From The Field
The spat line monitoring and the dive surveys allows us to monitor the success of the project and provides much needed information on how this species reacts to restoration efforts, harvesting pressures, and environmental factors. After reviewing the data collected from these efforts it appears that the bay scallop population had decreased from 2012 to 2013 in the South County Salt Ponds. One of the potential factors that may have contributed to a decrease in the population is the increased rainfall in June. Scallops are sensitive to decreases in the water’s salinity (how salty the water is); they have a low tolerance to fresher water and are unable to tightly close their shells (valves) together.
Bay scallops are a fragile and sensitive species; the average life cycle of a bay scallop is about two years. This makes them prone to harvesting pressures if not done properly. The harvest season for bay scallops currently begins on the first weekend in November and only adults scallops may be collected. These regulations are in place so that the bay scallops are able to reproduce and contribute to the sustainability of the species, and the ecological and economically benefits of having the scallops in our waters.
Project support and cooperation were provided from NOAA RestorationCenter, RI Department of Environmental Management, the RI Coastal ResourcesManagement Council, Narragansett Harbor Management and Conservation Commissions, Charlestown Coastal Pond Management Commission, and YMCA Camp Fuller.
We need your help in 2014We're looking for volunteers to assist us with scallop work in 2014. Click here to let us know that you're interested!