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Maryland Manual, 1931
Volume 148, Page 53   View pdf image (33K)
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methods will have been determined by the experience of the Department
in the last few years.

it was not until 1927 that any constructive legislation was passed
to take care of the natural oyster bars. Funds for the rehabilitation of
these bars, in order that they may once more become productive, were
provided for at this session of the General Assembly, utilizing the gas-
oline tax on work boats, supplemented by a twenty thousand dollar
appropriation for shell planting. The Conservation Department in
carrying out this act, has been able to plant approximately three quart-
ers of a million bushels of shells and seed oysters a year.

It is believed that the production from the oyster bars will show a
marked increase in the next two years. (The annual reports of the
Conservation Department, which are available on application, give in
detail where oyster shell plantings have been made annually.)

1930 was a banner year as far as the catch of spat was concerned.
The catch was not only on shells planted during the spring of that year,
but it was also on those planted in years previous. Some sections of
the State were very urgent during the last session of the General As-
sembly to close a number of rocks against the taking of oysters this
coming year in order to give the young oysters a chance to mature. For
instance, a bill to close Tangier Sound entirely against scraping was
proposed but in view of the fact that dredging and scraping were cur-
tailed in other sections of the State, this bill was withdrawn by its

The longing grounds abound with young oysters and reports are
continually coming in that the dredging rocks in the Bay are showing
up well. Conditions throughout the State waters, as far as oysters are
concerned, make it very much easier for the Department to advocate
legislation and further conserve the oysters and the Legislature of 1931
is almost a record one insofar as the enactment of conservation laws is

Below may be found a summary of the legislation passed in 1931.


The principal laws passed regarding oysters are as follows:
I..Chapter 517 closed the Potomac River against the use of dredges
or any similar instrument for the taking of oysters. This law had
already been passed by the State of Virginia and the Governor of Mary-
land is about to proclaim the Maryland law to be in effect.

This river will be closed against dredging by either State for at least
two years or until the next Legislature convenes, at which time the
advisability of keeping it closed longer will be determined.

This work was the result of a survey of the Potomac River, which
was authorized by the Legislature of 1929 under Joint Resolution No.

2..Scraping for oysters in the greater part of the Great Choptank
River is now prohibited due to the oystermen of Talbot and Dorchester
Counties getting together on this measure. In addition to curtailing
scraping in this river, there were further conservation measures passed
which reduced the length of oyster tong shafts to 27 feet and the weight
of scrapes to 70 pounds in those waters where scraping is still permitted.
The Choptank River being closed, most of the oystermen of lower
Dorchester County deemed it necessary to close Honga River against
scraping. Consequently Honga River and Tar Bay were also closed
against this method of catching oysters.


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Maryland Manual, 1931
Volume 148, Page 53   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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