27East.com: Just a few weeks ago, baymen and shellfish experts were brimming with optimism about what was expected to be a banner bay scallop harvest when the season opens next month. Some pointed to the predictions as a sign that the local scallop population had finally gotten past the devastation wreaked by brown tides in the 1980s and 1990s.

This week, much of that optimism has evaporated.

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