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Thread: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

  1. #736
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I didn't know Dave I knew a few northshore guys who fish tiles with him he was well regarded too young

    Absolutely taking the clams in the coves especially the bigger clams breaks down chances of future sets. That was the DEC's mantra get the clams out of the uncertified to protect the public all BS it was only about the money. I worked for Whitey Littzell(?) culling clams in a shop in Halesite in around 1974 later to here he was called seedy whitey it not what i saw just the manual culling of lots of diggers and bluepoints clams. I know one of my friend now deceased billy lather used to tell a story of Red Nicholls confronting a conservation officer over seed going out of Huntington/Northport. there were studies done on the North Shore that showed it was the clams up at the heads of the harbors that spawned all the bays. The Islip leases were a complete scam and you can thank Robert Moses for that. you need spawning beds with multiple year classes of clams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wwbobo View Post
    Never went to college but I'm pretty sure the fact that most seeds were going to P.A Maryland and Jersey might have had effect also the opening of southwest sewer treatment plant and the fact they let us work Babylon coves shortly after that was the beginning of the end

  2. #737
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Nancy Solomon, It was great meeting you at the decoy show on LI. This show was more like an old Baymens reunion for me. I took pictures of some of the old gang and emailed them around last night. I had a ball at this show. I already made plans for next year. If you want to see some pictures of the show, go to Duckboats.net Regards Rich

  3. #738
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    So i am in the middle of this fight over hydraulic dredging in Oyster Bay and sick of writing to DEC getting nowhere and i'm reading studies of hydraulic clam dredging in europe i decide to see whats on TMC and its "La Pointe Court" http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/510260/La-Pointe-Courte/ as a love story i don't know but the french bay constables chase the guys raking cockle in the uncertified and the french DEC plans to shut down the cove forever. The film of old boats alone is worth it.

    Meanwhile in Connecticut the dredgers are raping the uncertified "deja vous" check out Ed Stillwagon's line of BS "the salinity in Greenwich is just right and his biggest problem is he can't catch em fast enough, except they are pushing farther up into the uncertified every year with NOAA helping them with fake science. https://social.newsinc.com/media/jso...deoId=31058704

    https://www.oysterbaymen.com/the-bay-of-imbalance/

  4. #739
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)


  5. #740

    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Same here Rich!! Such a nice way to meet too.

  6. #741

    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I'm looking for a very small wooden boat - 10' - 12' long if possible, for use in my next exhibit about storms and hurricanes. If you know of one - the older the better of course, please contact me at info@longislandtraditions.org or call me at 516-767-8803. It has to be on Long Island ideally near Stony Brook. Thank you all!

  7. #742
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)


  8. #743
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)


  9. #744
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    This boat was my dreamboat back in the day. Dick Carleton built it for Carl Froehlich of Patchogue. Power was a v-8 Perkins Diesel which got her planing right up on top, when most tong boats poked along on their hull at 8 or 9 miles per hour. Jim ledger posted some pictures of it being slowly transformed into a tug boat by Charlie Balsamo at South Bay Boatworks over the last 15 0r 20 years. This picture was taken on Patchogue river looking east. I think it must have been docked at Thomas Marine. Thanks Russell for getting these from Carl. Rich


  10. #745
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    By the way this boat was brand new in these pictures, 1965-67? I got these pictures off the Babylon Bayman facebook page Thanks guys. Rich

  11. #746
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Robert M. Wemyss
    58 Winterberry Circle
    Cross River, New York 10518

    April 23rd, 2017

    Basil Seggos Commissioner
    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1011

    Re: Bureau of Shellfisheries

    Dear Commissioner,

    I hereby request that your office undertake an investigation into the actions of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, (the department) Bureau of Shellfisheries (shellfisheries) and its Chief Debra Barnes regarding Frank M. Flower and Sons Inc., (FMF) hydraulic shellfish dredging operations on 1,800-acres in Oyster Bay, NY.

    In 2007 the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) added to its Nationwide permit program a Nationwide permit category for shellfish aquaculture NWP 48 – Existing Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities the ACOE required the filing of a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) for project areas over 100 acres. The department further conditions the nationwide permits for the NY District ACOE (the district) through its New York State DEC Water Quality Certification Letter these conditions along with the New York State DOS Coastal Zone Concurrence Letter become the overall NY district conditions.

    Shellfisheries issues permits related to all shellfish cultivation and harvest in New York State. ECL 13-0316 provides that “No person shall engage in such off-bottom or on-bottom culture without first obtaining a permit from the department” and that “No such permit shall be issued unless the applicant has obtained any necessary permits or licenses required under any state or federal law.” Shellfishies also issues permits related to harvest and aquaculture under ECL 13-011 (harvest permit) and 13-0313 (bed permit).

    The Nationwide permits are reissued every 5 years. In 2012 and 2017 the limit of the NYS Blanket Water Quality Certificate (WQC) was acre. For NWP-48 “Discharge and Disturbance Limits for “Temporary or permanent discharges of dredged or fill material into wetlands and other waters of the U.S. must not exceed acre.” (2017 blanket WQC). Any applicant for a permit pursuant to 13-016 for cultivation activities on more the acre is required to have an Individual WQC.

    Shellfisheries Chief Debra Barnes has overseen issuance of cultivation permits over the entire period from 2007 to present and was the department’s front line reprsentative. It is impossible to believe that Ms. Barnes was ignorant of the condition of the NWPs or her duties to:
    a) Ensure compliance with the national and district conditions for the Nationwide Permits;
    b) require all applicant for permits under ECL 13-0316 to have any required state and federal permits (WQC and PCN-2007);
    c) ensure that applicant needing federal approval fill out a Federal Consistency Assessment Form and receive a certification of consistency from DOS before issuing permits;
    d) accurately scope the activity being permitted;

    The attitude of Ms. Barns has been that department does not see any problem with FMF dredging. This has resulted in the illegal permitting of this activity for since 2007. FMF is current dredging with no exemption under the nationwide wide permits because it does not have a require Individual WQC on a lease of over acre, located in a state designated Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. (“This certification does not authorize any discharge occurring in a designated Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.” 2017 WQC)

    Division of Marine Resources director James Gilmore conveys the same attitude and is backing up Ms. Barnes in her assertion that there is no problem with FMF’s permits or lack thereof.

    Finally, advocacy of baymen’s representatives, research and letter writing critical have moved an entrenched bureaucracy to take some action. The problem is that it is entirely inappropriate for Ms. Barnes to be involved in the coordinated review that must now be undertaken. At this point, Mr. Gilmore, Ms. Barnes and Shellfisheries have a vested interest in vindicating their personal and collective actions. For this reason they are uniquely unqualified to undertake the necessary environment review. The same is true for some personnel at the NY District ACOE who were also fully aware of FMF’s activities the nationwide and NY district conditions and failed in to act.

    I understand the need to support and defend subordinates when their actions can be considered reasonable, but not when those actions have resulted in the illegal permitting of a private company for 10 years. The review and coordination should be turned over to habitat protection, and the state should ask the Army Corps to coordinate a review by National Marine Fishery Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Division of Environmental Permits did a fine job of writing the New York conditions for the Nationwide permits and it was Ms. Barnes personal knowing decision to ignore them. The department needs to protect the environment not FMF and Barnes.

    After ten years of non-compliance the department should stop the dredging and take the required “hard look” under the State Environmental Quality Review Act at hydraulic shellfish dredging and its impacts in Oyster Bay.

    Robert M. Wemyss

  12. #747
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Scheffer View Post

    I admired this boat back when I was clamming and often used to see Carl digging out on the bay. After I was finished digging, in the early 80's I went to work at Thomas Marine, in a large part because that's where Dick Carleton worked, the builder of this boat. I was hoping a bit of the know-how would somehow rub off onto me. We were building welded aluminum work boats by then and any mention of building in wood was met with a chuckle. Coffee time was always interesting. There was a variety of regulars stopping by, Carl Froelich chief among them, and the talk ran from old-time stories, local gossip, to interesting engines and boats and things they'd seen that you'll never see again. I think back now and realize how lucky I was to hear these guys talk.


    This photo looks to me to be in the early Seventies, although it could have been earlier. Many of the buildings on the opposite shore are now gone, the boathouses in particular, and the docks later ran halfway across the river.

    This photo shows the just how well these tong boats were set up for working the anchor. Under any choppy conditions you would be likely to encounter on the bay the anchor could be set and retrieved single handed with very little effort. You can see the anchor line led aft to the cleat outside the cabin window...or "house" as Dick Carleton would call it. The anchor would hang off the bowsprit in the roller. The line is in the bushel basket, not coiled, but just dropped in, so there is no twist in the line. To retrieve the anchor the digger would stand alongside the cabin with the sliding window open, engine running. The basket would be at his feet. The throttle and shifter is just inside the window, as is the wheel. You drop the engine into forward and start pulling in the slack line, making engine and steering adjustments as needed. Once the line is up and down the boat just drives the anchor out of the bottom and it is pulled up to the sprit. All to be done in a relaxed, confident manner. The cleat is handily placed for letting out the line while standing working, no need to stop digging to let out some line, just reach behind with one hand. The act of letting out line, it should be noted, put the boat on fresh bottom for digging.

  13. #748
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I went up to Long Island for the decoy show back in the first week of March. Little did I know, but it turned into an old clammers reunion. Here is John German, Carl Froelich and Freddy "the Fox" Chiofolo. Its been years since I saw these guys. Carl was the owner of the beautiful tong boat pictured above. Rich




  14. #749
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    If anyone knows how to retrieve photos from photobucket let me know. A lot of history went "POOF" this week and I can't retrieve anything from photobucket. Many pic's I posted were scanned from friends prints and I no longer have access to them. Many of my own were on several different computers and this seems like a Herculean task to try to piece this all back together.

  15. #750
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I was able to retrieve my photos, but only after my son put an ad blocker on the computer. Without the ad blocker the ads kept loading preventing the files from downloading. Hope this helps, Roger. It might be that there's a mass downloading situation going on right now as folks try to retrieve their photos. The good news is that the photos are still there and will most likely remain so. Keep on trying.

  16. #751

    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I freaking now hate photo bucket trashed a wonderful informative thread.

  17. #752
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I've not been very active lately but I've got 17 years worth of photos on this forum that just disappeared. I was bummed when image station disappeared, but that was nothing compared to this.

  18. #753
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Test. Trying to reply to this, I knew the owner well

  19. #754
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    i
    Quote Originally Posted by stepkocym View Post
    It is taken in orowoc creek, right behind seascape and across from McDonald's. I would have thought it was gone by 1980. In the mid '70's, its owner, george king lived aboard it down the creek a bit. He had told me that it had been owned by the Pinkerton family and used for duck hunting. The pinkertons had a house on a creek in east islip.

    This boat was one of my favorite of the menagerie of boats owned by mr King. At one point he had two Great Danes living on board with him. The boat and so many others he owned came to a sad end. The town wanted them gone. One day when he went out, for the day, when the town officials knew he would be gone, the town towed his boats to the maple ave dock where they staged them for removal. That night he returned and the boat was gone, with the others. He found out they were at maple ave and that night he long poled them back, each one of them, one by one, since none ran. The town won and junked his boats. I learned the story when I went to ei Marina and saw the boats in a pile of scrap, being tumbled by a pay loader, the prowler and its blue grey paint sticking out of the pile.

    George once lived on the white cap property in an old doxsee school bus. Later he lived behind my father's house on degnon Blvd and that was a constant worry for my dad as the boats would get out of hand and my father was afraid if one sank and leaked oil, he, as the dock owner, would be liable. At one point my father had me keeping an eye on things and trying to keep the george and his stuff contained. One night I arrived late and heard an engine running only to find a pump pulling water out of one of the boats. They almost lost it and this is where george taught me things today's kids do not know; he took a bag of sawdust from the lumber yard you see in the photo and put that bag, paper bag, in a crab net and forced it under the boat and when it broke open, the dust found the leak, filled it and swelled. The boat was still floating 5 yrs later. Old bay men know that trick, no one younger than I know it.

    the prowler may have been pulled up there that close because it was leaking. That was not its usual berth. The canal was only say 2' deep there. I could see bottom. It was george who told me that the canal was designed so that if a white cap or sunrise boat popped a board while on the bay, they would pull it in at speed and ground it so it would not sink where it would be a problem. Something else george told me that others do not know.

    george King died in September 2000. He was about 65. I got a letter from him just before he died telling me he could not go to my wedding which was in October that year. He was and is missed.

  20. #755
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    I remember George King living down the creek from white cap ,but what's that got to do with me.I don't understand why I was notified?????

  21. #756
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
    Neat, you are good. I believe it was Islip. I looked down the forward hatch and found her official number carved in the main beam and looked it up in the Merchant Vessel List - it was Prowler, but now I can't remember when she was built - I'll see if I can find an older copy.
    I am sorry if i have caused any confusion with my attempts to reply to Harbormaster's picture of the Prowler. some of my replies ended up in other places and this is my third attempt to get it where I wanted it. And forgive me for adding a bit more to the story, i had been on the prowler and knew her last owner and that the story of one could not be told without the story of the other.

    the photo is taken in Islip on orowoc creek, right behind seascape and across from McDonald's (and behind degnon blvd as someone mentioned). I would have thought the boat was gone by 1980. In the mid '70's, its owner, george king lived aboard it but down the creek a bit. He had told me that it had been owned by the Pinkerton family (yes, that pinkerton family) and used for duck hunting parties. The pinkertons had a house on a creek in east islip.

    This boat was my favorite of the menagerie of boats owned by mr King. But this boat, and so many others he owned (including a little red skiff i gave him), came to a sad end. The town wanted them (and him) gone and they battled in court. One day when he went out, for the day, when the town officials knew he would be gone (they may have tied him up in court for the day with a summons but i cannot recall the specifics but i do remember him telling me the details; the town orchestrated something), the town towed his boats to the maple ave dock where they staged them for removal. That night George returned and the Prowler, and the others, were gone. He found out they were at the maple ave dock and he worked all night, in the dark, long poling them back to the canal, each one of them, one by one, since none ran under power. I am sure that pissed off more than a few town officials (we laughed about it). The town eventually won and junked his boats. I learned the demise of this boat when I went to EI Marina and saw the boats in a pile of scrap, being tumbled by a pay loader, this boat and its blue grey paint sticking out of the pile. it was coincidence that i happen to take a ride down there that day and saw it, my favorite boat being destroyed.

    The boat was as unique as the person who owned it and one story cannot be told without the other; so forgive for going elsewhere, but here i go:

    When George was not living in a boat on the canal, he lived on the white cap property in an old doxsee school bus which was parked directly behind the South Shore Lumber. At some point in the late 1960's he had two Great Danes living with him. Later he lived on a boat behind a house my father owned on degnon Blvd (where a guy named Jerry had a fish market and where Frank S had a freezer) and that was a constant worry for my dad as the boats would get out of hand and my father was afraid if one sank and leaked oil, he, as the dock owner, would be liable. At one point, when i was back in town, my father had me keeping an eye on things and trying to keep george and his sh*t contained in a neat mess. One night I arrived late and heard an engine running only to find a pump pulling water out of one of George's boats and not a small boat at that. George almost lost the boat in my father's slip and this is where george taught me things today's kids do not know; he took a bag of sawdust from the lumber yard you see the corner of in the photo and put that bag, a paper bag, in a crab net and forced it under the boat and when it broke open, the dust found the leak, filled it and swelled. The boat was still floating 5 yrs later. Old baymen know that trick, no one younger than I knows it or so it seems.

    this reminds me of something else: the prowler, as seen in the photo, may have been pulled up there that close to montauk highway because it was leaking. That was not its usual berth as it usually sat midway down the canal, across from the Sunrise. The canal where we see the prowler in the photo was only say 2' deep there, maybe 18", maybe less right near the highway. I could see bottom. It was george who told me that the canal was designed so that if a white cap or sunrise boat "popped a board" while on the bay, they would pull it in at speed and ground it so it would not sink where it would be a problem. Something else george told me that others do not know and i hope worthy of inclusion here.

    George King and his family came from the Sayville/Patchogue area. At one time he worked as a ticket taker on the LIRR (before my time, 1960 or so). If i recall correctly, George King had been president of the Suffolk County Baymen's Association. this would have been about 1972. Recollection is fuzzy and because i was a kid (a child) back then, i could not nor would I ask questions; i listened. i do recall him later telling me that he was the one, in his Association capacity, who pushed the county to make the land across from Sagtikos Manor into a park. Someone else got the credit and it was a point of contention with him and i continued to hear that story into the '90's.

    By early 80's he was living on the west side of the creek. At one point he tried to sell me a dark green, mid '60's 4 wheel drive dodge truck which he had with some other cars parked behind the putt putt golf by Arthur Treachers. I regret not buying that truck; it needed a slave cylinder for the clutch ( I am sorry for the side bar here, but I am providing all of these details hoping someone will recall this stuff and add to it like say "yeah i bought that truck and restored it").

    george King died in September 2000. He was about 65 and i had just invited him to my wedding.

    I had to tell the story of George King here with the picture of the boat as I am not sure anyone ever told his story and sad as it is, he was pretty well separated from his own family and he had a son only a few years older than I. I do not even think there was an obit when he died, even though i think he deserved one. I suppose his lifestyle had made him unpopular in some corners and i know there were Islip Town officials who loathed him though by the 1980's a lot of town officials seemed to have a lot of issues with the baymen, my own father included. George used to laugh about his battles with the town.

    In reading these posts, i noted that someone from Hofstra has wanted to use the stories here but is afraid to as they do not have permission to copy them. I think I owe it to George, he was like an uncle to me, to tell this about him and allow it to be copied and repeated. you have my permission though i am not sure if i can give it as the owner of the website may hold a copyright.
    Last edited by stepkocym; 01-25-2018 at 04:28 PM.

  22. #757
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wwbobo View Post
    I remember George King living down the creek from white cap ,but what's that got to do with me.I don't understand why I was notified?????
    I think i got this straightened out. i was replying to a post about the Prowler and i think it was you who gave us more details on it and thank you. but my post went askew and i also told the story of george king, the prowler's last owner. i have deleted that post and rewritten one which i posted in reply to Harbormasters original post with the picture. I hope you will take the time to read it as you seem to have known the dock at white cap and degnon, all areas where i spent much of my childhood.

    i will ask you this here and maybe someone else will pick it up. As you drove down the drive to white caps buildings and as you hit the first building which was on the canal, there was a boat sitting on land there. it looked like some kind of double bowed (the ends where the same) life boat or something; it was no small boat, maybe only 22' long but it had some draught. it looked like a coast guard or lifesaving vessel and it was engine driven. it was there about 1972. do you or anyone reading this know the boat i am talking about and can anyone provide details?

  23. #758
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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    sir, please feel free to delete all of this. i rewrote it and posted it to the op's post. thank you.

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    Default Re: The Life of a Clam Digger (1972, Long Island)

    Looks like our pictures came back! I paid a $100.00 ransom, I guess it was worth it. Did the rest of you guys do the same? Rich

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