Md. Oyster Season Gets Off to Strong Start, But Will it Last? - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Oyster Season Gets Off to Strong Start, But Will it Last?

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The oysters are piling up and Maryland watermen are having no trouble catching their limits. They just hope it will stay that way through the season. (Photo: WBOC) The oysters are piling up and Maryland watermen are having no trouble catching their limits. They just hope it will stay that way through the season. (Photo: WBOC)

TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md.- After a few frustrating years of oyster harvesting, Maryland watermen say they were due for a good year, and it is here now.

"Every year we got a little bit better and a little bit better and last year we had a lot of little oysters," said William Lednum, a Tilghman Island waterman who was power dredging for oysters early Thursday morning. "This year you can see that almost all of them are big enough right now."

"We had a very dry summer and we had a big spat catch and the oysters grew really a lot," said Russell Dize, another Tilghman Island waterman.

The oysters are piling up and watermen are having no trouble catching their limits. They just hope it will stay that way through the season.

"It's been one of the best years I have seen for a long time," Lednum said. He said he has been catching his daily bushel limits in just under three hours. He said that due to the state's limitations on power dredging, watermen can only harvest in certain areas, causing congestion on Maryland waters.

"I think they took too much bottom from us," Lednum said. "I think if we had more bottom we could go the rest of the year just like this. There are so many boats congested in one area and it won't take long to catch them up but you will have to work harder. But if we had more bottom that we can keep clean and have a good spat catch, we could do better."

"As the season goes on it will be less because our guys don't have enough area. They need more area to work," Dize said. 

To put everything in perspective, watermen from Tilghman Island said that on average they see around 70 boats a day, all harvesting the same creeks.

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