DNR Police Arrest Four Watermen with Help of State Police Helicopter

 An NRP officer (right) directs the State Police helicopter flight team toward a target.

An NRP officer (right) directs the State Police helicopter flight team toward a target

Using a State Police helicopter as a surveillance platform, the Maryland Natural Resources Police caught four watermen last Friday harvesting oysters from a protected area in Somerset County.

The watermen, aboard three commercial boats, were charged with removing oysters from the Evans Harvest Reserve, a remote 69-acre site at the mouth of the Wicomico River and Tangier Sound.

“Our ongoing partnership with the Maryland State Police expands our patrol capabilities to more effectively deploy our resources. In this case, the helicopter allowed us to track the vessels as they worked in the reserve and keep them in sight until additional assistance arrived,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “We want to thank State Police Aviation for helping us protect Maryland’s bounty.”

The law enforcement collaboration is a major component of Governor Martin O’Malley’s  2010 Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan to protect these resources and their habitat.

Reserve areas are set aside by Department of Natural Resources regulations for special management. With two weeks left in the season, most oyster bars have very few market-sized oysters left. Opening a few areas late in the season gives watermen more bottom on which to work. These areas typically provide a boost in harvest for a few days at a time, when bushel prices are high.

Nine managed reserve areas were scheduled to open for harvest on March 7, but at the request of the Somerset County Oyster Committee, Evans Bar was delayed until March 24.

An officer stationed in the State Police helicopter at 9:20 a.m. could see the four buoys that mark the corners of the reserve and observed three vessels patent tonging inside the boundaries. Using a high-powered camera in the helicopter’s nose, the officer relayed the names of the vessels and their locations to nearby a patrol boat.

When the watermen realized they were being watched, they powered out of the reserve, their vessels’ anchors still in the water. They were intercepted by an NRP patrol boat and ordered to return nine bushels of oysters to the reserve.

Philemon Thomas Hambleton IV, 25, and John Eric Hambleton, 50, both of Bozman, and Carl Stenger Jr., 67, and Jose Collazo, 25, both of Rock Hall, were charged with illegally harvesting oysters from a State reserve.

Maryland court records show that Philemon Hambleton has been found guilty of a four natural resources violations dating back to 2001, most of them involving undersized oysters. Since 2002, Stenger has been found guilty of seven oystering, clamming or crabbing violations and was charged on Feb. 11 with possession of undersized oysters.

All four watermen are scheduled to appear in Somerset District Court on June 10.

Also on Friday, NRP officers charged a Dorchester County waterman with five violations of oyster regulations and ordered him to return three bushels of oysters to Fishing Bay.

Roy Wayne Meredith Jr., 45, of Toddville, was issued citations for power dredging in a hand tonging area, for power dredging outside the power dredging zone and for harvesting undersized oysters.

Meredith is scheduled to appear in Dorchester District Court on May 21.

The district courts in Somerset and Dorchester counties participate in a program that highlights natural resources cases on specific day each month as part of Governor O’Malley’s enhanced enforcement plan.

by kking

 

Love Maryland’s Outdoors? There’s an App for That!

DNR launches mobile app featuring recreation opportunities and news updates

DNR launches mobile app featuring recreation opportunities and news updates

Enjoying Maryland’s great outdoors has never been easier with the Department of Natural Resource’s new mobile app! The AccessDNR app provides the State’s hunters, anglers, boaters, park-goers ─ anyone seeking outside adventure ─ all of the latest in nature-related recreation, information and news right at their fingertips.

“DNR’s new mobile app will make finding and enjoying Maryland’s unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities considerably easier for our citizens and visitors,” said DNR Secretary Joseph Gill. “We are very excited by this new step forward in providing customers with a more personalized and accessible DNR experience.”

From identifying an unknown fish, to finding a nearby swimming hole, to locating a dog-friendly State Park, the AccessDNR app provides information and services for the Maryland outdoor enthusiast on the go.

The location-based app allows users to discover and locate State recreation, such as parks and trails, boat launches and hunting lands, in relation to where they are. Customers can refine their location search in radius increments of 10, 25 or 50 miles. This mobile resource also provides on the spot access to fishing and hunting regulations, a fish identifier, late breaking DNR news updates, and much more.

The AccessDNR mobile phone app features:

*Location-based maps and directions to State-owned lands and attractions
*Maryland State Park activities and amenities
*Fishing and hunting season information
*Hunting harvest mobile submission option
*Trophy Case, hunting photo sharing through Facebook, Twitter or by email
*A location-based sunrise/sunset and tide update
*Maryland fish and shellfish identifier
*Hunting, fishing and boating regulation guides
*Breaking DNR news and alerts

Developed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the electronic government facilitator NIC, the app is currently compatible with Apple and Android devices.

To download and for more information, visit dnr2.maryland.gov/Pages/dnrapp.aspx.

..

DNR Police: Rockfish Poachers Indicted on 26 Counts

Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 11.19.20 AMConservationists, watermen and anglers are applauding efforts by the Maryland Natural Resources Police and its federal law enforcement partners in obtaining indictments of four Talbot County watermen accused of running a striped bass poaching ring that spanned four years and was worth nearly a half million dollars on the wholesale market.

The 26-count indictment handed down Thursday provides the link between the actions of the four men and the discovery of illegal gill nets filled with fish found off Kent Island in February 2011. The incident triggered a massive police enforcement effort, generated a series of tough laws from the General Assembly and closed the commercial striped bass season three weeks early to prevent overfishing.

“Marylanders can be proud of these officers, whose hard work, long nights and nonstop investigative efforts have paid off,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Poachers steal from honest anglers, watermen, and all of us who responsibly enjoy our State’s natural riches and respect the livelihoods of the hardworking men and women who rely on this fishery.”

The indictments by a federal grand jury in Baltimore came after a more than two-year joint investigation by NRP officers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Justice Department, who painstakingly shifted through thousands of documents and reports to construct a paper trail of the crimes.

“We hope that Maryland citizens are beginning to realize that these are crimes against the State,” said Tony Friedrich, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland. “All of our best science is based on reliable catch reports. By falsifying data and poaching Maryland’s State fish, they are not only putting the entire stock at risk but making a mockery of our combined efforts to conserve the striped bass population.”

Beginning in January 2007, Michael D. Hayden, Jr. and William J. Lednum, both of Tilghman Island, and unnamed others conspired to overharvest striped bass and falsify records submitted to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Their illegal catch was sold to wholesalers in Maryland, New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

In addition, the grand jury found that in 2011, Hayden, Lednum and two other watermen ─ Kent Sadler, of Tilghman Island, and Lawrence “Daniel” Murphy, of St. Michaels ─ attempted to catch about 20,000 pounds of striped bass before the start of the 2011 commercial season using gill nets illegally set and left unattended in the Chesapeake Bay.

Hayden also was indicted on one count of witness retaliation and two counts of witness tampering in connection with the grand jury probe.

Billy Rice, chairman of the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the commercial fishing industry for law enforcement efforts.

“Poaching does not reflect a majority of our industry,” Rice said. “It hurts our livelihood and our image. We hope these indictments send a strong message.”

Bill Goldsborough, chairman of the Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission, praised the State and federal partnership that led to the indictments.

“Egregious fishing violations are major challenges for fisheries management,” said Goldsborough, also a senior scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “Effective enforcement like this is essential to healthy fisheries.”

As part of any sentence should the watermen be convicted, the federal government will seek to seize Hayden’s 38-foot work boat, his 2009 pick-up truck and all his fishing gear and Lednum’s 46-foot work boat and his fishing gear.

If these watermen are found guilty they could permanently lose their Maryland commercial fishing privileges.

As part of its continued effort to better protect Maryland’s public fishery, DNR most recently introduced the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network ─ MLEIN, a network of radar units and cameras that scans the Chesapeake Bay for law breakers.

by KKing

..

DNR Seeks Public Comment On Four New Possible Fisheries Regs

Four new possible Fisheries regulations are now posted online at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/regulations/draftregulations.asp.

The public comment period for these subjects ends October 25, 2013.

Oyster Shell Pricing

The Department is required by regulation to annually asses the market price for shell, and to set the price paid to shucking houses based upon this assessment. The Department is proposing to increase the price paid for shells from $0.50 per bushel to $2.00 per bushel.

For more information regarding the background of oyster shell pricing, please click here.

Aquaculture

Current Shellfish Aquaculture Harvester Permit (SAHP) regulations require leaseholders to register anyone other than SAHP permittees, engaging in aquaculture activities while on a lease, with the Department. This requirement has made it difficult for leaseholders to utilize short term/temporary workers on their lease sites. The Department is interested in amending existing regulations to provide leaseholders with more flexibility in utilizing temporary workers on their leases and without having to register each individual under the SAHP.

American eels

As a result of the last ASMFC Board meeting, there will be several changes to eel regulations in Maryland. A coastwide minimum mesh size of ½” x ½” mesh will be required for all eel pots. There will be a 3 year phase in period where an escape panel of ½” x ½” (16 square inches) can be used on smaller mesh pots (this is the current regulation Maryland has in place). The only change will be that after 2016, the escape panels will no longer be allowed and the whole pot must be the minimum mesh size. Additionally, there will be a prohibition of harvest of American eels from gears other than pots, traps, and spears from September 1 to December 31. Therefore the harvest of eels in the Fall with fyke nets and pound nets would no longer be permitted. The minimum size for eels will also be raised from 6″ to 9″.

Menhaden

Reporting requirements would be added for menhaden harvest during the unlimited fishery season.  This will put Maryland in compliance with ASMFC’s Menhaden FMP.  Additionally, this will allow DNR to better manage the quota.

Comments can be sent to DNR at – fisheriespubliccomment@dnr.state.md.us

 

Maryland Seafood Update

From the MD Department of Natural Resources

Rockfish / Striped Bass – The fishery will reopen on Tuesday, September 3rd.  It will remain open Tuesdays and Wednesdays only until the total quota for the month (set at 75,000lbs) has been hit.  If the guys catch them in the quantities they have been the season may only be open for 3-4 days.

Crabs – We all know that this has been a horrible year for crabs. Crab harvests are very low and sporadic.  Picking houses are having trouble getting crabs to keep up with the demand.  We know that it is difficult for the restaurants right now.  We just ask that if you can’t get Maryland crab meat that you at least buy domestic.  The crabbers are telling us that there are a lot of small crabs out there which bodes well for next season.

Seafood Fraud – Our friends at Oceana are working on getting a SAFE Seafood Act passed in congress.  This act would require that all seafood is labeled with species and origin information.  They are looking for chefs to sign onto the letter (which you can view HERE).   Anyone that’s interested in adding their support should send their name, title, affiliation, city and state to Amelia atavorpahl@oceana.org.  Please let them know we sent you.

Coastal Waters – The guys on the Atlantic coast are currently seeing a lot of high quality fluke, but they are also seeing some local tuna and scallops!

Free Chef Education Trips – We are looking at 2 dates for our next trip!  Whichever receives 10 reservations first will be booked.  The dates are September 17th or September 26th.  Please reply to this email if you are interested and let me know which day works best.

Bay Waters –  We are starting to see the return of various species in the bay.  The pound netters in the mid-bay are catching a great assortment of fish.  Butterfish, croakers, spot, catfish, and ribbonfish (pictured below) are all available.  Speak with your wholesaler about getting some of these products.

Demo Volunteers – A huge thank you to all of our friends that have agreed to help us out with the aquarium and seafood festival demos.  We greatly appreciate you guys!

ribbonfish

..

Free Fishing in Maryland June 8 and July 4

Marylanders and visitors, old pros and first-timers ─ everyone is invited to grab a rod, get outside and enjoy the State’s excellent fishing opportunities through free fishing days on June 8 and July 4. No license, stamp or registration is required to fish in Maryland waters on these days.

(Continue reading here)

$10,000 Diamond Jim on the Loose!

More than $50,000 in prizes up for grabs during this year’s fishing challenge.

The hunt is on! The Diamond Jim component of the 2013 Maryland Fishing Challenge kicked off when Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists and teams of young anglers caught, tagged and released 200 striped bass into the Chesapeake Bay. One of the tagged fish is the

Photo by Beth Versak for DNR

Photo by Beth Versak for DNR

official Diamond Jim worth $10,000 to the angler who catches him before midnight on June 30. The other tagged “imposter” rockfish are worth at least $500 each if caught and registered before midnight on Labor Day, September 2, 2013.

“The Diamond Jim component of the Maryland Fishing Challenge signifies the beginning of a summer filled with top-notch, diverse fishing, located right here in our great State,” said Governor O’Malley. “This contest is an open invitation to everyone ─ young and old, seasoned pros and first timers ─ to not only cast a line, but spend time outdoors and create memories with friends and loved ones.”

Over the summer, hundreds of imposters and one genuine Diamond Jim will be pursued by anglers. Each month he goes uncaught the bounty increases ─ from $10,000 in June, to $20,000 in July, and $25,000 in August. The contest features a guaranteed $25,000 payout, so if Diamond Jim is not caught by Labor Day, the cash prize will be split equally among those who catch imposters.

The first angler to catch Diamond Jim will also receive a set of one-carat total-weight, round, brilliant diamond stud earrings from Zachary’s Jewelers in Annapolis, and a stack of $1,000 gift cards from participating Maryland tackle shops such as Anglers, AllTackle, Fishbones, Clyde’s, and Marty’s and Herb’s Tackle Shop. These prizes bring the total potential value of Diamond Jim to more than $35,000.

Now in its ninth year, the challenge showcases Maryland as a premier sport fishing destination with accessible, affordable, diverse and high-quality opportunities for anglers of all ages. Anyone who catches and registers a Maryland Angler Award-eligible sport fish will receive a certificate of achievement and free passes to the Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale ─ to be held in conjunction with the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 7, 2013. Here, these anglers will have the chance to win great door prizes, including a boat, trailer and motor package from Tracker Marine; a tropical vacation package from the World Fishing Network; tackle packages from Bill’s Outdoor Center and Bass Pro Shops; collectable event t-shirts from Under Armour; and fishing gear from a number of local tackle shops.

Combined with the prizes for the Angler Award component of the contest, this brings the total potential prize value of the year-long contest to more than $50,000.

“I want to thank our sponsors and our recreational fishery stakeholders for making this tournament possible,” said DNR Secretary Joe Gill. “The steadfast support of these businesses and the Maryland Seafood Festival have helped develop the Maryland Fishing Challenge into more than a contest, it has become a highly anticipated and appreciated summer-long experience.”

The Maryland Fishing Challenge is a free year-round tournament sponsored by DNR. To be eligible for the contest, all fish must be caught recreationally by rod and reel. To see the Angler Award species list and the official contest rules, visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge.

Catch a fish is included in the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, issued by Governor Martin O’Malley in April 2009. The Bill is part of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, an initiative to ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards.

DNR encourages everyone to take advantage of Maryland’s Free Fishing Days, the first two Saturdays in June and July 4.

Follow Diamond Jim on Facebook at facebook.com/diamondjim.md, and DNR Fisheries atfacebook.com/MDDNRFisheriesService, Twitter @mddnrfish.

By by jdavidsburg for the Maryland DNR

..

DNR Maryland Fishing Report

Fishermen have been enjoying excellent fishing for White Perch in the lower Susquehanna River this week by casting shad darts and have been also catching striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area. After June 1st they will be able to fish for Striped Bass in the entire Susquehanna up to the Conowingo Dam; swim shads, crankbaits and bucktails dressed with a soft plastic tail will be cast in the channels and deeper pools. There have been plenty of Striped Bass in the region so fishermen should have a great weekend. Fishing for channel catfish continues to be very good in the Susquehanna and Elk Rivers. Flathead Catfish have taken up residence in the lower Susquehanna River and particularly at the Conowingo Dam pool. They are considered an invasive species in Maryland but like the notorious snakehead, are one of the tastiest invasive species you’d ever want to meet. Jason Michalski and friends were doing their best to remove some flathead catfish at the Conowingo Dam pool and one would think by this picture they had a great time and some sore arms.

 


Photo Courtesy of Jason Michalski

 

In the upper bay region above the Bay Bridge, trolling for Striped Bass is being reported as a slow pick along channel edges. Most fishermen are trolling medium sized bucktails, spoons and swim shads in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Other fishermen are jigging when they can find fish suspended along deep edges and structure or casting to shallow structure during the early morning and evening hours and catching fish. Chumming and chunking at traditional locations such as Swan, Love and Podickory Points is productive and may be the most productive option for fishermen in the upper bay this week.

Water temperatures in the middle and lower bay regions are holding around 65-degrees on the surface and the expected hot weather in the forecast will continue to drive those temperatures upward. Spot have arrived with the warmer water and fishermen report this week having little trouble catching plenty of spot in lower sections of most tidal rivers for bait. Live lining spot has begun in earnest at traditional locations such as the Hill, Thomas Point, Hackett’s, Clay Banks, Cove Point and Buoy 72 to name a few. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for a nice grade of Striped Bass whether they are trolling, light tackle jigging or live lining spot. Striped Bass are being reported throughout the middle and lower bay regions and often are being seen on top chasing bait. Fishing for Striped Bass in the lower Potomac River is being reported as excellent this week.

Black Drum are being found at the Sharps Island and James Island Flats this week and fishermen have been catching and releasing some big ones lately. Most fishermen are using whole or half soft crab baits and dropping on the fish when they are spotted on depth finders. Black Drum have large air bladders and give quite a distinctive image on depth finders and if all is quiet and they are passing underneath they can be heard making a growling rumble sound with their grinding plates in the throat. Cow-nosed rays have arrived in our portion of the bay much to the consternation of anyone who drops a bait to the bottom or is unlucky enough to snag one while trolling.

Warmer temperatures in the bay have urged croakers and spot to move up the bay and into the lower sections of tidal rivers and creeks as far as the Bay Bridge this week. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for croakers in channel areas on a variety of baits including bloodworms, shrimp, squid and peeler crab. In many areas White Perch and channel catfish will also be part of the mix when fishing in tidal rivers.

Shore based fishermen are enjoying good prospects for catching a variety of fish from shore this week such as Striped Bass, White Perch and Croaker. Traditional fishing locations such as public fishing piers and beaches are always popular but for the more adventurous there are excellent areas to fish from shore in lesser known areas such as the eastern and western shores of the lower bay. The eastern shore areas near Hooper’s Island and south to Crisfield have many places to fish but it will take some planning. Check out Google Maps or the county ADC maps in printed form to follow roads out to prominent points, bridges and landings and plan a road trip to explore these lesser known areas. Daryl Jones was fishing from the shores of the lower Manokin River when he caught this whopping 7lb speckled sea trout.

 


Photo Courtesy of Daryl Jones

 

Shallow water light tackle fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities from the upper most areas of the upper bay south to the Virginia line. Casting swim shads. jerkbaits, surface poppers or even fly fishing with skipping bugs or Clousers is a wonderful experience and also often very productive. Fishermen in the lower bay region have also been catching some impressive sized Speckled Trout and puppy drum along with Striped Bass this week. This time of the year water temperatures allow this fishery to start earlier in the evening and last longer in the morning.

Recreational crabbers have begun to sort out their gear and start exploring old haunts for a few crabs. If getting out on the water and perhaps catching a few crabs in the process is your goal then you will not be disappointed. If you’ve promised the folks back home a crab feast then you might reconsider. Recreational crabbers are catching a few crabs but many are either light or too small but most report being able to bring home a dozen or so crabs in an outing.

Freshwater fishermen continue to enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities in various regions of the state. The trout management waters are offering good fishing for trout whether one is fishing in a put and take area or catch and release; water flows are good and cool. Deep Creek Lake presently is offering good fishing for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegills, Yellow Perch and Walleyes. Don Cosden spent a fishing vacation at Deep Creek Lake recently and holds one of the Smallmouth Bass he caught there.

 


Photo Courtesy of Don Cosden

 

John Mullican reports that he fished the upper Potomac River this past weekend and expects excellent possibilities this week. It was a beautiful weekend and many fishermen took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy the local waterways. Many people were out on the upper Potomac River and I heard favorable reports from nearly everyone I talked to. Smallmouth Bass and channel catfish have been very active. Just about any lure will catch a few bass right now, but spinnerbaits and tubes have excelled. Most bass have been running from 10″ to 14″, but several fishermen reported catching some much larger.

Warmer water temperatures in many of the states freshwater areas have post – spawn largemouth bass in a very active feeding behavior. These fish are hungry after standing guard over their nests and can be found in the shallows and areas outside of the spawning beds. There are of course some largemouth bass that are still spawning but a majority of them have finished in the central, southern and eastern areas of the state. Fishermen are reporting that grass, spatterdock fields and submerged fallen tree tops are all good places to cast a variety of lures. Spinnerbaits, surface lures, soft plastics and small shallow running crankbaits are all good choices.

Bluegills are still spawning in many lakes and ponds and offer some fun fishing on light tackle whether fishing bait or small surface lures. Chain Pickerel continue to offer fun opportunities in many areas as do channel catfish this week. In the tidal Potomac and adjoining creeks fishermen are reporting excellent fishing for Largemouth Bass and snakeheads are often crashing lures in the shallow areas.

Ocean City fishermen are looking forward to more favorable weather forecasts this week, especially when it comes to wind. Surf fishermen are seeing water temperatures in the upper 50’s this week and more varieties of fish moving into the region. Large Striped Bass has been the number one target of surf casters this week as these fish move through the region on their way to New England waters. Large menhaden or clam baits are attracting some nice catches of Striped Bass, a few large Bluefish and also the attention of Cow-Nosed Rays, dogfish and Black Tip Sharks. Surf rigs with smaller offerings have been catching a mix of blowfish, Kingfish, small Bluefish and the occasional Black Drum.

In and around the Ocean City Inlet fishermen have been treated to some wonderful fishing for large Striped Bass in the past week. Fishermen are reporting that sometimes the action is best at dawn and other times at night. Casting swim shads has been the first choice of most fishermen but drifting live eels or spot are always a good bet. Large and small Bluefish are also being caught in the inlet and blowfish, flounder and Tautog are also part of the mix. Joe Gillespie holds up a nice pair of flounder he caught at the Route 50 Bridge recently.

 


Photo Courtesy of Joe Gillespie

 

In the back bay areas fishermen have been experiencing good fishing for flounder in the channels and adjoining edges. Large baits are a good way to target doormat sized flounder and as more live spot become available drifting a live spot is a sure bet. Sinepuxent Bay in front of the airport, the east channel and Thorofare have all been very popular this week when fishing for flounder. Small Bluefish, blowfish, sea trout and Black Drum are also part of the bottom fishing mix in the back bay areas.

When calmer seas permit fishermen have been finding good fishing for Sea Bass and Tautog on the artificial reef sites and wreck sites. Farther offshore Thresher and Mako Sharks are beginning to be caught and some small Yellowfin Tuna were reported at the Baltimore Canyon.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

..

Public Notice from DNR: Razor Clam Dredging

 PUBLIC NOTICE
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
FISHERIES SERVICE
RAZOR CLAM DREDGING

 

Pursuant to Code of Maryland Regulation 08.02.02.09, the Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that the following three areas of the Wye River in Queen Anne’s and Talbot County will be open for the dredging of razor clams with special restrictions:

Wye River Area A: Open May 29, and 31, June 3, 5, 7, July 8, 10, 12
All of the waters of the Wye River more than 50 feet channelward of the mean high water line, north of a line beginning at a point on the east end of the north entrance of Bigwood Cove, at or near Lat. 38° 53.759′  N., Long. 76° 10.227′ W., then running 323° (True) to a point on the west shore of the Wye River, at or near Lat. 38° 53.995′  N., Long. 76° 10.455′ W.; and west of a line beginning at a point on the north shore of the Wye Narrows, at or near Lat. 38° 54.566′  N., Long. 76° 9.927′ W., then running 193° (True) to the west end of Grapevine Point, at or near Lat. 38° 54.070′  N., Long. 76° 10.069′ W.

 

Wye River Area B:  Open June 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, July 15, 17, 19

All of the waters of the Wye Narrows and Wye East River River more than 50 feet channelward of the mean high water line, east of a line beginning at a point on the north shore of the Wye Narrows, at or near Lat. 38° 54.566′  N., Long. 76° 9.927′ W., then running 193° (True) to the west end of Grapevine Point, at or near Lat. 38° 54.070′  N., Long. 76° 10.069′ W.; and northwest of a line beginning at the northeast point of the east end of Wye Island, at or near Lat. 38° 53.125′  N., Long. 76° 6.293′ W., then running 40° (True) to the first point  south of Wye Landing, on the Talbot County side of the river, at or near Lat. 38° 53.273′  N., Long. 76° 6.133′ W.

 

Wye River Area C:  Open June 24, 26, 28, July 1, 3, 5, July 22, 24, 26

All of the waters of the Wye East River, Pickering Creek, and Skipton Creek more than 50 feet channelward of the mean high water line, east of a line beginning at a point on the south side of Wye Island, at or near Lat. 38° 52.940′  N., Long. 76° 7.917′ W., then running 199° (True) to a point on shore at the west entrance of Pickering Creek, at or near Lat. 38° 52.723′  N., Long. 76° 8.012′ W.; and south of a line beginning at the northeast point of the east end of Wye Island, at or near Lat. 38° 53.125′  N., Long. 76° 6.293′ W., then running 40° (True) to the first point south of Wye Landing, on the Talbot County side of the river, at or near Lat. 38° 53.273′  N., Long. 76° 6.133′ W.

 

Special Restrictions:
1) Harvest will be allowed from sunrise till 2:00 pm.
2) At the time of harvest the individual shall possess the appropriate tidal fish license and razor clam permit issued by the Department. Only 30 razor clam permits will be issued. To apply for a permit contact Lawrence Devadason at (410) 260-8325.
3) Prior to leaving the harvest area every razor clam harvested shall be dyed with FD&C Blue No. 1 food dye by completely immersing the razor clam in the dye as to impart a visible color to the razor clam.

4) No other shellfish may be harvested or held on the boat at the same time as clams harvested from the areas described in this notice.

5) Once issued, the permit must be kept on the boat.

6) All dredging, SAV and oyster setbacks are in effect as normal within these areas.

Joseph P. Gill

Secretary

Maryland Department of Natural Resources