Clam relocation to new beds 'shore' to please shellfishermen
Happy as clams.
That's what clam seekers in Westport waters should be after 150 bushels of clams were moved last week within walking distance of Saugatuck Shores. The clam transplant is done in part for recreational clammers, according to town Conservation Director Alicia Mozian, but also to encourage growth of the younger stock and to promote more oyster growth.
"You're creating a better bottom for oysters," Mozian said of another benefit for the local crop of oysters. "Oysters like a harder bottom whereas clams like a softer bottom. The mere activity of moving the clams creates a harder bottom."
This marks the second time this year clams have been transplanted.
"If we have a lot, we might do it twice, but if there's not a lot to move, we won't move them," Mozian said.
The clams were moved and relocated within the Westport conditional recreation area between Saugatuck Shores and Cockenoe Island.
Shellfishing, with a permit, is permitted year-round, but it can be prohibited after a major rainstorm because runoff can "bring pollution and shellfish are filter feeders," according to Mozian. Another factor that would shut down local shellfishing is a spill from an area sewage-treatment plant.