ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland watermen say they are finding most of the oysters dead on bars above the Bay Bridge. They are blaming heavy rains this fall from Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene.

Josh Davidsburg, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, says teams are sampling oyster bars to determine a cause and could have some preliminary answers later this week.

Larry Simns, president of Maryland Watermen’s Association, says he suspects the heavy rains made the water too fresh for the oysters to survive. The heavy rains may also have led to lower oxygen levels in the water or buried oysters in sediment.

Eastport waterman Pat Mahoney says many watermen are switching over to late-season crabbing or fishing, while some are heading south to saltier waters.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (2)
  1. Deft says:

    Oysters are critical to filtering the Bay. This is not good.

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