A record quahaug spawn at the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group comes as a boon to Island towns this year where saltwater ponds are seeded annually as part of shellfish management programs.

Shellfish group co-director Amandine Hall confirmed Monday that the nonprofit shellfish group spawned and nurtured more than 17 million quahaugs this year at its two hatcheries in Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs, breaking a previous record of 12.7 million set in 2016.

She said the unexpected bounty of baby quahaugs came as a pleasant surprise.

“We never know how many quahaugs we’ll have until the last minute,” Mrs. Hall said. “In really good years we usually do eleven to twelve million. This year they just kept coming and coming. We even called Cuttyhunk. We’ve never given them quahaugs before.”

The record-breaking spawn was reported in the annual newsletter that goes out from the shellfish group before the close of the year.

Mrs. Hall said ideal environmental conditions combined to put the quahaug count over the top this summer.

“There’s so many different variables that it’s hard to tell which one had the most impact,” she said, citing among other things low mortality and favorable conditions with warm, dry weather.

In recent years the shellfish group has also expanded its space for growing in the John T. Hughes Hatchery in Oak Bluffs. The group has been leasing the former state lobster hatchery since 2011, and every year has been able to grow more quahaugs to keep in 32 storage silos.

“It’s always hard to tell how much you have,” Mrs. Hall said. “We don’t count them, we just have them in silos. Nearly all of them were full this summer.”

She concluded: “It was all around a really good season. Something was going on that made all the planets align to give us amazing quahaug production.

“Maybe this is our new normal.”