News from the DNR Office of Communications

Somerset County Watermen Charged With Oyster Violations

Deal Island, Maryland (December 6, 2010) - On December 3, 2010 at 9:30 a.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged Patrick Barlet Murphy, 48, and Glenn Marshall Foster, 27, both from Tilghman, with catching oysters on a sanctuary and possession of unculled and undersize oysters.

An NRP officer aboard the patrol boat Worcester spotted the commercial fishing vessel, the Azelyn Leslie, dredging for oysters in the marked Tangier Sound Oyster Sanctuary at 8:30 a.m. The sanctuary is located about six miles north of Crisfield in Tangier Sound. Strong winds of 20 knots and three to four-foot seas prevented the NRP officers from boarding the vessel of the suspected poachers on the oyster bar; the Azelyn Leslie was escorted to Deal Island for safe boarding and inspection.

Upon inspection, officers found 15.5 bushels of oysters on the vessel; 10 percent were found to be unculled and undersize. The oysters were seized and returned to the oyster sanctuary.

A court date of February 17, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. has been set for the District Court of Maryland in Somerset County.

  December 6, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at