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DNR announces 3 Oyster Bars Closed on 1st day of oyster season

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DNR announces 3 Oyster Bars Closed on 1st day of oyster season

Old 10-02-2019, 07:51 AM
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Default DNR announces 3 Oyster Bars Closed on 1st day of oyster season

So the DNR announced yesterday that they are closing 3 oyster bars down to protect spats effective Oct 4th. https://dnr.maryland.gov/Fisheries/P...b_Notices.aspx They claim to protect the spats that were planted there. I am commercial, but I don't oyster. I still consider this BS.

1) There are spats on every oyster bar. That is how oysters build an oyster bar.
2) Why did the oyster committees plant spats on the oyster bars knowing that these bars were open to be oystered. Just so they could close them?
3) How can the oyster committee prove the spats are one they planted compared to natural spats that are always there naturally?

This means that the men that would have worked these 3 bars will have to move to the few remaining bars left, which will further increase the pressure on these other bars. This would be like me entering a state park any throwing out grass seed, and then getting the state to close the park to all people to protect the grass seed I threw out. Does not make much sense.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:56 PM
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Does anything this state do that makes any sense lol
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BigLiar View Post
So the DNR announced yesterday that they are closing 3 oyster bars down to protect spats effective Oct 4th. https://dnr.maryland.gov/Fisheries/P...b_Notices.aspx They claim to protect the spats that were planted there. I am commercial, but I don't oyster. I still consider this BS.

1) There are spats on every oyster bar. That is how oysters build an oyster bar.
2) Why did the oyster committees plant spats on the oyster bars knowing that these bars were open to be oystered. Just so they could close them?
3) How can the oyster committee prove the spats are one they planted compared to natural spats that are always there naturally?

This means that the men that would have worked these 3 bars will have to move to the few remaining bars left, which will further increase the pressure on these other bars. This would be like me entering a state park any throwing out grass seed, and then getting the state to close the park to all people to protect the grass seed I threw out. Does not make much sense.
spoke to an oysterman/waterman last year at work and he had told me the entire fleet was basically working a 1 mile square area at that time because DNR had shut down everything basically. Said it hardly makes sense to oyster now financially, driving his truck over 1 hour to the boat, run the boat X amount of time, work X amount of hours for 4-6 bushel of oysters at what 40$ bush off the boat? He also told me stories about tracking devices found in oystermen's boats that liked to "venture" into other areas lol
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:22 AM
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Oyster-men have been raping the Chesapeake bay for years...time to give the oysters a break. OBTW...commercial watermen don't "own" the bay's resources...although they act like the "bay" owes them a living...Go figure???
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
Oyster-men have been raping the Chesapeake bay for years...time to give the oysters a break. OBTW...commercial watermen don't "own" the bay's resources...although they act like the "bay" owes them a living...Go figure???
Wow. Can you please enlighten us on your expertise that led you to this conclusion? Do you tend to lump together other groups of people the same way by race, gender, etc.. with the same negative paint brush?
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
Oyster-men have been raping the Chesapeake bay for years...time to give the oysters a break. OBTW...commercial watermen don't "own" the bay's resources...although they act like the "bay" owes them a living...Go figure???
Seems like he lumped all of these people into one group, which they are all "oystermen/watermen". No reason to pretend he is racist also.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:19 PM
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Ok...Reading books on watermen activities in the bay, going to maritime museums, Oyster wars (oyster police) after the civil war, photos of "wall to wall" oyster boats in 1927 at the month of the Patuxent river, personally watching an oyster bar being decimated with over 14 commercial oyster boats for two years straight (about a 1/2 mile from my house) ..the oyster bar never came back...neither did the watermen...personally raising oysters at my pier for many years...discussions with Chesapeake bay biological scientists (at Solomon's Island MD) regarding oyster sustainability/over-harvesting/disease management..etc. Commercial watermen over-harvesting of marine resources that they "do not own" is nothing new and not just a Chesapeake bay issue.
Commercial watermen that harvest state resources are the rapists I'm talking about...now if a commercial watermen chooses to harvest oysters that they raise (and pay for) themselves through aquaculture...they are not rapists...they are farmers...big difference...
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:30 PM
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Honestly its not worth it, there is no way they can compete with all of the oyster farming going on. The oystermen would be better off getting a job at one of the many farms.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
Ok...Reading books on watermen activities in the bay, going to maritime museums, Oyster wars (oyster police) after the civil war, photos of "wall to wall" oyster boats in 1927 at the month of the Patuxent river, personally watching an oyster bar being decimated with over 14 commercial oyster boats for two years straight (about a 1/2 mile from my house) ..the oyster bar never came back...neither did the watermen...personally raising oysters at my pier for many years...discussions with Chesapeake bay biological scientists (at Solomon's Island MD) regarding oyster sustainability/over-harvesting/disease management..etc. Commercial watermen over-harvesting of marine resources that they "do not own" is nothing new and not just a Chesapeake bay issue.
Commercial watermen that harvest state resources are the rapists I'm talking about...now if a commercial watermen chooses to harvest oysters that they raise (and pay for) themselves through aquaculture...they are not rapists...they are farmers...big difference...
definitely agree with you here, helped my nephew write a big paper on the history of the Chesapeake bay oysters etc.

I think cutting off OMEGA from the overharvesting of the menhaden, and letting some oysters populate would do HUGE things for the bay and its health. Meanwhile "Omega Protein abruptly announced it will summarily disregard the harvest cap that was established through a legitimate management action of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission" and continues fishing
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Last edited by slickcav; 10-04-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:12 PM
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So at least now I know a little about your viewpoint.. Thank you as it clears up some things for me. Like I said, I don't oyster. I could, but don't. So in my opinion, I don't think a person that pays the license fee - follows all the rules set before them - accounts for every bushel harvested - should be called a rapist. I grew up farming, so I have plenty of experience in this field of work as well. I do crab and fish commercially. I'm guessing that you consider me a rapist as well. Why stop there? Would not every person that fishes or crabs recreational be lumped in this group as well as per your definition?
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:24 PM
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OK...lets talk reality...anyone can become a recreational fisherman...pay a license fee...and immediately get your license to fish/crab with drastically lower limits than a commercial waterman....

Ok...lets say someone wants to become a commercial waterman...talk to the MD DNR...I did...and find out what it takes to become a commercial waterman...first thing that the DNR will say is that there are "no more commercial licenses available"...if you want one, you can be put on a waiting list (for a fee)...when someone gives up their license, that license becomes available…I was told the wait was about 15-20yrs...no kidding...

The obvious question is why does the MD DNR not let anyone who wants to get a commercial license get one? The answer is that there are too many commercial waterman for the amount of resources...the DNR even said that they would like to reduce the number of commercial licenses, but it was politically sensitive...

So...do I think a recreational fisherman is a rapist too?....when a recreational fisherman can only use two crab pots off their private pier for crabs, and the commercial crabber can drop hundreds of traps in the bay...I'd say recreational crabbers are NOT the rapists of the bay...when I travel along the shipping channel and see commercial pound nets every couple of miles indiscriminately catch anything that's unlucky enough to swim into it...It's clear to me who's raping the bay...

And...like I said...I don't consider farmers rapists...they have to "plant" before they "harvest"...

So you do not even think that the [COLOR=left=#222222]"Omega Protein" [/COLOR] company is raping the bay?
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:37 PM
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I assumed they were established to help clean the Bay, not necessarily for harvest. Hope would be that one day there would sufficient quantity to maintain a healthy bay as well as provide food and jobs.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
OK...lets talk reality...anyone can become a recreational fisherman...pay a license fee...and immediately get your license to fish/crab with drastically lower limits than a commercial waterman....

Ok...lets say someone wants to become a commercial waterman...talk to the MD DNR...I did...and find out what it takes to become a commercial waterman...first thing that the DNR will say is that there are "no more commercial licenses available"...if you want one, you can be put on a waiting list (for a fee)...when someone gives up their license, that license becomes available…I was told the wait was about 15-20yrs...no kidding...

The obvious question is why does the MD DNR not let anyone who wants to get a commercial license get one? The answer is that there are too many commercial waterman for the amount of resources...the DNR even said that they would like to reduce the number of commercial licenses, but it was politically sensitive...

So...do I think a recreational fisherman is a rapist too?....when a recreational fisherman can only use two crab pots off their private pier for crabs, and the commercial crabber can drop hundreds of traps in the bay...I'd say recreational crabbers are NOT the rapists of the bay...when I travel along the shipping channel and see commercial pound nets every couple of miles indiscriminately catch anything that's unlucky enough to swim into it...It's clear to me who's raping the bay...

And...like I said...I don't consider farmers rapists...they have to "plant" before they "harvest"...

So you do not even think that the [color=left=#222222]"Omega Protein" [/color] company is raping the bay?
I feel you are incorrect on your first point. Anyone can become a commercial watermen. Just like I did when I purchased my commercial license from someone who was retiring, I see other license up for sale all year long. You too could invest in starting up your own business.

To your second point. Pound net sites have to be approved by the DNR and have tight regulations for use. They contain the fish until the fishermen scoop out what has been caught. Similar to a crab pot.

3. Watermen are allowed more gear in order to catch enough to feed the public who don't crab or fish. I'm not sure you would want every person that eats seafood to be out on the bay with you. It would get a little more crowded.

4. Growing up we had 3 farms that included cattle, poultry, grain, and truck farming. I admit that seed and baby chickens were purchased, but only the initial cattle were purchased. Every year calves were born to replenish the stock, not purchased. We fed the cattle in the winter time, but they fed in the pasture during the spring, summer, and fall. I still consider that the beef that was harvested was for the public good, just like wild seafood provides for the public. In both seafood and farming, substantial investment is made in equipment.

I think my issue with your initial statement is your apparent resentment against me and all other commercial watermen. I hold no ill will toward you or any other recreational person on the water. I actually applaud you if you are raising oysters. Good for you. I don't think you could find one recreational person that has encountered me on the water that would have anything negative to say about me. I don't like it when a group has an apparent disdain for another group and tries to dictate what the other group does, because it differs from what they are doing. Just like I don't agree with someone wanted to take away my hunting weapons, because they don't like guns. I see this as a direct comparison to what I view as your post here.



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Old 10-08-2019, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
Ok...Reading books on watermen activities in the bay, going to maritime museums, Oyster wars (oyster police) after the civil war, photos of "wall to wall" oyster boats in 1927 at the month of the Patuxent river, personally watching an oyster bar being decimated with over 14 commercial oyster boats for two years straight (about a 1/2 mile from my house) ..the oyster bar never came back...neither did the watermen...personally raising oysters at my pier for many years...discussions with Chesapeake bay biological scientists (at Solomon's Island MD) regarding oyster sustainability/over-harvesting/disease management..etc. Commercial watermen over-harvesting of marine resources that they "do not own" is nothing new and not just a Chesapeake bay issue.
Commercial watermen that harvest state resources are the rapists I'm talking about...now if a commercial watermen chooses to harvest oysters that they raise (and pay for) themselves through aquaculture...they are not rapists...they are farmers...big difference...
You make some good points, but it's not so easy to effect positive change when you start by telling folks how depraved they are.


Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
The obvious question is why does the MD DNR not let anyone who wants to get a commercial license get one? The answer is that there are too many commercial waterman for the amount of resources...the DNR even said that they would like to reduce the number of commercial licenses, but it was politically sensitive...
Could be politically sensitive because watermen are often doing that work because they've got a boat (maybe inherited), it's what they know how to do, it's their livelihood, other jobs don't seem any better, etc.... and many governmentally-mandated alternatives available to DNR aren't all that attractive. Imagine if you're told "You can't do (your) work anymore, deal with it. Starting tomorrow.."

And then piling blame, scorn, etc. on folks who are between a rock and a hard place doesn't advance helpful solutions.

I suspect there are less-onerous options. Maybe gradually retiring licenses as individual watermen retire? Maybe subsidizing oystermen into oyster farming? Maybe (other) job training initiatives? Maybe a boat buy-back (resell to the recreational market)? Maybe punitive taxes, to consumers, on oysters or rock fish harvest? Probably other ideas... but my thoughts are about generating alternatives that would potentially improve the Bay without at the same time immediately hosing folks who earn a living from it.

-Chris
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:13 AM
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For some reason, that makes no sense to me, there is sentiment that the "general public" owes watermen a living on the water. That public resources must be reallocated to ensure that these watermen can continue to make a living on the water, despite that damage that they cause to "public waters"...i.e. overharvesting menhaden...flattening out the mountains of oysters that used to be in the bay due to destructive oyster harvesting methods of the past...etc.
Many other people loose jobs all of the time, industries close down, and hardly anyone takes notice. But prevent a watermen from working the bay for environmental reasons?...that just can't happen!!! There needs to be a reality check sometime soon...
Since the state is already subsidizing watermen by seeding oyster bars so that the watermen can harvest oysters, I'm all for the state paying watermen not to exploit the bay anymore. Turn in their licenses and pay the watermen (for years) for the amount of income that they made from watermen activities. The amount of money/subsidy could be verified by past tax returns. So, the watermen get paid and the bay gets a chance to recover...
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:01 PM
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I'll agree that something needs to be done with the oysters, but collapsing the watermans communities is an objectionable option for me.
As aquaculture becomes more the norm, I think we'll see a transition from the wild caught, or at least an easing of the strain on the wild oyster population. But one problem is that the regulatory process hasn't caught up to the burgeoning industry, and this will lead to another set of problems such as wealthy entrepreneurs buying up the oyster leases at a rapid rate, squeezing the watermen out of the opportunity. This is already happening. And then there's the user group conflicts that will come along with cage operations.
It's going to take a concerted effort to train watermen to think on a larger scale in terms of business, rather than the fiercely independent mindset that has been instilled for generations. Their families have been making their living with just their boats and their backs since before boats had engine beds.
The notion of seeing these quiet, centuries old watermans' communities disappear is deeply troubling to me, and I think they're worth fighting for. And not as second homes and VRBO rentals...

And the general sentiment that the general public owes the watermen a living seems a bit off to me, as most watermen I know (and I know a lot) see the exploding coastal population as having significant negative impact on the well being of many aquatic species. Which is true. Have you heard about the upcoming rockfish reg changes? That's a recreational fishery problem that the watermen will have to take a beating for. If you look at who has blown completely past their quota in recent years, it isn't the watermen. It was us. And even when the big net busts happened, the overage was docked from the watermans quota for the next year. We, the recreational angler, completely smashed our rock quota in '06-'07 (I think it was), and here we are facing reductions we brought on ourselves and many people still want to point at the watermen.
And as far as oysters go, silting over is also a huge problem and we need not look any further than the Conowingo and all the bars its runoff has killed.. So the general sentiment in the watermans communities is that the burden of responsibilities is shared, which is also true.
It's easy for us to shout down the watermen from atop our blacktop driveways...

With regards to the poundnets, their impact on the menhaden fishery pales in comparison to Omega. Also, take them away and you'll hobble the crab industry as that's what baits the pots. Or should that fishery be recreational only as well?
How about no commercial fishing of anything? Ever. Because that's the only thing that will make some people happy..
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MUZBFISH View Post
For some reason, that makes no sense to me, there is sentiment that the "general public" owes watermen a living on the water.
Can't tell who you're responding to; who said that?

-Chris
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