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Dorchester County Waterman Charged with 146 Counts of Poaching Oysters

James Alexander Horseman

James A. Horseman

A Dorchester County waterman, twice convicted of poaching oysters, was charged Friday with 146 counts of harvesting undersized oysters by the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

James Alexander Horseman, 26, of Madison, is scheduled for trial in Dorchester County District Court on April 4. If found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of $146,000.

Horseman was intercepted by officers Feb. 9 as he navigated his skipjack into Tedious Creek in Toddville to dock.

When officers checked the first of 152 bushels aboard the vessel and found them to be undersized, additional officers were called to the scene to measure the entire catch. The bushels ranged from 8 percent to 30 percent under the state minimum size of 3 inches.

All of the undersized oysters were seized and returned to state waters.

The Dorchester County State’s Attorney reviewed the investigation and prepared the charges against Horseman. Additional charges are pending.

Horseman was found guilty in Dorchester District Court of harvesting undersized oysters in 2013 and 2015.

More officers were called in to check the 152 bushels

Additional officers were called in to check the 152 bushels


  • dman278

    We need stiffer penalties for this crap. Put him in Jessup for a year or two.

  • Ronald G Miner Jr

    Just like all of the poachers that pose as Waterman he will get a slap on the wrist and will get to keep his gear and his license. If an non Waterman were to harvest a few undersized oysters they would have the book thrown at them. What really needs to happen is cases like this need to be tried in western Maryland where there is no corrupt influence on the jury and the judge.

  • jo jo

    The president of the water man’s assoc. Was multiple offender of poaching

  • Ebb

    Be nice to have some all oysters to eat instead of all these giant antiques on the market.

  • randomness lez

    Might be time to take this boy’s boat away.

  • Whipp

    I hope that the DNR starts cracking down on the crabbers as well. I saw so many under sized crabs last year it made me sick. I stopped buying them and I just caught my own. I also think that a limit needs to be set on the females. You cant get more crabs in the bay without them.

  • joeconsumer

    After two previous violations, it’s time to motivate him in the most severe way to never think about doing so again. For starters he should have a “lifetime” ban at this point to never be allowed to fish or hunt in MD for any reason with an automatic “go to jail card” if he does.

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