AUGUSTA (AP) — A proposal that could change the way clam harvesters ply their trade in Maine is up for a hearing in the state capital. 

Clamming is a way of life that goes back thousands of years in Maine, which is the country’s most productive state for soft-shell clams. But the harvest has dwindled in recent years, and some lawmakers are considering new rules to try to encourage clam growth. 

Democratic Rep. Joyce McCreight’s proposal is up for a hearing today. A legislative committee on marine resources will air her bill that would allow municipalities to establish their own minimum and maximum size limits for shellfish. 

McCreight says the change would allow towns to prevent harvest of large clams, which have greater reproductive capacity and could help replenish the tidal flats. 

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