Waldoboro's Clam Upweller Launched!

The Waldoboro Shellfish Committee launched their clam upweller on April 15th.  Chair Abden Simmons along with Vice Chair Glen Melvin towed the upweller down river to its mooring  just below Mink's Point.

What is an upweller?  Typically it is used to grow out shellfish in open water, but this upweller is being used  as a floating seed spreader!  Why you ask?  The Waldoboro Shellfish Committee is constantly seeking ways to keep the wild soft shell clam fishery in the Medomak River healthy and sustainable.  Some years ago a clam upweller was located in the Medomak, during that time there were parts of the river that saw unprecedented seed spread,.  The harvesters over the years have come to believe that upweller  was the source of the seed.  In an effort to prove that theory, the Shellfish Committee constructed a upweller.  Their design is essentially a float, with wells that will hold cages, Medomak clams will be placed in those cages, and when the water warms the clams will spawn sending hundreds of millions of seeds into the river.  One,  2 inch  female clam may produce up to 2 million eggs!  Thanks to the work of  Gabrielle Hillyer of the University of Maine Orono and her work with drifters in the Medomak the Shellfish Committee was able to place the upweller in a location that the seed will disperse to flats where seed is needed.  Stay tuned for more information as this project progresses.
                                                                     
IMG_6508IMG_6565