NRP ramping up enforcement in air, on water
Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged two Rock Hall watermen Wednesday afternoon with harvesting 26 bushels of oysters—many of them undersized—from a Patuxent River sanctuary.
“Poaching oysters is a crime against law-abiding watermen and Maryland citizens and will not be tolerated,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “In this case, the public supplied information and the diligence of our officers paid off.”
Today, officers also charged two other watermen working on the Patuxent River with harvesting undersized oysters.
The actions came as law enforcement activities are ramping up for the six-month oyster season. NRP is using saturation patrols, aerial reconnaissance, and electronic and video surveillance to clamp down on illegal harvesting.
Acting on a tip Wednesday, officers from St. Mary’s and Calvert counties placed the sanctuary near Greenwell State Park under surveillance and saw two oyster boats in legal waters. When one boat departed, the other moved to the Neal Addition Oyster Sanctuary.
As a patrol boat approached, the watermen moved back to legal waters. Officers inspected two bushels and found undersized oysters. They escorted the boat to Solomons, where all 26 bushels were checked. More....