Mollusks migrate to Wareham waters in annual shellfish relay

By Lydia Goerner | Jul 25, 2017
Courtesy of: Wareham Department of Natural Resources Bushels of quahogs are introduced to their new home, replenishing Wareham's shellfish supply.

Around 1,300 bushels of quahogs were transferred to Wareham waters Monday afternoon in the annual shellfish relay.

Every year, around 1,000 bushels or roughly 300,000 quahogs are fished out of Taunton River and brought to Onset and Wareham to increase the supply. Though typically the quahogs are for recreational use only, this year quahogs for commercial harvesting were added as well.

The quahogs begin their relay in the Taunton River, then are transported to Swansea to be tagged and inspected. Finally, they are placed aboard a Wareham barge and transferred to their new home. The Wareham Department of Natural Resources targeted Broad Cove, Agawam Beach Management Area and Wareham River.

This year, 500 bushels are intended for commercial use and 800 for recreational use, paid for by the settlement for the Bouchard oil spill. This spill dumped 98,000 gallons of oil along the Buzzards Bay coastline in 2003. The $6 million settlement restores wildlife and habitat.

Harbormaster Garry Buckminster said the money from the settlement will help supply quahogs for the another one or two years.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 25, 2017 09:42

Hopefully these quahogs are allowed to do what quahogs do before they are harvested. It would be great if they could be left alone for a number of years to get busy and really build up the stock so they can keep up with the commercial overfishing.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 25, 2017 12:40

Being from the Taunton River I believe they need a period of time to flush because they were removed from contaminated beds that are closed to shell fishing.  If anyone is ignorant enough to take them I hope they do it right away.  That way they'll get sick right away.  Kharma's a b***h! Anyone that follows behind and collects these deserves a nice case of Hepatitis or whatever else one can catch from contaminated shellfish.


This effort is great.  I recall when it was done in Broadmarsh several years ago.  The bushels were spread out in the muddy middle and luckily left alone to reproduce. Soon enough there were perfect little-necks all around the hard sand low tide line. Such a good thing.

Posted by: Garry B. | Jul 25, 2017 19:43

Sphere, they will be opening most likely November one of next year in Broad Cove. Hopefully that will allow for three sets out of this batch.   This 500 bushel is gaged more towards the commercial fishing in Broad Cove.  The additional 800 bushel coming will be split between two locations  for recreational harvest. As part of the agreement to get funding for the 800 we had to agree to a minimum of two year closure to do just as you said.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Jul 26, 2017 07:48

Great job Gary, you always find ways to get us involved in grants and other opportunities. Keep up the good work. And to follow up on the comments of closure, what is the penalty if your Team catches someone in these areas taking the during the closure?

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