OC Inlet Dredging Delayed Until Sunday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OC Inlet Dredging Delayed Until Sunday

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Ocean City Inlet. (Photo: WBOC) Ocean City Inlet. (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. - The high winds and rough seas delayed the Army Corps of Engineers from beginning emergency dredging in the Ocean City inlet on Friday.  The work is now scheduled to begin on Sunday.

For commercial fisherman in Ocean City, the emergency dredging cannot begin soon enough.

"It's closed up," said Sonny Gwin of Ocean City.  "At low tide, even on a smaller vessel, it's hard to get through.  You bump bottom.  Some of the bigger boats can't even get in here.  We've had to unload fish into Ocean City into smaller boats and being them over here to the packing houses just to get them off the boats.

Fishermen and watermen began to really notice an issue in the inlet following the nor'easter in January.  The storm moved so much sand into the inlet, depths in certain areas have dramatically decreased.  And Gwin says the shoaling in the inlet is negatively impacting the commercial fishing business this winter.  

If it wasn't for the winds and rough seas, the dredging would have began Friday in Ocean City. Instead, the Army Corps of Engineers vessel was dredging the Chincoteague Federal Navigation Channel, not far from the causeway to the island.  The good news for Ocean City fisherman is the dredging is expected to begin in the inlet on Sunday.

"It's very important to get those boats in here with the Maryland quota of fish so we can unload the fish and get American caught fish to the American people.  So, I am hoping this alleviates the problem and we can get these boats in here," Gwin said.

Once the inlet dredging begins, crews will work 24-hours a day for five day to try and return the inlet to the way it was prior to January's storm.

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