Mid-Atlantic
Capt. Tyrone Meredith, right, harvests oysters with mate Lamont Pollard using a hand tong near Broad Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River in Talbot County, Md., in February 2018. Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program

MD - Maryland’s wild oyster harvest doubles from last year

Despite having fewer days to work, Maryland watermen harvested nearly twice as many wild oysters last season as they did the previous year, state officials report. Even so, a new study finds the state’s population of bivalves is in much better shape now than it was two years ago, with abundance up and overfishing down.

Despite having fewer days to work, Maryland watermen harvested nearly twice as many wild oysters last season as they did the previous year, state officials report. Even so, a new study finds the state’s population of bivalves is in much better shape now than it was two years ago, with abundance up and overfishing down.

As a result, state fisheries managers say they’re weighing whether to maintain catch restrictions put in place last season or relax them for the next wild harvest season, which normally begins Oct. 1.

Data presented Monday night to the Department of Natural Resources’ Oyster Advisory Commission indicates that the overall abundance of adult, market-size oysters in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay has rebounded considerably since 2018 and is now at the fifth highest level since 1999.

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