Robert T Brown Sr., Senator Hershey, Delegate JacobsJune 2018

The St. Mary’s County Oyster Committee agreed to 12 acres being designated at Gravely Run, known as Creams Pond in St. Mary’s River for a county seed area.  All counties will be permitted to join in this seed area.  A contract is being forward for any county wanting to provide shell for this area for seed.  At this writing there are no details of the contract, which will have to be approved.  There are questions that need to be answered: the projected cost for each county; the removal of oyster presently in that area; what would be the lowest count of seed to be removed; and what is a feasible cost per bushel versus counts of seed.  Also, with all the rain we’ve recently had and salinity being so low, is this the appropriate year to start this project?  Salinity should be a major factor when this project starts.  I’ll talk more about this in the months to come.

The crab report is out and a sustainable stock is predicted. The season has had a slow start, especially with the cold spring and some death of mature crabs.  By the rise in young crabs and for a later season harvest, hopefully the female crab bushel will remain intact for this season.  The Blue Crab Committee will discuss these matters at their meeting on June 13.  Salinity on St. Clements Bay was 3.2 on May 26, and the salinity all over the Chesapeake and tributaries is very low.

The commercial rockfish season starts June 1. However, the trophy season had a very slow start due to cold weather and water temperatures which keeps the spawning stock on spawning ground longer.  These grounds are closed during the spawning season.  With all the rain we should have a good spawn of Rockfish this season as the fresh water helps produce more zoo-plankton for juvenile fish to feed on.

The clammers have had a good set of razor clams. With more fishermen moving to clamming and low harvest of crabs, markets are way currently down to $45 from $50 a bushel last year.  Supply and demand!

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved black drum harvest for commercial harvest for 2019 season and are working on regulations over the next few months.  There will be more to come on this issue.

Don’t forget to continue to support of Sea Glass wine.  Sea Glass is holding a fund raiser for the Maryland Watermen Association which started in April and will run over the summer. During the promotion the MWA will receive $1 for every case of wine they sell. With seven wines to choose from (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé, And Cabernet Sauvignon), there is something for everyone. If you’ve never tried the brand before, now is the perfect time. They make excellent gifts, are well suited for summer barbeques.  Please support us by buying Sea Glass Wines.

The Annual Clay Shoot at Larry Bowling Clay Shoot on May 20 turned out to be a great day of fun and fellowship.  The weather was wonderful and the food was excellent.  All who came had a great time!  I would like to give Larry Bowling a big “Thank You” for another great event.

The Rock Hall Annual Rockfish Tournament will be June 8, 9 and 10. We hope you will come out and support this great event.  There will be many vendors and of course the MWA tent will have all the latest items for purchase.  If you’re in the area, please come out and enjoy this great event. Hopefully someone will finally catch one (or both) of our $20 thousand tagged rockfish.

 

Stay safe in your travels.

Robert T.

 

 

Top photograph courtesy of Jay Fleming

© Maryland Watermen’s Association, All Rights Reserved