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Poacher Loses Commercial License, Cited for Additional Oyster Violations

Adam AntesA Wicomico County waterman convicted of multiple oyster poaching violations has been permanently banned from commercially fishing in Maryland waters by an administrative law judge.

Adam Rodney Antes, 33, of Tyaskin, was found guilty in district court over a two-year period of taking oysters from protected waters, overharvesting and harvesting undersized oysters. He was assessed 60 points on his tidal fishing license by the Department of Natural Resources, nearly double what is required to trigger the revocation hearing process.

Judge Michael Burns said the revocation, dated Jan. 15, “was reasonable” given the extent of Antes’s actions.

“The licensee’s transgressions endanger a unique Maryland resource,” Burns wrote in his decision. “I can find no reason not to uphold the rational decision of the DNR [Maryland Department of Natural Resources] to revoke this licensee’s tidal fish license.”

On Jan. 11–just four days before Burns handed down the revocation—Antes was charged with eight new counts of oyster poaching by Natural Resources Police officers.

Acting on a tip, officers set up surveillance on the vessel, “Kimberly Dawn,” tied up near Bivalve Harbor in Wicomico County. Aboard they saw piles of oysters on the boat’s deck.

Antes admitted dredging oysters just outside the harbor the previous night.

Officers gathered the oysters in five bushel baskets and measured them, finding four bushels to contain 55 percent, 39 percent, 32 percent and 29 percent undersized oysters.

Antes was charged with four counts of harvesting undersized oysters, violating harvest hours, possessing oysters two hours after sunset/before sunrise, failing to cull oysters, and failing to tag oysters and place them in approved containers. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Antes is scheduled to appear in Wicomico District Court on April 5.