A town with a municipal shellfish ordinance needs to enforce the ordinance. Municipal conservation shellfish wardens are hired by the town(s) to patrol flats, ensure diggers are properly licensed, and ensure digging activities are legal.
Regulations regarding Municipal Wardens
- Wardens need to comply with DMR Chapter 4 Regulations.
Warden Certification Application
People who want to become a municipal shellfish conservation warden must fill out and submit an application to become certified, and attach proof of trainings. Select this link to download the application: New Certification for Municipal Shellfish Conservation Warden (PDF file, 1 page). Please return the form to Shellfish Program Coordinator by using the contact information at the top of the form. Signing the form authorizes the DMR to check the applicant's background for a criminal record. If an application fails to pass a background check, they may be barred from attending the training. If an applicant wishes to have the power of arrest and/or carry a firearm, they must complete the appropriate Maine Criminal Justice Academy course prior to DMR certification.
Applications must be received by February 1 in order for the person to be included in the next DMR warden training.
Warden Training Information
- Untrained people have up to 1 (one) year to attend the DMR Warden training in order to become certified. Wardens with no other enforcement training cannot enforce a town ordinance until they are trained by the DMR, or have received a waiver from DMR to do so.
- Trained and certified wardens must attend the DMR training every 3 (three) years in order to retain their certification.
Wardens who haven't completed the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Law Enforcement Pre-Service Training (also known as LEPS Phase I, II, and III) or who aren't certified law enforcement officers must complete an online training, as well as the in-person training, before they can be certified as a municipal shellfish warden. The online training needs to be completed only once by a warden. Wardens will still attend in-person training every three years for a refresher session.
This online training was developed to give wardens valuable information regarding foundations of law enforcement; laws and legal issues; use of force, arrest and liability; human relations; and vital skills. There is a short quiz at the end of every segment, and you must pass all of the quizzes in order to complete the online training.
Wardens are assigned usernames and passwords in order to get into the online training course.
Certified Copies of Legal Notices, and Certification of Clam Rings
- Municipal wardens who need certified copies of emergency pollution or red tide legal notices can contact the Shellfish Program Coordinator.
- For certification of clam rings, contact Weights and Measures at the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.