News from the DNR Office of Communications

Watermen Charged For Dredging In Illegal Area

Annapolis, Md. (January 21, 2011) – On January 19, 2011, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged two Dorchester County watermen with illegally power dredging for oysters in Fishing Bay.

On December 31, 2010, NRP officers observed two vessels, the Lauren Taylor II and the Mary Grace, power dredging for oysters in a restricted area. An officer aboard an NRP patrol boat ordered the vessels to stop dredging in the restricted area. The officer attempted to obtain license and identification from the occupants of the vessels.

The captain of the Lauren Taylor II, Gary Wayne Taylor, 42 of Toadville, attempted to leave the area after he was asked for his oyster license and identification. Taylor was repeatedly ordered to stop his vessel, however he did not. The Lauren Taylor II was later found tied to a dock in Farm Creek in Dorchester County.

The officer was able to obtain the required information from the captain of the Mary Grace, Jason Bernard Spencer, 34 of Wingate.

Both Spencer and Hayden are charged with power dredging for oysters in a hand tonging area. Hayden is also charged with obstructing and hindering a police officer, failing to obey a lawful order and failure to have a tidal fish license available for inspection. A trial has been set for March 14, 2011 in the District Court of Maryland for Dorchester County.

  January 21, 2011

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at Learn more at