Md. DNR officers make oyster poaching arrest

Photo: AccessDNR via Flickr

(WJLA) - A Virginia truck driver is accused of attempting to transport oysters, many of them undersized, out of state.

Rhoderick J. Newman, 66, was arrested and charged Wednesday night by Maryland Natural Resources Police. His truck, owned by Cowart Seafood Corp., of Lottsburg, Va., is being held in an NRP impoundment lot.

The maximum fine for Newman's offense is $1,000 per bushel.

Acting on a tip, officers pulled Newman over on U.S. 50 in Easton, where they discovered 188 bushels of oysters in his truck. For six hours, officers and cadets measured every oyster. All but one of the bushels contained oysters below the legal minimum of three inches.

According to the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, the tractor-trailer load represents the daily limit of 16 oystermen power dredging and is worth over $8,000.

About 50 bushels of undersized oysters were returned to an Eastern Shore oyster sanctuary.

"When the season began, we promised to get the poachers from the air and from the water. Now, we are getting them on the highways and back roads and we're seizing their trucks," said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. "Our mission and message is simple: 'We will get you.'"