DMC shellfish study highlights changes in Damariscotta River

Darling Marine Center researcher Kara Pellowe and colleagues found very few clams of commercial size (2 inches or larger) last summer in any of the intertidal flats managed by the towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle.

Their discovery came during a collaborative project in which they counted shellfish (soft-shell clams, quahogs, razor clams, mussels and oysters) in five sites in Damariscotta River’s upper estuary.

But when the team set out recruitment boxes, designed to capture young clams and protect them from predation during the growing season, the protection made a difference. 

The team also interviewed shellfish harvesters to hear their observations about how the Damariscotta River estuary has changed, particularly over the last 20 years.

The complete story is on the Darling Marine Center website and the team’s final report can be read here.

Contact: Matthew Norwood,, 207.581.5220