Blog / Discussion


Welcome to the section of the Friends of Taunton Bay website where we can discuss the events that impact coastal Maine and beyond. Please feel free to contribute to what we hope will be an ongoing conversation. Thanks.

21 comments to Blog / Discussion

  • Mike Briggs

    Hi Frank,

    Just finished reading your story on Taunton Bay’s clam abundance. The real reason for the contradiction from Brian Beal’s assessment and the bay’s actual harvest is due mostly to several large areas that had been closed due to pollution, being opened last year for the first time in nearly 30 years. Not only did that increase the harvest last year, it also took pressure off the rest of the bay’s flat’s giving this year another excellent harvest.

    Take care,


  • dougkimmel

    Bald Eagle eating from an otter carcass on Taunton Bay shore

  • Frank Dorsey

    The horseshoe crabs have returned in 2017 – Three in Egypt Bay several days ago and a mated pair on Shipyard Point today, May 24.

    The water temperature hovers at or below 60 F; but, today’s weather should be warm enough to start the Shipyard Point mating by Thursday.

  • Doug Kimmel

    Wind & Waves on Taunton Bay March 2, 2017

  • Doug Kimmel

    What happened to the Cormorants this year? I’ve seen only a scattered few, whereas they used to be present in small groups on the rocks at low tied drying off their wings. Have seen a few groups of them later this summer. Probably it is the growing presence of Eagles that is affecting them.

  • Doug Kimmel

    I read FTB articles and am somewhat confused. Can you explain what constitutes the bay as opposed to the river ?

    This is an ongoing discussion, engaging historians, long-term residents, and old maps.

    The bay is currently a tidal estuary fed by a reversing falls from Sullivan Harbor. Previously it was a fresh water lake that was inundated with the sea when the glaciers melted (according to our geology lesson several years ago). Some have characterized it as a “mud flat with a river running through it” as there is a deeper channel in the center where the lobsters are fished. The tide is between 8 and 11 feet, so at lowest tide, the bay is mostly a mud flat, especially in the Hog and Egypt Bay areas.

    Taunton River often refers to the narrow neck of Taunton Bay before Tidal Falls. This is the section that runs in front of Gordon’s Wharf (where FTB is housed) and under the bridge for US Route 1 between the towns of Hancock and Sullivan. When the tide is exiting the Bay, the current can be quite swift. Some old maps indicate this area as Taunton River.

    Apparently it was named after Taunton Massachusetts, but I am not clear why.

    You may find our Taunton Bay Watershed Handbook of interest:

    You might also enjoy some of the maps of the Taunton Bay estuary from the 2005 Taunton Bay Study:

    Thanks for your interest.

  • Frank Dorsey

    A small porcupine was seen by two different people on South Bay Road in the early evening. Friday morning a doe and still-spotted fawn crossed from the Bay side to the interior woods.

    Tyler Prest has identified more than 70 different organisms in the intertidal zone between the Route 1 bridge and the cove north of Gordon’s Wharf. Information about each of these is displayed in the Taunton Bay Education Center at Gordon’s Wharf.

  • Doug Kimmel

    Hummingbirds arrived!

  • Doug Kimmel

    Saw the first Cormorant of the season on Wednesday (April 23); not sure if it was a Double Crested one or not. Waiting for the first hummingbird now 🙂

  • dougkimmel

    Heavy winds today created quite a surf on Taunton Bay. View the 4 minute video made from the Hancock shore looking toward Sullivan and Franklin here:

  • dougkimmel

    To Report Possible Violations of the New Dragging Regulations:

    Call Maine Marine Patrol at: 667-3373

    Provide as much information as possible about the boat, time, and location

  • Liz Solet

    And here’s one on the red seaweed…

    The seaweed, Heterosiphonia japonica, was first sighted in Rhode Island in 2009. It appeared in Maine earlier this year, as far north as Cape Elizabeth. It originated in Asia, probably came to the U.S. coast from Europe, and quickly establishes itself in new areas. When chopped up, each small piece can regenerate, and local predators don’t tend to eat it. It grows on oyster beds and other seaweeds, and may also crowd out eelgrass.

    This is where we all can “Keep an Eye on the Bay”: if anyone sees a red seaweed that looks like this anywhere on the Bay, please contact FTB right away.

    For more information, see this story in Working Waterfront:
    or this piece on MPBN:

  • Liz Solet

    Just want to share a couple of studies that I’ve come across recently, one on longterm temperature and salinity changes in the Gulf of Maine, and one on an invasive red seaweed creeping up the Maine coast.

    A 2012 study highlighted this past May by the Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences, in Boothbay Harbor, looks at data gathered in the Gulf of Maine North Atlantic Transect (GNATS), the longest transect time series in the Gulf of Maine. It documents observations of increased freshwater input into the Gulf in recent years, and associated fivefold decreases in primary productivity—a measure of the growth and activity of phytoplankton, at the base of marine food chains. The study also marks a general increase in temperature and decrease in salinity between 2002 and 2010. Such a decrease in phytoplankton is very serious—it may take years to see the effects ripple up the food chain, but all life in the Gulf depends on the microscopic creatures at its base, directly or indirectly.

    What does this mean for Taunton Bay? Increased freshwater runoff also brings more debris and dissolved organic matter into the Bay, decreasing water clarity. This can affect eelgrass and seaweed, as well as phytoplankton, that use photosynthesis and need water that’s clear enough that sunshine can get to them. Decreased salinity has also been associated with the wasting disease that has decimated eelgrass populations on the east coast.

    To read more, find the Bigelow Lab’s story on the study here:
    or see the original study, which can be accessed for free here:

  • Frank Dorsey

    Mike Briggs reports that his divers have found some VERY large oysters – 6 to 7 inches – near his grow-out areas. He offered some for display at Gordon’s Wharf.

  • Doug Kimmel

    Here’s a short video of a woodpecker busy at a tree near Taunton Bay:

  • Frank Dorsey

    A diver who was harvesting oysters for Mike Briggs’ aquaculture operation saw a bear swim from Round Island to Dwelley Point.

  • Doug Kimmel

    According to Steve Perrin at the FTB EC meeting Monday, the boat is being used for hand harvesting of mussels. The harvesting plan has been approved by the DMR and complies with the new regulations. The harvesters go out to the anchored boat in a smaller boat when they are working there.

  • Spotted a pileated woodpecker on Sunday, late afternoon, between Rich Alley’s camp and mine. He was very skittish (sometimes they’re not) and refused to stay still long enough for a photograph. Maybe next time….

  • Beverly Johnston

    Saw a mother hooded merganser and four young swimming in a large PUDDLE along a remote road in Franklin, June 16,2012. Adorable!

  • dougkimmel

    View Video:

    Seagull’s Breakfast on Taunton Bay Shore:

  • dougkimmel

    Sunday February 19 about 8:45 a.m. there were many Osprey high overhead with the sun reflecting off their white-appearing underside. At first I saw just one, then more, and eventually well over a dozen circling and heading south-west. I had never seen so many at once. Sorry no photo 🙁

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