The annual re-opening of Dartmouth’s north (Apponagansett Bay) harbor will not occur on
November 1st this year (2022). Recent water qualities testing results showed at least five areas
of concern and require that the north harbor remain “closed” to all shellfish harvesting.
Possible sources of the sub-standard water quality include a late season influx of birds and
waterfowl feeding upon an abundance of baitfish, as well as several recent heavy rain storms
following an extremely dry summer season.
The State Division of Marine Fisheries is responsible for testing water samples from specific
sample sites. The Dartmouth Harbormaster Staff assists with collecting water samples, but the
State laboratory ensures the safety of the water quality from which all shellfish are harvested. It
is anticipated that another round of water samples will be collected and tested ASAP.
The entire north side of Apponagansett Bay, Padanaram Harbor will remain “closed” to all shell
fish harvesting until the water quality is ensured. The areas that have been open to the south
of the Padanaram Bridge Causeway (Smith Neck Road, south of Bush Point, and the outer
harbor) will remain open to harvesting at this time. Only the North harbor is impacted with this