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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 508   View pdf image (33K)
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608 State Papers and Addresses

Under the law, the commander of the fishery force of the Commission, the
deputy commanders, inspectors, and other employees assigned to law-enforce-
ment duties, have all the powers conferred upon police officers and constables
of the State and these powers may -be exercised anywhere within the State.

The Commission is charged with the inspection of fish, crabs, terrapin,
oysters, clams and other shell fish, caught or sold in the State, and has the
special duty of enforcing the cull laws and other protective measures. For in-
stance, its inspectors are constantly examining oyster catches on the boats of
tongers and dredgers, as well as on the wharves of the packers, to see that the
legal provisions as to under-sized oysters are not violated. Unless this were
lone, conscientiously and effectively, experience has proven that so many small
oysters would be taken out of the Bay before they ever had a chance to mature,
that the yield of future years would be cut down appreciably.

During the Administration, marked improvement has been effected with
respect to the handling of our oyster problems. Effective enforcement of the
three-inch cull law has resulted not only in protecting the future supply but in
a marked improvement in the quality of Maryland oysters offered to the con-
suming public. This improvement has been reflected in a very considerable in-
crease in the demand and in a much higher return to the oystermen in every
section of our tidewater. -

Looking to our future supply of oysters, an improved program of manage-
ment has been developed, including the rotation of areas open for dredging in
the bay and careful control over the extensive shell planting operations. Recent
legislation, based upon the recommendation of the Commission, likewise pro-
vides a sound basis for optimism regarding the future of our Maryland oyster

With respect to our fishery problems in the Chesapeake, I think there is
also reason for optimism, when we consider the measures which were coopera-
tively developed with the representatives of the commercial fishing interests
and enacted into law at the last session of our General Assembly. This legisla-
tion is regarded by the officials of the U. S. Fish and Wild Life Service as
marking a very definite step forward in the management of our Atlantic Coast

The Commission of Tidewater Fisheries also participated in the develop-
ment of the Atlantic Coast Marine Fisheries Compact which this State, along
with six others, has adopted. It is felt that this compact will be the means for
improving greatly the fishing in Maryland.

Hatching efforts have been intensified, particularly in connection with
yellow perch, with the result that about 300, 000, 000 fry were released in 1941,
in the streams of Maryland. Shad also have been hatched in considerable

A most interesting development in the commercial fisheries field transpired
within the past several weeks when, at the invitation of the Maryland and
Virginia Tidewater Fisheries Commission, the United States Fish and Wild
Life Service agreed to undertake a study of the Chesapeake crab industry.

This is an instance where history is repeating itself, for in a similar situa-


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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 508   View pdf image (33K)
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