2012 Activity Report Deal Island Facility


The Deal Island Facility, located on the shore of Tangier Sound in Somerset County, is the home port of the R/V Miss Kay, MDNR's 48' oyster survey vessel. In addition, the facility is the base of operations for the State's oyster shell supply project, which provides shell to oyster hatcheries and lesser facilities for oyster restoration and aquaculture efforts. Offices have been provided to the Natural Resources Police for their regional field patrol staff. More recently, remote oyster setting tanks have been installed and are maintained by the Deal Island staff to support the nascent aquaculture industry and various research projects, and an NRP vessel monitoring tower is to be constructed on the property. The facility is managed by Dave White, who is also captain of the R/V Miss Kay and is responsible for running the shell project.

During calendar year 2012 the staff at this facility completed or participated in the following projects:


Oyster Shell Transport

  • Deal Island (D.I.) staff transported 71,375 bushels (~180 truckloads) from Crisfield Stockpile to Horn Point Hatchery, Cambridge for the ORP/Univ. of Md. oyster propagation project.
  • D.I. staff transported 3,700 bushels of shell to Piney Point Hatchery (23,525 bushels were transported by Chuck Stence crew using Deal Island Facility vehicles and equipment); a total of 27,225 bushels (~70 truckloads) were transported from Grasonville Stockpile to Piney Point Hatchery.
  • D.I. staff transported 1,250 bushels of shell to Shady Side Discovery Center for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Metompkin Fresh Shell Acquisitions

Removed fresh oyster shells every Friday during oyster season from CW Howeth/Metompkin Seafood Companies to Crisfield Stockpile for aging. Quantities vary from 2,000 to 5,000 bushels per week depending on quantity of oysters shucked each week. A total of 36,500 bushels (~90 truckloads) of shell were purchased and transported from C.W. Howeth/Metompkin Seafood, Crisfield, Md. to the Crisfield stockpile for aging.

Indian Repatriation Sites

Provided oyster shells from Crisfield and Grasonville stockpiles for Indian burial rites repatriation program per Gina Hunt request.



Annual Fall Baywide Oyster Survey

D.I. staff et al. conducted annual fall oyster bar survey in Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries.

Baseline Patent Tong Oyster Sanctuary Surveys

Conducted patent tong surveys in St. Mary's River, Severn River, Patuxent River, Chester River, Cox Creek, Tred Avon River and Manokin River.

Vibrio Research

D.I. staff participated in Univ. of Md. research project by obtaining oyster samples and conducting water quality analyses in Tangier Sound. This project involved obtaining said samples once per month during the winter months and twice per month during the summer period. This research concluded a four-year study August of 2012. Each sampling trip involved a three- to four-hour oyster and data gathering cruise aboard the R/V Miss Kay.

Potomac River Sustainable Oyster Fishery Project

Conducted patent tong oyster survey with Potomac River Fisheries Commission representative on board R/V Miss Kay at Ragged Point oyster bar, Potomac River.

Shell Reclamation Project

Conducted oyster study utilizing patent tongs on Mountain Point and Six-Foot Knoll shell borrow sites in the Upper Bay and Back Cove shell planting locations in Tangier Sound.

Blue Crab Project

Transported MDNR Blue Crab Project personnel to Smith Island for day-long meeting with island program participants.

R/V Miss Kay Annual "Railway" Haul-Out


 Drydocked R/V Miss Kay for scheduled maintenance and repairs. Modified vessel skeg for reduction of propeller cavitation, waxed vessel hull, cleaned bottom and painted same with anti-fouling paint, installed new safety bow railing pulpit, recoated all sub-surface metal works with "Prop-Speed" anti-fouling epoxy application, installed new fuel tank thru-hull vents, propeller reconditioned, pitch reset and new propeller drive shaft installed.


Hatchery Building Repairs

Completed total exterior painting of hatchery building and complete replacement of gable ends of said building. Said repairs involved the removal of deteriorated wood and structural support beams and installation of new beams and surface covering with sheets of T-111 exterior grade siding. All new surfaces were primed and painted for weather protection.

Hurricane Sandy Facility Repairs

Facility perimeter fence sections had to be replaced with new reinforced post positions and sand berm and bulkhead area refilled to secure fence posts properly. Tidal surge washed away much of adjacent shoreline material. Shoreline breakwater replaced utilizing front-end loader to reposition stone and cinderblock bulkhead/berm. Rebuild finger piers and loading wharf that were severely damaged by tidal surge. New galvanized lag bolts and washers utilized in reconstruction. Removed office trailer skirting damaged by tidal surge and solicited bids for replacement of skirting.

Electrical Repairs/Office

Retained electrical contractor to repair underground electric line break to restore power to office trailer facility.

Remote Setting Tanks, Pedestals

Repaired remote setting tank base pedestal platforms that were damaged after hurricane Sandy. Tanks were removed from bases as a result of tidal surge and wooden bases demolished. Repairs completed to existing bases salvaging most of original construction material. New fasteners utilized along with new metal corner braces for support. Tanks were again placed on pedestal bases, secured with new fasteners and leveled with oyster shell materials utilized as ground base under pedestal framework.

Remote Setting Tanks, Electric

Oversaw installation of new electrical underground service to remote setting tanks at Deal Island Facility.

Oyster Setting Experiment

Assisted Shellfish Division and MARI staff with comparison (oyster shell/clam shell) oyster spatset research experiment conducted in the remote setting tanks. Removed final sampling material from multiple cages and planted on beds in Manokin River.

Radar/Camera Tower

Meet with Tim Bowman, Maryland Natural Resources Police, four times throughout year to prepare and finalize location for tower installation at Deal Island Facility. Tower to be utilized for radar and camera installation for observation of surrounding waterway activity.

Ghost Pot Project

D.I. staff assisted ORP with Saturday delivery of dump service receptacles for disposal of derelict pots retrieved from the Bay waters and also provided our equipment front-end loader for loading and crushing debris removed from the Bay by the various boats involved in the project.

St. Mary's County Boat Ramps Project

Assisted MDNR Construction Engineering Division with sand and debris removal from public boat ramps near Rt. 301 bridge utilizing our dump service vehicles and front-end loader. Numerous loads of debris and sand were transported away from the public ramp and relocated at a pre-determined disposal site.

Employee Hiring

Conducted two new employee/candidate hiring procedures for the Deal Island Facility during 2012. This included position advertising for a full-time position to fill a vacancy after the resignation of the vessel mate in April and one seasonal contractual position, interviewing potential candidates, and the proper processing and training of "new hire" employees.

CPR / First Aid Training

Dave White and co-instructor Josh Henesy conducted two training programs during 2012: one in New Germany during the Fisheries Service Summit and one in Oxford certifying 51 staff personnel in National Safety Council CPR / First Aid course training.

Employee CDL Operators Permit

Assisted employee with obtaining proper class drivers license to operate dump service vehicles and pulling trailer with loader and equipment simultaneously. Accompany employee, as instructor, while operating Maryland State Highway Administration tractor trailer vehicle with learners permit. Accompanied employee on December 28, 2012 while operating said vehicle to the Maryland Motor-vehicle Administration for Class "A" drivers test. Employee successfully completed all tests and obtained proper class license for duty assignment within MDNR (Shell Transport Project).

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