Shellfish Related Programs

Ecological Restoration

Working closely with our partners to rehabilitate degraded habitat, improved bar quality and to plant disease-free hatchery oysters

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Helping individuals or business persons apply for leases

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Commercial Fishing

Provide resources to watermen about the public oyster fishery

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Monitoring and Assessment

Collecting data to guide decisions regarding protection, restoration and commercial harvest of oysters in Maryland.

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Citizen Outreach

Initiated in 2008, the citizen outreach program know as Marylanders Grow Oysters is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the University of Maryland and local organizations.

Latest Shellfish News
Two Watermen Charged with Harvesting Oysters in a Sanctuary | (3/31/2014)
Maryland Natural Resources Police officers charged two Somerset County watermen Thursday afternoon with illegally harvesting oysters from a State sanctuary. "I want to commend the leadership at DNR and NRP for developing a successful enforcement strategy that...

Eastern Shore Waterman Charged with Oyster Poaching for the Fifth Time | (3/25/2014)
The Maryland Natural Resources Police last Friday charged two watermen with violating the State's oyster laws in Talbot County. Benjamin Leonard Reihl, 26, of Chestertown was charged with eight counts of possession of undersized oysters, marking the fifth tim...

NRP Charges Crisfield Waterman with Seven Oyster Violations | (3/24/2014)
The Maryland Natural Resources Police charged a Crisfield waterman on Thursday afternoon with possession of seven bushels of undersized oysters. “On the water, from the air and on land, NRP officers are making it clear that oyster poaching will not be t...

NRP Charges Two Watermen with Harvesting Oysters from a Sanctuary | (3/21/2014)
The Maryland Natural Resources Police charged two Crisfield watermen this morning with harvesting oysters from a Tangier Sound Oyster Sanctuary in Somerset County. "The oyster season is winding down, but our enforcement efforts are not," said Governor M...

Oyster Poachers Found Guilty with Help of New Radar Network | (3/12/2014)
In the first major courtroom test of the Maryland Natural Resources Police's newest enforcement tool, two Somerset County watermen were found guilty Monday of harvesting oysters from a State sanctuary. Officers used the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Ne...

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  • Dates have been set for four public hearings on the proposed regulations submitted in May as part of the implementation of the Governor's Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan. Read more.
  • The Shellfish Program is holding elections for county oyster committee representatives. Please review the public notice for further details on voting.
  • As announced at the June 3rd Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) program is once again expanding to include seven new tributaries in its oyster gardening network for 2010. The new tributaries, located on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in AnneArundelCounty, are: the Chester River, the Miles River, the Wye River, Bodkin Creek, Cox Creek, Harris Creek and Swan Creek. MGO oysters grown during the 2009-10 season are currently being retrieved for placement in sanctuaries and cages will be refilled with new spat on shell later this summer.
  • MSU's Estuarine Research Center dedicates new oyster hatchery at ERC - Morgan State University's Estuarine Research Center (ERC) unveils its new oyster hatchery on Monday, May 3, 2010, Click here for full story.
  • The Oyster Recovery Partnership recently launched Maryland's first Oyster Shell Recycling Alliance. Oyster shell is a limited resource that should not be thrown away. Reused oyster shell provides crucial natural habitat for new oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Click here to learn more.