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Softshell Clam Survey of Upper Penobscot Bay, 1966-67


Little River (D - E) This portion of Little River is quite similar in condition to that encountered in the Town of Northport. There are considerably less clam producing areas available (19 acres) and fewer patches of mussels and eel grass. A total of 11 samples were collected from this flat and estimates indicate a commercial standing crop of 2,000 bushels with a community value from $38,800 to $108,000. See Figure 25 and Table 5.

Belfast, West Shore (E - F) The area between Little River Cove (E) and the beginning of the industrial center in the city of Belfast (F) consists of a relatively narrow band of intertidal zone composed of 45 acres of clam producing flats. This total area was reduced to 41 acres to account for the numerous rock outcrops and general array of cobble size stones within the area.

Thirty-three (33) samples were collected along this expanse and estimates indicate a commercial standing crop of 4,100 bushels with a community value from $80,500 to $221,400,

Belfast North Shore (G-- H) The available soft-shell clam producing areas found along the north shore of Belfast are very similar in character to those of the west shore except for a few distinct areas of larger exposed flats -- one of which was found in the western extremes near the abandoned bridge (G), and the other close to the Belfast-Searsport town line (H). See Figure 25.

Planimeter readings showed 74 acres of intertidal zone between the location points G-H. Of these only 52 acres can be considered available for clam production. This reduction in available acreage may be accounted for by the abundance of scattered rocks and rock outcrops found along this stretch of beach. Between these acres there are usually spotty clam flats containing fair populations of clams.

Estimates from 74 samples indicate a standing crop of 10,000 bushels of commercial clams valued from a community stand- point at $192,000 to $940,000. See Table 5.

Results of this soft-shell clam resource survey in the Town of Belfast show a total standing crop of 16,100 bushels of commercial clams with a value to the community from $311,300 to $869,400.

The second year of harvest on these same flats would be relatively less, due to mortality and recruitment into the fishery. Estimates of standing, crop would be in the vicinity of 9,400 bushels of commercial sized clams valued from a community standpoint at $183,000 to $507,600,