Harpswell clammer wants better signs on town line

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HARPSWELL — A quahog harvester wants a court to require clarification of where the Brunswick-Harpswell town line crosses Middle Bay.

Bobby Field, a Harpswell resident, was issued a summons by Brunswick Assistant Marine Resource Officer Paul Plummer in May for allegedly harvesting in Brunswick without a license.

But he says it is impossible to tell where the boundary between the two towns runs, which makes it easy for harvesters to accidentally cross into the other town.

“There is no marked line out there,” he said. “All I can do when I’m in that area is estimate the distance.”

Instead of just paying the fine, he has asked a Cumberland County Superior Court judge to hear the case, and is hoping that the outcome will be better marking of the flats.

The case is expected to go to court in September.

George Bradbury, marine patrol deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, agreed that the line can be difficult to find. He and Brunswick Marine Resource Officer Dan Devereaux put up buoys on the line a few years ago, but Bradbury said they are “a guideline to go by, nothing that’s really concrete.”

Devereaux said Field should have known better. He said he has given Field maps before, and issued him a summons two years ago on the same charge.

Still, he is taking seriously Field’s request to improve the signs in the flats.

Hanging on the wall of his office is a mock-up of four signs he hopes to plant soon in Middle Bay. They read, in large letters, “Brunswick,” with an arrow pointing in the correct direction. Each sign will cost about $50, not including the posts and the cost of installing them in the bay.

Devereaux said he concerned the 15-foot tall signs will mar the view, but that something needs to be done about the ambiguity of the boundary.

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext.123 or eguerin@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.

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