A 26-year-old Dorchester County man caught allegedly poaching oysters for the third time. Police say he had 152 bushels of oysters on his skipjack, up to 30 percent of them under the state size limit.
Dorchester County waterman James A. Horseman was dredging away on an early February Sunday and had 152 bushels of oysters to unload when he pulled into Tedious Creek in Toddville, Maryland.
Before he could dock and unload, Maryland Natural Resources Police stopped and boarded his skipjack. Finding what they thought were a lot of undersized oysters, the officers called for back-up.
The officers went through all 152 bushels and measured each oyster.
“The bushels ranged from 8 percent to 30 percent under the state minimum of 3 inches,” according to the MNR police.
They took pictures and dropped all the undersized oyster back into state waters so the sub-adult oysters can continue growing
James Alexander Horseman of Madison, Maryland, has been charged with 146 counts of harvesting undersized oysters. Additional charges are pending. He goes to trial in April and, if convicted, may owe the state up to $146,000.
The 26-year-old waterman has been convicted twice before for harvesting oysters that were too young — in 2013 and in 2015.