National Geographic : 1972 Jun
Squirming harvest fills the buckets of worm diggers on coastal mud flats of Maine. Sport fishermen seeking bait buy the eight-inch bloodworm and longer, softer sandworm (left). Both wear fringes of oarlike parapodia that assist in breathing and locomotion. About 1,200 diggers seek their fortunes in the mud, an enter prise that in 1971 grossed Maine diggers and packers some 5 million dollars. Four hours of stooping labor in foot-sucking slime may bring a steady digger $40 at a dealer's counting shed. Worm merchant Frank Ham mond (left) examines part of a day's haul before it is packed in seaweed for ship ment to bait shops on both East and West Coasts.