Scallop season update
February 3, 2017 - Nine weeks into the Maine scallop season and several areas along the coast are scheduled for closure or limited access through emergency rulemaking. The use of emergency rulemaking to implement in-season changes is based on data from monitoring programs. It provides a means to ensure that industry has the most opportunity up front and that managers can quickly modify access to areas in a way that protects the resource and ensures future opportunity.
The closures are scheduled to take effect Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Casco Bay in Zone 1 will be closed to draggers but will remain open for diving when the season for Zone 1 divers resumes March 1. The reason for leaving Casco Bay open for divers is provide an equitable share of days to Zone 1 divers for whom the entire month of February was closed.
The upper part of the Damariscotta River in Zone 1 will also be closed to draggers, yet for the same reason mentioned above, will remain open to divers when their season resumes March 1.
The Mid Penobscot Bay area Zone 2, which has been open this season as part of the department’s rotational management program, will remain open only on a limited basis (2 days per week – Mondays and Tuesdays) for draggers but will remain open for divers. Divers will continue to have access for now as they have only had 31 days so far this season in Zone 2, while draggers have had 38. In addition, the area north of North Haven will be closed to draggers, however divers will be allowed continued access as they are on a reduced season.
The entire Blue Hill Bay/Jericho Bay Rotational Area will be closed for the drag fleet. Again, divers will continue to have access for now as they have only had 31 days so far this season in Zone 2, while draggers have had 38.
The targeted closure in Chandler Bay/Head Harbor Bay previously implemented in Zone 2 will be extended to include all of Mud Hole Channel, which runs between Head Harbor Island and Great Wass Island.
For more information on the Maine scallop season, visit the Maine DMR website.