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Softshell Clam Survey of Upper Penobscot Bay, 1966-67


Searsport, South Shore (H-I) This stretch of shoreline is characterized by a narrow band of intertidal flats extending for about a mile and a half in an easterly direction from the Belfast-Searsport line (Figure 26). The total expanse of flats has been reduced because of terrain features from 22 to 14 acres. Calculations made from 94 samples indicate a commercial standing crop of 900 bushels with a community value from $16,400 to $48,600.

Searsport Harbor (I-J) This harbor is relatively large and, at mean low

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Long Cove (K - L) The intertidal zone of Long Cove beginning at the eastern edge of the industrial complex (K) expands in its northern section into a typical clam flat (Figure 26). Pro- ceeding in a southerly direction, the flat narrows at the northern tip of Sears Island and continues in a similar manner to point (L) on the western shore. Readings made from nautical charts show the intertidal zone within this area to be 158 acres. The survey indicated a potential clam producing area of 124 acres. One hundred and forty-seven (147) stations were sampled along this stretch of beach and cove. Estimates of commercial sized clams totaled 8,800 bushels with a community value from $171,000 to $475,200.

Stockton Harbor (M-N) The intertidal zone between control points (M) on Sears Island and (N) at the Searsport-Stockton Springs town line is distinguished by narrow bands interrupted by occasional coves. At the extreme northeast end (N), the tidal zone has a tendency to widen into a characteristic clam flat. Mechanical measurements on nautical charts give a total of 72 acres of intertidal zone. After deducting nonproducing areas from the total, the area of clam producing flats was found to be about 57 acres.

Rocky outcrops, mussel beds, and a chemical dumping area in the southwest section accounted for this reduction.

A harvestable standing crop of 7,500 bushels of soft-shell clams having a community value from $145,000 to $405,000 was estimated for this section from 242 stations in 57 acres.

Conclusion Resource estimates show that the Town of Searsport is endowed with a fair amount of clam producing areas stocked with abundant quantities of shellfish. An immediate opening of this bed would greatly enhance the economy of the town.

There are 20,800 bushels of harvestable clams available, with an estimated value to the community of $402,400 to $1,123,200.