Watermen Charged with Oystering and Fishing Violations

ANNAPOLIS (Dec. 20, 2013)—The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) have charged two watermen in separate incidents with oystering and fishing violations in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

In Calvert County, a joint enforcement operation by NRP and the U.S. Coast Guard in the Patuxent River resulted Thursday in the charging of one waterman for oyster violations.

Harvey Thomas Bowers, 49, of Chestertown was charged with possessing a harvest in which nine percent of the oysters were under the legal minimum of 3 inches. He also received two warnings.

The incident happened just after 9:30 a.m. near the Solomons Navy Recreation Center during a patrol by NRP and the Coast Guard of waters in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

Bowers is scheduled to appear in Calvert District Court on March 10.

In St. Mary’s County, a Scotland waterman received 10 citations for multiple State and Potomac River Fisheries Commission violations after he was stopped by NRP officers on December 11 in Point Lookout State Park.

John Kenneth Courtney, 58, had 26 undersized striped bass and one undersized black drum when he was stopped in the park. He told officers he caught the fish—which were untagged—from the Potomac River. He provided a written statement that he took the striped bass without consent from the pound net owner.

After an investigation, Courtney was charged December 15 with catching undersized striped bass and a black drum, failing to tag commercially caught fish, and taking seafood from a commercial net without authorization.

If found guilty of all charges, he could face a maximum of $4,750 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Courtney is scheduled to appear March 6 in Leonardtown District Court.

Source: Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources

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