Scallop crop on the rise

The town’s scallop population has grown so much that selectmen this Tuesday are expected to discuss extending the season by one month, said Town Administrator Michael Gagne. The state Department of Marine Fisheries studied the population and said “it’s doing very well,” he said, and extending the season to the end of April seems likely. The last time the season was extended was 2008, he said. The town allows commercial aquaculture in a 100-acre area off Brandt Island Point, and some of the increase in the scallop population probably results from seeding that has spread on the tides, he said. Commercial scalloping is allowed only in the outer waters of town, with recreational scalloping allowed close to land, he said. The town sells shellfish permits for $25 for residents, $35 for residents of Marion and Rochester, and $125 for nonresidents of the tri-town area.