Shellfish Related Programs

DNR Harvest Reserve Areas - Ten oyster harvest reserve areas eliminated as of January 7, 2016

The county oyster committees requested that the Department remove several Harvest Reserve Areas (HRA's) from regulation. HRA's were developed in consultation with the oyster industry and are commercial areas that are harvested on a rotational basis. The ten areas were no longer functioning as originally designed so the industry and DNR agreed to remove these sites from HRA status. Buoys may or may not be in place. Oyster harvest can now occur at these ten sites.This notice comes with no guarantee of harvest potential. Two reserves (Evans and Bramleigh Creek) remain in effect and will remain closed until further notice.

See our coordinates and maps for the locations of the ten eliminated reserves. All other regulations including gear restrictions for the areas apply.

COMAR document describing HRA elimination.

Commercial Fishing

Resources for watermen about the public oyster fishery.

Oyster Gardening Registration

Oyster gardeners and growers are now required to register with the Department of Natural Resources. The registration process begins February 1, 2013 and can be completed using an online form. Details regarding this registration requirement are available in a Fact Sheet on Oyster Gardening.

Shell Recycling Alliance​​​​