Downeast Institute was founded to sustain Maine’s soft-shell clam resource. The “Clam Kit” video series shares techniques we have used and developed at Downeast Institute to help municipal shellfish management programs enhance their flats affordably and effectively.  The videos inform shellfish conservation activities and management.

Clam Kit #1: Introduction and Overview

Clam Kit #2: Applying for a Limited Purpose Aquaculture (LPA) permit

The first step towards conducting certain conservation and enhancement strategies, such as deploying floating nursery trays or overwintering cages, is to obtain a Limited Purpose Aquaculture (LPA) permit from the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). This video shows how to fill out the LPA application.

Clam Kit # 3: Building a Floating Nursery Tray

This video shows the step-by-step process of building a nursery tray. Nursery trays are used for growing small seed (1-2mm) to larger sizes so that they have a higher chance of surviving when they are planted on the mudflats. Nursery trays float are deployed in the spring and float on the surface of the seawater until November, which is the end of the clams’ natural growth cycle. To learn more see our soft-shell clam production webpage.

Clam Kit # 4: Filling & Deploying  Nursery Trays

This video shows how to fill and deploy nursery trays. Nursery trays are used to protect clam seed as it grows.

Clam Kit # 5: Preparing for Overwintering

It takes longer than 1 year for clam seed to reach a harvestable size. To protect your clam seed through the winter it is necessary to overwinter the clam seed. This video depicts how to prepare the clam seed for  the overwintering process.

Clam Kit # 6: Overwintering Options

This video describes two types of overwintering options: 1) deploying cages on your LPA, or 2) using a land-based holding system.

Clam Kit # 7: Seeding Strategies

Once the clams have been grown in the nursery and overwintered, they are ready for planting, as they have obtained a size that enhances survival. There are a few strategies that can used to help as many clams as possible reach harvestable size. This video shows how to protect the clams from crabs and ducks by covering them with predator-deterrent netting, and also how to plant them in the spring before warming waters enable high levels of predation.


This work was funded by Broad Reach Fund.

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