The MDDNR Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review Committee (AELR) has approved a two week extension to the commercial oyster season effective immediately. This emergency regulation action extends the oyster season through Tuesday, April 14, 2015. This action was requested due to heavy icing experienced throughout the Bay over the course of this winter that has resulted in a significant number of commercial oyster harvesters being unable to engage in the fishery. The extension of the season allows these harvesters to make up for lost time.
These regulations amend the season end date from March 31 to April 14 and prohibit the possession of crabs on a vessel engaged in the commercial oyster fishery. The prohibition of crabs on board oyster boats is due to enforcement concerns regarding the use of oyster gear that may interact with crabs. By prohibiting the possession of crabs on board vessels engaged in the oyster fishery, these enforcement concerns are alleviated.