Tisbury selectmen approve scallop dates, with asterisk

Peter Forrester wades to shore with his scallops, dipnet and makeshift peep sight. — Photo by Sam Moore

On Tuesday, Tisbury selectmen unanimously approved recreational and commercial scalloping dates for the upcoming season per the recommendations of shellfish constable Danielle Ewart and shellfish advisory committee chairman James Tilton.

The harbor and outside Tashmoo will open Oct. 15 for recreational and Oct. 17 for commercial scalloping; Lagoon Pond will open Saturday, Oct. 29, for recreational scalloping and Monday, Oct. 31, commercially. Tashmoo will open Dec. 3 for recreational and Dec. 5 for commercial scalloping.

The area behind Wind’s Up on Beach Road will be a dip net area, and is designated as “family only.”

Ms. Ewart said the committee voted not to allow the use of scallop drags, which rely on heavy chains to scrape the bottom, in Lake Tashmoo. Mr. Tilton said the decision was made in an effort to protect eelgrass and also because dragging often results in more mud than scallops.

“In lieu of all the talk about eelgrass, we figure let’s prohibit all the dragging in Tashmoo, because it is pretty mucky,” Ms. Ewart said.

Irrespective of the recommendation of the town shellfish constable and chairman of the shellfish advisory committee, selectman Tristan Israel said he wanted to take public input before prohibiting the use of scallop drags in Tashmoo. Selectmen agreed to discuss the prohibition when they meet on Oct. 18.

In other business, selectmen unanimously approved a request from the Vineyard Haven Business Association to host an event downtown on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 10 am to 5 pm, allowing street vendors and street performers.