Harvesting softshell clams has been important to Gouldsboro’s economy and to the town’s culture for generations. Over the past decade, warming ocean temperatures and milder winters have made it easier for green crabs to survive the winter. They now also grow more quickly and reproduce sooner. Since green crabs eat clams, the explosion of the crab population has resulted in a collapse of the clam population along much of Gouldsboro’s shore.

With help from the Downeast Institute, the Schoodic Institute, the Maine Shellfish Restoration and Resilience Fund, and others, the town’s shellfish committee decided to begin restoring some of the most productive clam flats. At the center of that effort is the town’s new Shellfish Resilience Lab, where the town grows clams for use in restoring clam populations on selected clam flats. What Gouldsboro learns from the experiments and data collection at its “Clam Lab” will not only help local clam harvesters but also other communities that are confronting similar challenges to their clam fisheries.

For background about the Shellfish Resilience Lab and how Gouldsboro plans to use it, see Why a Shellfish Lab? To keep up with news about the lab and the town’s shellfish restoration work, check back here and sign up for news updates.

Latest Posts

Meet your Local Clams!

On Sunday, July 30th, Gouldsboro Shore welcomed community members to a Schoodic Arts event in Prospect Harbor’s Methodist Church to meet, eat, and learn about soft-shell clams. Twenty-seven people attended, along with twelve volunteers to staff information tables.

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Meet and Eat Local Clams

Sunday, July 30, is the date for this year’s Meet Your Local Clams party. We will be sampling clam recipes and talking about Gouldsboro’s clam fishery at the Prospect Harbor Methodist Church from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You can come and eat for free, but you have to register!

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A Day on the Flats

During the early mornings of June 8th and 9th, groups of 8th-grade students from the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus filed off their school bus and onto Prospect Harbor’s mudflats. Quadrants hung off of shoulders, and data sheets flapped in the breeze. A survey of green crab populations was about to take place.

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