Maryland Oyster Population Makes Gains - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Oyster Population Makes Gains

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WBOC)- A survey has found Maryland's oyster population has more than doubled since 2010.

Maryland's 2013 Fall Oyster Survey was released Wednesday by the Department of Natural Resources.

The survey says the oyster population is at its highest point since this type of monitoring began in 1985.

The increase is being attributed to high oyster survival over the past few years and strong reproduction in 2010 and 2012.

DNR Secretary Joe Gill says preliminary harvest reports for the past season have already surpassed 400,000 bushels. He says that has a dockside value of more than $13 million, the highest in at least 15 years.

In a statement, Gov. Martin O'Malley said, "These survey results indicate that our multi-pronged strategy to restore our native oyster population is paying off. While this progress is noteworthy, it underscores the need to stay the course, reinforcing our commitment to protect our investment and rebuild this essential, iconic species.”

The bay's oyster population has been stuck at less than 1 percent of historic levels since 1994.

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