Taunton Bay Gateway
Route 1, Hancock and Sullivan
This is the western gateway to the Schoodic National Scenic Byway. To the north, Taunton Bay opens into a shallow basin where eelgrass and seaweed form a protective nursery for the nation’s northernmost population of horseshoe crabs and numerous other species. The protection afforded by the landscape surrounding the bay, coupled with extensive tidal flats, make for an ideal place for harvesting blue mussels, soft-shelled clams, and marine worms as well as lobsters, river herring, American eel, and green sea urchins. When the bridge was replaced in the early 2000s, the new, higher structure allowed taller vessels to enter into the Bay, including draggers, fishing vessels that pull weighted nets to harvest bottom-dwelling species like mussels. The Maine legislature, responding to concerns about the unknown impacts of dragging, imposed a temporary moratorium on dragging in the bay. This effectively triggered a multi-year discussion on how to best managed Taunton Bay for the health of the resource as well as the viability of the fishing families who rely on the bay to make a living. Today, harvesters work together with other members of the community to manage the bay’s resources.
207.667.7131 | www.schoodicbyway.org
Year-round. Parking. Outhouse. Accessible. Interpretive signs.
Sources & Links
Horseshoes of Taunton Bay, Downeast Magazine, May 2011
Ellsworth High School Local Fisheries Knowledge Project (part of the NOOA Voices from the Fisheries project), interview with local fishing family:
Interview with Heath & Lee Hudson (PDF)
Ellsworth High School Local Fisheries Knowledge Project (part of the NOOA Voices from the Fisheries project), interview with Maine Shellfish Company:
Interview with Bob Hessler (PDF)