Shellfish Resilience – Latest Posts

Students removing clam netting
Students removing nets that have been protecting juvenile clams.

In the Shellfish and Restoration Project, students work with clam harvesters and town officials to collect data used in making decisions about managing the fishery. What follows are the most recent posts. Use the “Tag Cloud” or search function at the bottom of the page to find additional posts.

Dana Rice and Mike Pinkham Setting the Trays in the Pound
Dana Rice and Mike Pinkham Setting the Trays in the Pound

Welcoming Our First Clams

June 30th was a big day for the shellfish lab and team–Shellfish Warden Mike Pinkham brought the first batch of clam spat back to the lab! With our team of intrepid volunteers we set out to install our nursery trays. These clams will spend this summer and fall outside in the lobster pound enjoying local […]

Green Crab Conservation Work

On Sunday June 13th, Mike Pinkham–the Gouldsboro shellfish warden–a group of harvesters, and I went out to the mudflats to do some conservation work. This week’s activity was collecting and removing green crabs from a local clamming area, John Small Cove. This activity was part of the harvester’s required conservation time, and I went along to see what some of this work entails and to get to know the local community a little better. In order to be eligible for a clamming license in Gouldsboro, harvesters are required to do at least 10 hours of conservation work. Some of this is done in co-management meetings, such as attending the shellfish committee meetings, but much of it is done out on the flats in events like these. Other activities include (list of activities). 

A Visit To Downeast Institute

Today, the Downeast Institute (DEI) hosted us for a tour of their shellfish hatchery and campus. Kyle Pepperman, the hatchery and production manager, gave us a look into how shellfish are raised in this area. He discussed the different needs that various species need, particularly looking at soft shell clams, the focus of our shellfish initiative. One of the most important rooms in the facility is where they grow the algae to feed the shellfish. It has rows and rows of big cylindrical glass tanks of different colors, making the room look somewhat otherworldly and rainbow-esque. This magical looking algae is then dripped through pipes in the floor, down to the tanks and tanks of shellfish below.

photo: Paulline Angione

What’s Happening on the Clam Flats?

On Sunday, June 6, fifty people came down to the clam flat at the top of Prospect Harbor to learn more about what is going on, other than clam harvesting, when they see a group of people out on a clam flat with nets, buckets, boxes, and other gear. People from the Prospect Harbor neighborhood were joined by folks from elsewhere in Gouldsboro as well as people who drove from Sullivan, Franklin, and other communities. They learned that soft shell clams are under increasing predatory pressure from green crabs who are now able to survive the winters in greater numbers because winters have been getting warmer. They also learned that Gouldsboro, like some other communities, uses nets that the shellfish committee puts over “clam seed” (small, 1-year old clams that the town puts out on the flats) to protect young clams from the crabs. The tide was out that afternoon, which meant that visitors could have a look at the nets and at the clam holes underneath the nets that the clams use when they extend their siphons up into the water for feeding.

Shellfish lab entrance

Shellfish Lab – Getting Started

Work on the shellfish lab is finally starting! This is a picture of the lab entrance. We want you to know that renovation plans include replacing the pallet with stairs! On January 27, three of us got together inside the lab-to-be to make a list of materials to begin turning what was a clam buying station into a shellfish lab. I took pictures so you could come on inside, take a look, and join us in envisioning what the lab can be.

Gouldsboro’s Shellfish Resilience Lab

Gouldsboro has begun work on its Shellfish Resilience Laboratory and will have it operational by this spring. Located in Bunkers Harbor, the Resilience Lab is not only a key element in Gouldsboro’s program to restore clam flats to productivity and sustainability, but will also collect data and develop know-how that other Maine communities can use to manage municipal shellfish operations as Maine’s climate changes.

Clams to Data to Questions

What did we find? That was the question that Sumner Memorial High School Students began to answer as they analyzed the samples that they helped collect from John Small Cove in late October, 2017. This post is a little bit about clams and a lot more about supporting productive inquiry in the classroom. It revisits work students did three years ago, but that work, both in the classroom and on the clam flats, is still relevant today.

Giving DMR a Hand in John Small Cove

Schoodic Institute uses the word “authentic” to describe student scientific investigations that addresses real community problems and questions. It is also authentic because students learn by working with professional scientists and, along the way, learn that science goes on outside as well as inside, requires hard work, and sometimes involves getting dirty and, as this picture shows, can require some agility.

Plant pot with net collar

Setting Up and Deploying the Plastic Plant Pot Experiment

This post provides detailed instructions about how to set out the plastic plant pot experiments that are at the heart of work that students do in CSI-Maine. It provides a list of materials and tells you what to do with them.  If any of this is confusing or seems to leave something, please tell us […]

2018 Gouldsboro experimental sites

2018 Gouldsboro Study – Part 1 – The Experiments

During 2018 the Gouldsboro shellfish committee and the CSI-Maine project set out “experimental units” — our “plant pot” experiments — in two coves that were once productive but had become so overrun by crabs that they were considered to be “dead mud.” In the spring of 2019, a team of students in the Pathways program at Sumner Memorial High School analyzed the data so that they could be presented to the shellfish committee and others on March 20. In this post we describe the design of the experiments and the coves where they were set out. A subsequent post describes what the students found.


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Clams and Community CTTM in the classroom Downeast Institute Field Work Gouldsboro Green crabs Inquiry Lifecycle Methods Population Predation Public Water Systems Sampling Shellfish Lab Student Work Tuva Water Quality Standards

Sign Up for our Newsletter to Keep Up with New Posts