Damon along with his wife Madelyn has been farming oysters on the Damariscotta River since 2018 and on his own LPA (federal and state licensed lease area) since 2020 in Pleasant Cove, a stone’s throw from the homestead. While a commercial LPA these are grown for pleasure (as in making friends and personal consumption) but are also for a limited market to select fish mongers and restaurants. Keep an eye out for them in 2022 under the names: BOOTHBAY OYSTER COMPANY, LLC. d/b/a Fiddle Head Oyster Company. The majority of these oysters are bottom planted and harvested by divers. While this method is more labor intensive and takes longer for growth, it reduces unsightly floating gear and grows oysters in a more sustainable and natural method. The resulting taste of these oysters continues the fine reputation of the Damariscotta River as the “Napa Valley of Oysters.” Damon also forages for wild oysters.

80% of Maine’s oysters come from this estuary, the Damariscotta River. Pleasant Cove is between Damariscotta/Newcastle and Boothbay Harbour/South Bristol, opposite the Darling Marine Center (UMaine). In the 1970s biologists seeded the river for European Flats/”Belons” and there are still populations that thrive…if you can find them.

Further reading:
Oyster LandDown East Magazine

Oysterator, Damariscotta region: “the ultimate destination for oyster lovers”

History of Oysters in Maine (1600-1970s), University Maine

Whaleback Shellfish Midden, Damariscotta, Bureau of Parks and Land

Damariscotta_River, wiki

Some great imagery from the region, courtesy of Coastal Rivers a conservation trust I’m involved with.