Oyster Tonging Kicks Off in Maryland - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Oyster Tonging Kicks Off in Maryland

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TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md.-  Oysters aren't a pretty sight to some, but to watermen, they are no less beautiful than the Mona Lisa, especially after a long and difficult crabbing season.  Many watermen have been waiting for this day all summer long, but opening day of the season did not live up to expectations.

"Everybody that I've talked to so far this year, they're really looking forward to a great year obviously.  But from what I've seen so far today, it's not looking very good," said Craig Phillips.

On the first day of the season last year, every single one of the ten buckets at Harrison's Oyster Company had been filled up by one o'clock.  But this year, they say it's a very different story.

"We're kind of a little bit disappointed because we anticipated that we'd have 100 bushels on shore by now, we have nine right now," said Buddy Harrison Jr.

But Harrison says while disappointing, it isn't unheard of for the first few days of a season to be difficult.

"First couple of days it's a lot of running around, people trying different places to see where oysters are, where good sized oysters are.  So it takes a couple of days to settle down."

So he says these first days are not necessarily indicative of what comes over the next few months.  It has some remembering last year, and hoping that this year is a repeat.

"It was awesome, I made great money.  There were plenty of oysters.  I'm hoping this year is the same thing.  Gotta wait and see," said Phillips.

Watermen say that they will get a true barometer of the oyster season in one month, when the power dredging season begins


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