Dragging for bay scallops is now prohibited in Edgartown when the air temperature falls below 30 degrees fahrenheit.

Early this week, the town selectmen voted to raise the minimum temperature from 28 to 30 degrees in response to a request from the shellfish committee.

Shellfish constable Paul L. Bagnall said the change would protect bay scallop seed, especially the small seed growing at Cape Pogue on Chappaquiddick.

Regulations have long prevented fishermen from dragging for bay scallops when the temperature does not exceed 28 degrees by 10 a.m. Saltwater freezes at 28 degrees, and when young scallops are harvested below that temperature, they can freeze to death.

Mr. Bagnall said when temperatures hover around 28 degrees, “People [fishermen] come in voluntarily because your ropes start freezing on the deck.”

The fishermen will likely lose a few days out of the season as a result of the change, but they can recuperate lost days with a Saturday harvest the same week, as long as the weather cooperates.

The shellfish constable also said that only 10 of the 30 or 40 regular scallopers went out on Monday because of the cold weather. On the whole, he said winters are getting warmer so there are generally more opportunities for commercial harvest. The shellfish committee will reevaluate the change in the coming months, he said.

In other town news, Chappaquiddick is one step closer to securing cable service for its residents.

Comcast has agreed to accept a contribution from the Chappaquiddick Community Fund for costs associated with cable service in lieu of homeowner contributions. The memorandum between the town and Comcast requires 270 homeowners to each pay $2,139 in up-front construction costs.

The community fund offered to close an anticipated gap between the number of subscribers for the service required in a contract with the town and the actual number of residents who have paid up-front costs.

Comcast has agreed to the plan, according to a letter penned by Mary O’Keeffe, senior manager of government and regulatory affairs at Comcast.

“. . . Upon receipt of the CCF payment and the satisfactory completion of other necessary memorandum requirements, Comcast will agree to construct cable service of Chappaquiddick as outlined,” she wrote in part.

If the town does not meet its goal of 270 payments, Ms. O’Keeffe wrote that Comcast would invoice the Chappaquiddick Community Fund for the remaining funds after Jan. 9.

Chappaquiddick resident Woody Filley said the campaign to bring Comcast was very excited by this letter, and he expressed appreciation for the town’s efforts to improve infrastructure there.

“It’s been a long haul,” said selectman Arthur Smadbeck.

Mr. Filley said there was still work to do to encourage more residents to sign up for the service.

The cable service will bring high-speed internet to the tiny island off Edgartown accessible only by a small ferry, a convenience that has not been available to Chappaquiddick residents.