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Posted at 4:14 PM ET, 01/16/2011

Panel: No Potomac oyster gardening

By The Associated Press

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission has decided it won't allow oyster farming along piers in the river.

Executive Secretary Kirby Carpenter told The Free Lance-Star that allowing so-called oyster gardening would be akin to leasing grounds to private growers. Carpenter said Virginia allows leasing Potomac oyster grounds, but not Maryland.

“We also have concerns about oyster gardening from the public health standpoint,” he said. “Studies have proved that the closer to shore that oysters are grown, the higher the coliform counts become and the greater the potential for sickness.” That could be a disaster he said. “It could result in the immediate closing of oyster grounds nearby and perhaps trigger the closure of a much larger area. It could be devastating to the industry.” The commission was created by Virginia and Maryland to oversee fishing in the Potomac.

Virginia and Maryland encourage oyster gardening in the bay to improve water quality and increase the number of oysters.

Colonial Beach resident Michael Wardman said he was shocked to find out he couldn't create an oyster garden at his dock in the river.

“I can't believe it. I've talked about it with a lot of people in Maryland and Virginia and they can't believe it either,” Wardman said.

By The Associated Press  | January 16, 2011; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, Virginia  
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A search of the WaPo archives should reveal a story about successful oyster aquaculture in Virginia tributaries to THE BAY; it all depends on HOW it is done.

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Posted by: brendasmithy17 | January 17, 2011 6:26 AM | Report abuse

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