Fools Gold, a scallop dragger based in Eastern Harbor, heads out early Monday into Gouldsboro Bay. The vessel, captained by George Bamford, was among several draggers that overnighted in Joy Bay to get an early start towing in the limited fishing area. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LETITIA BALDWIN

Maine scallop season underway; new licenses issued for draggers, divers 

BAR HARBOR — Monday morning’s gale warnings did not deter scallop draggers from venturing out to harvest the succulent shellfish prized by chefs nationwide and abroad. Sea scallops are fetching a boat price of $20 per pound so far during the 2021-22 fishing season. 

Maine’s scallop season’s opening is staggered with licensed divers getting first crack at the lucrative resource starting in mid-November and last week in the state’s three fishery management zones. In Zone 2, which stretches from eastern Penobscot Bay to Quoddy Head in Lubec, divers began harvesting Nov. 19 and will cease March 26. Fishing draggers’ opening day was Wednesday, Dec. 1, and their season ends March 31. Divers and draggers continue to be limited to a daily catch of 15 gallons of shucked meat. 

Also in Zone 2, new, limited fishing areas were opened in Gouldsboro and Dyers bays as well as West Moosabec Reach (west of the bridge) between Jonesport and Beals Island. These newly opened fishing grounds are closely monitored.  

For the 2021-22 season, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, which regulates the scallop fishery in state waters, issued eight new scallop dragging licenses as part of the state’s scallop license lottery. The recipients were Darrian Grindle, Blue Hill; Mackenzie Alley, Steuben; Arlen Alley, Jonesport; Chester Barrett, Addison; David L. Sanborn Jr., Waldoboro; Christian Lamontagne, Long Island; Paul Rackliff, Spruce Head and David Ames, Spruce Head. 

The fishery’s newly licensed divers are Gary Hallett, Hancock; Jason McMillan, Lamoine; Christopher Sawyer, Vinalhaven; Zachary Gower, Charlotte; Robert Willette, Scarborough and Christopher Green, Brunswick. 

Letitia Baldwin

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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