Southold Town Baymen’s Association took to local waters this past week for the fourth consecutive year, reseeding Hallocks Bay in Orient to restock the local clam population.
“We have a lot of areas out there that need a lot of help,” said Nathan Andruski, association president. “We decided a few years ago that we were going to have a fundraiser, and with the money we raise, we buy our own seed clams so we can also try to help reseed the bay.”
After this year’s fundraising effort, the association was able to raise $4,000 to purchase about 175,000 clam seedlings, which it purchased through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s hatchery in Southold, he said.
Last Thursday, with the help of association member Robert Hamilton, and Mike Patricio of Cornell, he introduced the seedlings into Hallocks Bay.
“We’re trying to rejuvenate some areas of the bay where we can help,” he said. “We’ve been focusing on one area in Hallocks Bay the past four years. We’re trying to rejuvenate it.”
It takes about 3 to 4 years for the clams to grow to a harvestable size, Mr. Andruski explained. They are “only a few millimeters” when they are introduced as seedlings.
“We really should know if they are growing, and if program is working by next spring,” he said.
Southold Town also has an annual reseeding program, Mr. Andruski said, but there is only so much funding available.
“What we get from the town, it’s great, but we want to help too,” he said.
The association is already planning its fundraiser for next year’s seedlings, he said.