Lamoine — The Maine Marine Patrol office seized a partially filled rocker of illegally harvested clams this morning, with an estimated street value of $21.75, according to a press release.
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The clams, which had been dug by Teddy Smith, 61, of Machiasport, were harvested in an area the state declared off-limits.
“It’s lucky we came by when we did,” said Marine Patrol Officer Matt Waymer. “We happened to pass by the flats and spotted the perpetrator,” he said.
The Marine Patrol had been on another call at the time, planning to board the boat of “a suspect who had said disparaging things about us on social media.”
The clam rocker held enough clams to almost pay for Smith’s gas for the day. Smith’s boat, a homemade flat bottom skiff with a vintage 6hp Johnson outboard was also seized. The Marine Patrol estimates the boat value at $150.
“It’s another win for the good guys,” Waymer said.
“This is how it has to be as long as Augusta won’t approve funds to hire more inspectors to clear some of these flats,” Waymer said in a phone interview. “But we’d spend a million dollars if it means keeping just one illegal clam off the streets.”
The seized clams were donated to the State Marine Patrol Kitchen, an agency dedicated to making lunch for Marine Patrol officers.
The state estimates the cost of seizing Smith’s clams at $28,000.