The Damariscotta and Sheepscot Rivers in Maine midcoast region that is home to unique systems whose tidewater flats support a variety of soft shell clams. The surrounding areas rely on shellfish income year-round. Unfortunately, there is not resources to conduct population surveys, leading the Shellfish Committee and towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle to update shellfish management without an update of data. On top of this local managers are also affected by the lack of geographically specific historical data.
To better understand the current state of shellfish populations in the Damariscotta River and Medomak River estuaries, this group conducted shellfish population surveys, recruitment experiments, and interviewed local harvesters. This effort, finished in 2019, set up their current project, designing new shellfish resource assessments that are representative of historic ecological, social, and economic trends.
Matt Lutkus- Project Coordinator