A Deeper Dive

Geographical Merroir

In general, Wellfleet Harbor benefits from great tidal flushes, abundant phytoplankton and large areas of marsh grass that may add sweet and vegetal notes that balance the briny characteristics, making them subtly different than oysters from growing areas with less diverse habitats.

Wellfleet Shellfish Map

South Wellfleet

Field Point, Old Wharf Point, Blackfish Creek, Loagy Bay, and Lieutenant’s Island

These southerly waters in Wellfleet, along the shores of protected waterways and inlets, are the shallowest growing areas in town. Featuring fine sand and mud, the influx from Blackfish Creek provides a good mix of fresh and salt water and plenty of nutrients for shellfish to feast on.

Outer Harbor

Deep water grants and wild dragger fishery, Great Island, Jeremy's Point

The intertidal area is a mix of sand and rocks and spans from Great Island Point at the mouth of the Herring River all the way south to Jeremy's Point. The deep waters of the Harbor have a mix of bottom types from sandy to muddy to gravelly, and these areas are never exposed by the tides.

Inner Harbor

Chipman's Cove and Duck Creek

This section of the harbor seems to be the prime ground for natural juvenile oyster recruitment. The currents and wind hold the spawn in this basin-like area, which serves as a perfect oyster nursery habitat. The Inner Harbor area has a huge tidal water exchange of between 8-12 feet twice a day. The bottom here is a mix of areas of sand, which provide good quahog clam habitat, and muddy sections, where both oysters and clams flourish. The Town is undertaking various dredging efforts in 2021-2022, which should improve shellfish growth and survival throughout the area.

North Wellfleet

Mayo Beach, Powers Landing Beach, Herring River, Egg Island, Indian Neck

Located on the North shore of Wellfleet Harbor, this section has hard-packed sand with shifting patches of silty mud. There is a good freshwater exchange from nearby creeks and the Herring River. Some areas here are intertidal, experiencing regular tides, while others are sub-tidal, staying underwater.

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