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DMR Home > Municipal Shellfish

Maine Municipal Shellfish Program

The Municipal Shellfish Program is administered by the DMR Bureau of Public Health.

Select the links below or scroll down the page:

Mission | Contact | Wardens| Town Ordinance Info | Forms | Laws & Regulations

Mission of the Program

The softshell clam resource belongs to the people of the State of Maine. The Department of Marine Resources must ensure that municipalities assuming the responsibility of managing shellfish resources do so in a manner consistent with the state's goal of balancing use of the resource and conservation. Towns manage their shellfish resources to the lower tide line (except for intertidal mussel harvest permits), by adopting and enforcing a town shellfish conservation ordinance.

The Area Biologists are responsible for helping municipalities with resource assessment and management of their shellfish ordinances. The Shellfish Program Coordinator manages the Muncipal Shellfish warden eligibility and training program.

The PDF files below require Adobe Acrobat or the free Adobe Reader (download here)

Staff Contact Information

Town Shellfish Warden Information

Information on town shellfish warden applications and training can be found on the DMR's Municipal Shellfish Warden page.

Town Shellfish Ordinance Information 

Information regarding town shellfish licenses, ordinances, flat surveys and intertidal management plans can be found on the DMR's General Shellfish Ordinance Information page.

Applications and Annual Review Forms

Applications for shellfish program permits and wardens, as well as the annual review forms needed by towns with ordinances, can be found on the Municipal Shellfish Management Forms page.

News & Meetings

News (as of January 23, 2014)

The final report on the One-day Green Crab Trapping Survey conducted on August 27 and 28, 2013 is now available. Select the link to access the document: Results of the One-day Green Crab Trapping Survey (8 pages, 130 KB, pdf)

Intertidal mussel harvest guidance document (13 KB, pdf)

Intertidal mussel harvest permit application (24 KB, 2 pages, pdf)

Frenchman's Bay Intertidal Management Plan (19 KB, pdf)

Frenchman's Bay specified intertidal areas limited for mussel harvesting by drag (645 KB, pdf)

Gouldsboro Intertidal Shellfish Management Plan (PDF file, 16 pages, 2.8 MB)

The Public Health Division of the DMR has a website for areas closed to the taking of shellfish due to pollution. A legal description and map of each area is available. Select the following link for more information: Shellfish Closed Area Inventory page.

PSP (red tide) closures are also posted on the website. Select the following link for information on red tide closures: Maine Red Tide (PSP) Closure page.

Up-to-date closure information is also available on the Maine Red Tide and Shellfish Sanitation Hotline page.

The Shellfish Advisory Council meeting and minutes information are available: select the following link: Shellfish Advisory Council .

Statewide clam landing information is provided to the Department by shellfish dealers. Select the following link for landings information: Commercial Landings

*** For certification of clam rings, contact the Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures

pidock clam A few commercial harvesters have found a clam in West Bath that looks similar to a soft-shell clam but definitely is not. A bivalve with thin white shells about 2" in length and a slightly tapered siphon about 5" long when extended, this clam is an Atlantic Mud-piddock (Barnea truncata). Also known as a Fallen Angel Wing or Truncate Borer, this clam is more common in New York and New Jersey. A boring clam related to the False Angel Wing, its normal habitat is within peat or clay. Its occurrence may be signaling a seawater warming trend; diggers are also reporting seeing more quahogs, which prefer warmer waters.


Program Laws and Regulations

The municipal shellfish program is governed by DMR Regulations Chapters 4 and 7, as well as in statute: Title 12, §6671: Municipal shellfish conservation programs. Select the following link to go to the DMR's website for more information:  Maine Marine Laws and Regulations.