Shellfishing sign causing confusion at Colt State Park, Bristol


On Wednesday afternoon, with temperatures frozen in the teens, two men shrugged off the cold to dig clams at the mill gut at Colt State Park.

While the two diggers said they preferred to dig and not talk to the press, a small sign nearby appeared to speak volumes. It read: “Taking of shellfish prohibited” and carried a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management sign.

According to DEM environmental scientist John Speaker, however, the sign does not belong to DEM.

“It’s not ours,” said Mr. Speaker. “Our signs are red and white.

“Occasionally we close it due to rainfall and sometimes they close it in the summer due to over-fishing.”

Later on that day, a Warren fisherman drove up and inspected the prospect of fishing the mill gut. By then the tide was higher.

“The tide’s not good right now,” he said. “The mill gut isn’t always a good option for fishing, but it is usually open despite the sign. You have to call DEM, they’ll tell you if it’s open.”


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The sign is still up I presume. Clearly, someone doesn't want shell fishing there. Enough to impersonate a State Agency. That seems like it out to be felonious. Must be a big wheel if its no big deal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Report this

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.