Somerset County Watermen Charged with Illegal Oyster Harvest - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset County Watermen Charged with Illegal Oyster Harvest

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SOMERSET COUNTY, Md. - Two Somerset County watermen were charged Thursday morning by Maryland Natural Resources police officers with harvesting oysters from protected state waters.

Officers conducting surveillance, assisted by the radar system known as the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network, saw two watermen dredging for oysters about 500 feet inside the Manokin River Sanctuary. State regulations prohibit taking oysters from sanctuaries.

Lance Carl Fridley, 29, and Shawn Matthew Fridley, 34, both of Chance, had three bushels of unsorted oysters on board when officers stopped them.

Both men were charged with two counts each of illegally harvesting oysters inside a sanctuary. Lance Fridley, the boat operator, also was charged with three counts of having three bushels containing undersized oysters.

NRP officers seized the dredge and returned the oysters to the sanctuary.

Both men are scheduled to appear in Somerset District Court on May 12. If found guilty of all charges, Lance Fridley could be fined as much as $9,000 and have his license suspended for up to one year. Shawn Fridley could be fined $6,000 and have his license suspended for up to one year.

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