Minimum Size for Harvested Oysters is 3 Inches
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the 2018-2019 public oyster harvest season will open Oct. 1 and run through March 31, 2019. Opening month is reserved for divers and watermen using patent and shaft tongs, as well as recreational oystering.
During the season, recreational oyster harvesting is open to any Maryland resident and does not require a license. Each harvester may take up to one bushel of oysters per day as long as they are only for personal use. Recreational oyster harvesting is only permitted from sunrise to 3 p.m. weekdays and from sunrise to noon Saturday and Sunday.
Commercial watermen may work Monday through Friday from sunrise to 3 p.m. in October, and again from January through March. In November and December oysters may be harvested from sunrise to sunset. The daily limit is 15 bushels per person, not to exceed 30 bushels per boat for divers and tongers.
The minimum size for all harvested oysters is 3 inches. The department recommends all oyster harvesters check the Commercial Shellfish Harvester Closure Area Information Portal, which enables them to access maps of aquaculture lease coordinates and locations.
Oyster season for dredging and skipjacks opens Nov. 1 in designated areas of Calvert, Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot and Wicomico counties. For power dredging the limit is 12 bushels per person, not to exceed 24 bushels per boat.
During the 2017-2018 oyster season, 940 licensed watermen harvested 181,329 bushels with a dockside value of roughly $8.6 million. Funding generated through the state’s license surcharge and oyster tax revenue and well as additional funding from the Maryland Department of Transportation helps the department replenish oyster seed and shell plantings annually.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II