ELLSWORTH — When Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher took the advice of his Scallop Advisory Council last year and set a 70-day fishing season for this winter (just 50 days in Cobscook Bay) he warned fishermen that DMR was likely to cut the season short.

At an SAC meeting in Ellsworth last Thursday, the chickens came home to roost, or at least they were visible from the coop.

About six weeks after the 20-week season opened on Dec. 1, DMR Resource Management Coordinator Trisha Cheney told some two dozen scallop fishermen that the seasons in both Cobscook Bay and in Zone 2, an area stretching from Penobscot Bay to the Lubec Narrows, were likely to close soon.

If the number of boats fishing in Cobscook Bay — about 75 on average this year — remains constant, Cheney said, fishermen could expect nine more days spread over three weeks beginning Monday, Jan. 26.

The season in Cobscook Bay could last just another six fishing days — two weeks.

“The more boats that travel down there,” Cheney said, “the faster it will close.”

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