of 2015.  It seems that once they establish a closure, they're in no hurry to remove it.

 

The crazy thing, as you can see below is the absurdity that the eastern shore of the peninsula is closed, while the western shore of the islands, not more than 3/4 mi away, are open.  It's the same water, WTF???

 

My only guess is once they get a failing water sample they close everything in sight and are very slow for new tests to free things.  

 

I'm calling Augusta on Monday and hope I'm totally reading this incorrectly...

 

clamming.jpg

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  • PSP (Red Tide) closures are not included in the inventory above!!
  • Some Pollution Areas contain conditional area classifications. These areas open and close depending on various conditions which effect pollution levels, such as waste water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, marinas, rainfall or season. You may also check the hotline at 1-800-232-4733 to see whether or not the area is open or closed. Be advised that the best information comes from your local Marine Patrol Officer, local shellfish warden, or your local Marine Patrol office.
  • This website was last updated on January 29, 2020.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

7 hours ago, Sea Of Atlas said:
  • PSP (Red Tide) closures are not included in the inventory above!!
  • Some Pollution Areas contain conditional area classifications. These areas open and close depending on various conditions which effect pollution levels, such as waste water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, marinas, rainfall or season. You may also check the hotline at 1-800-232-4733 to see whether or not the area is open or closed. Be advised that the best information comes from your local Marine Patrol Officer, local shellfish warden, or your local Marine Patrol office.
  • This website was last updated on January 29, 2020.

Yes, I'd love for you to be correct, but what you cite is specific for PSP, the chart I showed above comes from the bacterial closure part of the website and there are similar ones for the ENTIRE Maine coast.  The accompany text for the map above is shown below and I cannot find any documentation on the website that says it no longer is in force.  I invite you to read the documentation for your favorite hen clam digging area that's not in an estuary.  I'm betting you'll be red striped...

 

What's even more interesting is that if you get a map for an area that has oyster farms in it, it will be "red striped" all around the oyster farms, but then "blue striped" around the farm area.  My hypothesis is that due to resource limitations, they just close everything unless someone other than the state ponies up with testing.

 

Should be an interesting call tomorrow...

 

http://www.Maine.gov/dmr
PHONE: (207) 624-6550 FAX: (207) 624-6024
Shellfish Harvesting Area Classification-Notification of Changes
April 25, 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen:


Under the authority of 12 M.R.S.A. § 6172; the Commissioner has made the following classification change to Area No. 25-C, Western Muscongus Bay (Bristol and Bremen): This notice reclassifies an area on Louds Island (Loudville) and Marsh Island from Approved to Prohibited due to the identification of pollution point sources and clarifies a line description. All existing pollution and red tide/psp closures remain in effect.


The boundary descriptions of the area are as follows (struck text is being removed and underlined text is being added):


A. Effective immediately because of pollution, it shall be unlawful to dig, take or possess any clams, quahogs, oysters or mussels taken from the shores, flats and waters of the following Prohibited areas:


1. East of a line beginning at the southernmost tip of Pemaquid Neck, running northeast to green can “11”, then running northwest to a red painted post at the end of Bryant Way, Bremen.
2. South of a line beginning approximately 500 yards south of the southern tip of the large cove on the eastern side of Louds Island extending 500 feet offshore to the east; AND North of a line beginning approximately 900 yards south of the southern tip of the large cove on the eastern side of Louds Island extending 500 feet offshore to the east.


3. South of a line beginning approximately 515 yards from the southern tip of Marsh Island on the western side of Marsh Island extending 166 yards to the west; AND North of a line beginning approximately 200 yards from the southern tip of Marsh Island on the western side of Marsh Island extending 166 yards to the west.


If you have questions, please contact Department of Marine Resources, 194 McKown Point Road, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575-0008, Tel: (207) 633-9500 Email: DMRPublicHealthDiv@maine.gov. During weekends/holidays, contact on duty Marine Patrol Officers through the appropriate State Police barracks: from New Hampshire border to Brunswick, barracks 1-800-228-0857; from Cushing/Boothbay to Lincolnville/Belfast area, barracks 1-800-452-4664; from Belfast to Canadian border, barracks 1-800-432-7381. This notice can be viewed on the Department’s website at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/shellfish-sanitation-management/closures

Edited by Roccus7

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While I confess to having no clue on the subject of digging, I do have some questions.  Can you keep hen clams you find lying on the beach?   Also, what constitutes digging?   If you can see the indentation in the mud or part of one and you stick your fingers in to get it, is that digging?  Are you guys looking to eat these or use them for bait?   I'm just curious because I find them all the time when fishing, plus I know of several guys who get them all winter and freeze the meat for striper season.

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Roccus I think those closures are specific to growing/farming and not recreational harvest. 

8 mins ago, MartyK said:

While I confess to having no clue on the subject of digging, I do have some questions.  Can you keep hen clams you find lying on the beach?   Also, what constitutes digging?   If you can see the indentation in the mud or part of one and you stick your fingers in to get it, is that digging?  Are you guys looking to eat these or use them for bait?   I'm just curious because I find them all the time when fishing, plus I know of several guys who get them all winter and freeze the meat for striper season.

If its a municipality call the town, if state land you dont need a license, possession 3 bushels unless the town says otherwise. Pick em up off the beach after a storm.

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1 min ago, MartyK said:

While I confess to having no clue on the subject of digging, I do have some questions.  Can you keep hen clams you find lying on the beach?   Also, what constitutes digging?   If you can see the indentation in the mud or part of one and you stick your fingers in to get it, is that digging?  Are you guys looking to eat these or use them for bait?   I'm just curious because I find them all the time when fishing, plus I know of several guys who get them all winter and freeze the meat for striper season.

The DMR statement is: it shall be unlawful to dig, take or possess any clams, quahogs, oysters or mussels taken from the shores, flats, and waters of the following areas.  That being said, in the highly unlikely event you get caught by a warden and you can convince him you're going to use them for bait he won't write you up.  In the worst case, he'll tell you to put them back, best case he'll lecture you and let you keep them.

 

What do I use them for?  BAIT! IMO that's all they, and mahogany clams are good for.  Hens - too much sand and grit to get rid of for not much flavor.  Mahoganies - too strong a clam flavor.  Too bad as these are both easy peasy to shuck..

 

At Cafe Chez Roccus we use soft shells for frying and steaming and quahogs for all other consumption based on size, including, but not limited to, chowdah, pasta sauce, steaming, raw bar, baking, etc...  I'll also use razors for some cooking applications.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, Sea Of Atlas said:

Roccus I think those closures are specific to growing/farming and not recreational harvest. 

If its a municipality call the town, if state land you dont need a license, possession 3 bushels unless the town says otherwise. Pick em up off the beach after a storm.

State bacterial closures say: it shall be unlawful to dig, take or possess any clams, quahogs, oysters or mussels taken from the shores, flats, and waters of the following areas...

 

That seems pretty definite to any clamming and the notices have no delineations between commercial and rec.

 

On Monday, all confusion will be cleaned up, I hope...

Edited by Roccus7

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Thanks guys.  I may take a dozen or so home when I find them, freeze and use them as bait.  Usually, I find one or two and use them that same day. 

 

Café Chez Roccus sounds like someplace my wife drags me to dinner.  

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Linesides is the foremost expert, and I will personally attest that thanks to call he made to me many a year ago, he changed the way i fish for the better.

 

best thing to do is to follow the links above, but if you still aren’t sure, the town if Scarborough has a shellfish hotline.  207 730 4300 option 1.

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