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Tisbury scallop season gets off to a good start
The weather cooperated for recreational scallopers on Sunday. Photos by Susan Safford
Normally quiet in the off-season, the Lagoon Pond boat landing was bustling with activity Saturday and Sunday, the opening of the recreational scallop season on pond waters for Oak Bluffs and Tisbury.
A bushel of scallops await shucking.
"A bushel a day keeps the warden away," said Mr. Cimeno as he stood on the landing waiting to check off the names of fishermen to ensure that they took a limit of one bushel and no more. By most accounts, legal size scallops are plentiful this season.
Despite cold windy weather Saturday, Tisbury scallopers took 150 bushels out of the pond, said Mr. Cimeno. On Sunday they harvested an additional 230 bushels. "This is one of the better crops in my 10 years on the job," said Mr. Cimeno. Scalloping will continue as long as the crop remains healthy, perhaps as long as two months.
Doreen Rogers is an old hand when it comes to scalloping.
"I've been scalloping for 54 years, ever since I was twenty," said Ms. Rogers. "Back then you didn't have motors, we used to have to row everywhere to get the scallops."
Mr. Cimeno attributed the good crop to last year's abundance of seed, young scallops without a distinctive growth ring, and the summer's dry weather which limited road and yard runoff that might degrade water quality in the pond.
Commercial scalloper Dave Searle brings his catch into the dock for inspection on Monday.
The pond boundary shared by Oak Bluffs and Tisbury and designated by a series of buoy markers sometimes sparks turf battles, particularly when one town has an abundance of scallops. Fishermen have been known to cross the line.