NRP Nabs Oyster Harvest Violators in So. Md. Waters

Calvert County - On January 28, at 3:30 p.m., NRP officers charged Adam A. Cardinale II, 42, of Prince Frederick with catching oysters for noncommercial purposes on a prohibited day. Cardinale was allegedly catching oysters with shaft tongs on a Sunday in the Patuxent River near Benedict. NRP seized one bushel of oysters from Cardinale’s vessel and returned them to the waters of the state.

A Maryland resident may take up to one bushel of oysters per day without obtaining a license, if the oysters are for his own use and consumption, and not for sale or marketing. The season for catching oysters for noncommercial purposes is from October 1 through March 31, Monday through Friday from sunrise until 3 p.m. and Saturday from sunrise until 12 p.m. A person may catch oysters for noncommercial purposes only by hand, rake, shaft tong, or diving with or without scuba equipment.

St. Mary’s County - On Tuesday, January 30, at 11:30 a.m., NRP officers charged Zachary W. Seaman, 23, of Cambridge with exceeding the oyster daily catch limit. NRP stopped Seaman near Cedar Point at the mouth of the Patuxent River after receiving a report of possible illegal oyster dredging in the area. Seaman was cited for having 10 bushels of oysters over the limit.

The commercial oyster season for power dredge runs through March 30 in designated areas of Calvert, Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary's and Talbot counties, Monday through Friday from sunrise to 3 p.m., with a limit of 12 bushels per licensee and not to exceed 24 bushels per boat. A specialized permit is required to legally operate a power dredge in Maryland waters.

Queen Anne’s County - On Thursday, February 8, Casper Thomas Hendricks Jr., 48, of Sudlersville was found guilty in Queen Anne’s County District Court of soliciting as a tree expert without a license.

Charges were filed by the NRP last November after receiving a complaint from a concerned citizen that Hendricks was in the Chestertown area performing tree services. Maryland Forest Service records confirmed that Hendricks had no license for his business, C & H Landscaping. State law prohibits a person from soliciting, advertising, or representing himself or herself to the public as a tree expert, or assuming to practice as a tree expert without having received a license. He was fined $400 plus court costs.

Cecil County - On Thursday, February 8, NRP charged Susan S. Archibald, 49, of Elkton with operating a vessel in a negligent manner; operating a vessel in a reckless manner; operating a vessel and towing a person on skis or similar device without an observer; operating a personal watercraft (PWC) in excess of 6 knots within 100 feet of a pier; operating a vessel towing a person on skis or similar device within 100 feet of a pier; and giving a person permission to operate a PWC who has not met the requirements of Natural Resources Article, §8-712.2.

These charges stem from the NRP’s investigation of a tubing accident that occurred last September, involving a PWC on the Elk River, south of Elkton. A 16-year-old boy from Elkton was being towed on a tube by a PWC operated by Archibald when he collided with the floating pier located at 55 Knollwood Road. The youth was flown to the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center with serious injuries. Archibald has an April 25 trial date scheduled in Cecil County District Court.

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