Before going out recreational oystering it is important to be aware of places in your area which are closed to shellfishing. The Department of Natural Resources has closures like Sanctuaries and Reserves which are used to protect oyster restoration areas or areas with industry investment, respectively. The Maryland Department of the Environment has Restricted and Conditional areas which can be closed due to pollution.
To find if there are any department closures in your area, you should check the State of Maryland Shellfish Closure Area book. The book has maps and coordinates for the Sanctuary and Reserve areas. The book also shows the boundaries of the historic oyster bars and can help you locate possible areas to find oysters in. TheShellfish Closure Area book is available online.
For more information on eastern oysters and their management, please contact Chris Judy or Eric Campbell.
Illustration is from a 1902 Colorlitho by S.F. Denton.
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