Readers have emailed us questions about the Community Clam Dig in Prospect Harbor at 3 PM next Sunday, October 9 that we featured in our most recent newsletter. This post answers those questions and extends an invitation to join us and learn more about what clam harvesters do and how you can dig your own clams.
Timber Cove, located just west of Gouldsboro Point, is one of two research sites the Downeast Institute (DEI) is using to study Arctic surfclams. Over the last decade, DEI has been investigating whether Arctic surfclams might be a way to diversify the kinds of shellfish available to commercial and recreational clammers. They grow naturally in Maine's offshore waters, and DEI is developing and testing techniques for raising them on intertidal mudflats.
Wednesday, 9/7, was a big day at the Shellfish Resilience Lab. Four of us (Chantal, Elin, Mike, and Pauline) went to the lab to do a routine tank cleaning. Cabot, the Lab Labrador, was there as well, "guarding" the loading dock for us. We figured it would take about an hour and a half with all of us experienced tank cleaners there. Not so, it turns out.
Last week, Mike Pinkham and I spent a few days constructing five nursery trays that our small seed clams would soon be placed in. A nursery tray is a rectangular wooden tray about 3-4 feet in length and width, and about 3 inches high. The bottom and top of each tray is made of a … Continue reading Nursery Trays are Floating
In order for the clam lab to be cost effective, it is important that our clam population has a high survival rate as well as a typical growth rate. The good news is, most of our two-month-old clams have survived up to this point. The bad news is, their growth rate is significantly slower than … Continue reading Two-Month-Old Clam Growth Update
Procedure Mike Pinkham, Ada Fisher, Noah Milsky, and Vicki Rea head out to the mud carrying materials for reseeding the flats. Collect your mud-ready clams and place them in regular 5-gallon buckets (no more than 5,000 clams per bucket)Gather other materials 14ft x 14ft netting Garden rakeStakes (4 stakes per netting)Mallet or a rockDrive the clams and … Continue reading Reseeding the Mud Flats
When we talk about the longer-term goals of the Gouldsboro Shore program, we use two taglines. One is "Keeping Gouldsboro's shore at the center of the community." The other is "Keeping ahead of coastal change." Governor Mills' visit yesterday helped us develop a deeper appreciation of what those taglines mean.
Since my time here, I have learned just how unpredictable it is to raise soft-shell clams in an upweller. Right when you think you have things under control, a new problem arises. We have been working hard, attempting to solve issues ranging from identifying and controlling harmful species in our upwellers, to water flow inconsistencies, … Continue reading One-Year-Old Clams: It’s Time For The Mud
Last week, I culled all of our one-year-old clams that were around ¾ of an inch or larger and placed them in a separate bucket in the upweller. It was time for these clams to finally get in the mud. When clams grow to this ¾ inch size, they need to grow under pressure. If … Continue reading Seeding Our First Batch Of Clams
Late in May, I collected and analyzed data on the one-year-old clams before they began feeding and rapidly growing. I was specifically focused on the average clam shell length and the estimated total number of live clams we had in the upweller. Our goal was to compare this data to the data that we collected … Continue reading One-Year-Old Clams: Growth and Mortality Report