ANNAPOLIS (March 20, 2008) - The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) today released the following incident and arrest reports. NRP is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
ILLEGAL OYSTER HARVESTING: On Thursday, March 13, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged James O. Dickens Jr., 68, of St. Inigoes with harvesting oysters in an area closed by the Department of the Environment due to pollution and violating the noncommercial daily catch limit of oysters. Dickens was observed harvesting oysters in Molls Cove off of St. Inigoes Creek with two and three-quarter bushels of oysters in his possession. He was released on his signature.
A Maryland resident may take up to one bushel of oysters from October 1 through March 31, Monday through Friday from sunrise until 3 p.m. and Saturday from sunrise until 12 p.m. without obtaining a license, if the oysters are for his own use and consumption, and not for sale or marketing. A Maryland resident may catch oysters for noncommercial purposes only by hand, rake, shaft tong, or diving with or without scuba equipment.
POSSESSION OF UNDERSIZED OYSTERS: On Friday, March 14, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged Edward D. Hayden Jr., 42, of Secretary with possession of undersized oysters.
Hayden was harvesting oysters commercially in St. Inigoes Creek when NRP stopped and checked his catch. One bushel of oysters containing 7 percent undersized oysters was discovered onboard.
State law requires that after culling and placing oysters in the hold or bottom of a boat, a person's possession of oysters may not include a combined total of more than 5 percent of oysters which measure less than 3 inches from hinge to bill, and cultch consisting of shells, stones, gravel, and slag.