THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2017 PRINT THIS PAGE SEARCH:
Town of Freeport
MARINE RESOURCES

Hours & Contact Information

Office Telephone: 207-865-4800 ext 221 | Fax: 207-865-2901

Mailing Address: 16 Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032

Marine Warden: Charles Tetreau | ctetreau@freeportmaine.com

More information can be found here.
For a Warden/Officer response 24/7: call 207-725-6620
CLAMMING MAPS, USEFUL LINKS

*DMR current closure map - Freeport"
*DMR curren closure letter - Freeport"
*DMR Current Closure Information ... area 500 concerns the whole state; scroll down the page to see areas 14 through 16, which concern Freeport specifically.
*Current Tide Charts
*The Town Shellfish Conservation Ordinance contains local general rules.
RECENT SHELLFISH STUDIES

During 2013, the Town of Freeport sponsored two concurrent scientific studies to investigate various shellfish habitat preservation strategies. The final reports from both of those studies can be accessed below in .PDF format:

Freeport Shellfish Restoration Project – Final Report by Professor Brian F. Beal. January 24, 2014.

Shellfish Habitat Resource Planning Study by Resource Access International, LLC (RAI). February 5, 2014.

In addition, you may also find useful information at the Downeast Institute Website.
SHELLFISH LICENSES

Licenses run from July 1 through June 30 each year and are obtained from the Town Clerk.

COMMERCIAL LICENSES:
Commercial licenses must be renewed each April. They may be retained year-to-year as long as the holders submit their application/annual fee before the deadline and they have no violations and the required conservation credits have been completed.
There are no commercial licenses available at this time.

You must have conservation points to maintain your license. Another license year is now coming to a close. In reviewing the conservation effort it is there are some who have not obtained the necessary points to qualify for a renewal license. Please feel free to contact me if you are not sure where you stand.

Harvesters are encouraged to remove predators while harvesting on the Freeport Flats. The purpose is to work towards eliminating predators that are destroying the soft shell clams. There are no quotas but you are encouraged to destroy these predators as you come across them.

RECREATIONAL LICENSES:
for Residential property owners - limited to 200 licenses.
for Non-Residents - limited to 20 licenses per year.
Anyone may obtain a 3 day recreational license.

Application period opens up on the first business day in June; first come, first served. The Application period re-opens for non-residents at the end of September.

LICENSE FEES:

* RESIDENT COMMERCIAL $230.00
* NON-RESIDENT COMMERCIAL $430.00
* RESIDENT RECREATIONAL $ 16.00 (includes $5.00 water quality fee)
* NON-RESIDENT RECREATIONAL $ 27.00 (includes $5.00 water quality fee)
* 3 DAY RECREATIONAL $ 20.00 (includes $5.00 water quality fee)

See the Shellfish Ordinance for more details.
DUTIES OF THE MARINE WARDEN

As a sworn, uniformed member of the Freeport Police Department, the Shellfish Warden operates in the same jurisdiction as a Freeport Police Officer and may be called upon to do a variety of local duties. The Warden may also enforce state statues. The Warden has to successfully complete the Maine Criminal Justice Academy's Reserve Officer Academy as well as a variety of other training in law enforcement and Marine-related issues.

Tasks of the Warden include: enforcement of Freeport's Municipal Shellfish Ordinance, the constant water testing of Freeport's tidal areas in conjunction with the Department of Marine Resources, opening and closing of shellfish harvest areas, checking the size of harvested shellfish, checking licenses of harvesters, assisting in search and rescue operations with the Coast Guard and Freeport Harbormaster and working with the Freeport Shellfish Commission in conservation efforts.

The Marine Warden can also enforce local, state and federal boating laws as well as a multitude of environmental and marine fisheries laws.
COMMON LAW VIOLATIONS

Under Maine State law, softshell clams ('steamers') must be 2" minimum, and hardshell clams ('quahogs') must be 1" minimum at the hinge.

A municipal shellfish license is needed to harvest clams in any location in Freeport with the exception of Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. Any person can dig up to 1 peck of clams (for personal use only) per person, per day without a municipal license from Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. Harvest in this area is still regulated under the 2-inch law for soft shell clams and 1" quahogs. Harvest must be done in a location that is open for harvest, and all harvesting is limited to Maine residents only.

All commercial harvesters must have a valid State of Maine Commercial Shellfish license as well as a town commercial license.

At the time clams are landed for transport, the shellfish must be tagged with owner information. These tags must accompany the shellfish in all points of transportation. Every container of shellfish must have a tag with this information.

Shellfish harvesting at night is prohibited in the Town of Freeport under local ordinance.

If you suspect any shellfish poaching, please contact
>the Freeport Police Department at 865-4800; or you may call
>Dispatch at 725-6620; or you can
>leave an anonymous tip on the Police Department web page, http://www.freeportmaine.com/submit.anonymous_tip.php
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

May I dig clams in Freeport without a town license?
Yes, any person may dig up to 1 peck of clams for their own personal use (not to sell commercially) only in Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park without a license. Soft shell clams are governed under the two inch law with an allowable tolerance of 10%, while quahogs must be 1 inch at the hinge and a zero tolerance applies.

What is the 2-inch law?
Any harvested clams in the state of Maine must be 2 inches in length (end to end not counting the neck of the clam that sticks out between the two half shells). There is a 10% tolerance allowed before a digger can be summons for possession of short clams.

How do I obtain a Shellfish license in the Town of Freeport?
The licenses are issued by the Town Clerk. A digger may retain a commercial license once it is secured, as long as the person keeps renewing the license and doesn't violate the municipal shellfish ordinance, and completes the required conservation work. If a commercial license becomes available, a lottery will usually be held for the license. The Town Clerk can answer more questions about obtaining a license.

How do I know what areas are open for clamming?
See the Clamming Maps referenced above, and look for areas 14, 15, and 16. If you are not familiar with the geographic information or the local names of places in town, there are maps posted in the lobby of the Police Department and the Town Hall for the closures. If that still leaves doubt, contact the Warden through the police department at 865-4800 and he will assist you in finding the areas closed.

Why are areas closed for shellfish harvesting?
There are several different types of closures associated with harvesting clams. There are closures for pollution and closures for conservation efforts. Pollution closures include such things as excessive rainfall (runoff from the land carrying toxins into the water), closures for Sewer Treatment areas (outflow areas), Red Tide Closures and seasonal closures (as with seasonal Marina areas). There are also closures for conservation efforts such as closures in newly seeded areas.

How do I know when is the best time to dig/tides?
Go to this Tides Webpage.