Prepping for shellfish season on Block Island

The Shellfish Commission met on May 11, 2021 to discuss restocking the clam population and the state of the Great Salt Pond in general. Water testing has been completed, pathology testing has been completed and the Rhode Island Coastal ResourcesManagement Council confirms the pond is good to go for clam restocking, according to Harbormaster Kate McConville.McConville explained that the clams would be put on ice and delivered by ferry on May 19. From there, they are transported to Payne’s Dock where they are divided into three boats, two from the Harbors Department and one belonging to the Committee for the Great Salt Pond. Each boat needs three people, one piloting the craft and two to dump the clams over the side, McConville said. She anticipates the whole process to take about three hours.The clams will dig into the sandy bottom of the pond within twelve hours, and since they will be dumped at high tide, there is no need to close off the pond, McConville said. There is no shell-fishing allowed after dark, and by the time the clammers arrive the next morning, the quahogs should be sufficiently buried.McConville is also planning to have the town-owned upweller installed

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