Fri08012014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Colonial Beach drinking water contamination determination to notify public lies with Health Department

On July 23, at 10:15 a.m., The Journal spoke with Bennett Ragnauth, Engineering Field Director from Vi...

Colonial Beach - Boil your water

Don't drink the water, until it is boiled

Public Works Director Rob Murphy said that E-Coli bacteria ...

Sales Tax Holiday Aug. 1-3

Back-to-School sales tax holiday for supplies, clothing and shoes

It’s the end of July, and while the...

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Parker Farms, headquartered near Oak Grove with 2,000 acres of produce growing along the Rappahannoc...

Ellie Caruthers is a Colonial Beach Treasure

Ellie Caruthers is a Colonial Beach Treasure

Residents and visitors to Colonial Beach often walk the shores of the Potomac or prowl the town’s an...

Newman returns to the Black and Gold

Newman returns to the Black and Gold

Colonial Beach School Board members are very excited to welcome back former CB Elementary School Pri...

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King George

SETTING

KG Board updates Tech Advisory committee

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The King George Board of Supervisors added another member to a planned Technology Advisory committee and also agreed to make a change in the groups’ charter.

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Colonial Beach boil water notice rescinded

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Colonial Beach residents were given the ‘all clear’ on July 25, after being notified 3 days earlier to boil all water before ingesting. The notice was ordered by the Health Department and delivered by...

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Westmoreland

SETTING

Montross council productive July meeting

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

On July 22, Montross Town Council quickly took care of electing officers for the new fiscal year. R. David O’Dell, Jr. will remain Mayor, and Joseph P. King remains the Vice Mayor.

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Sports

SETTING

Famed Virginia Major League Baseball catcher Foiles signs books at Colonial Beach

Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Famed Virginia Major League Baseball catcher Foiles signs books at Colonial Beach

Hank Foiles, a Virginia native who was a major league baseball all-star catcher for legendary pitchers Hoyt Wilhelm and Herb Score, will be present Thursday, July 31, at Colonial Beach’s Masonic Lodge...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

Jean Printz-Carr

Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Jean Printz-Carr

Jean Printz-Carr, 80, of Colonial Beach passed away on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

Survivors include her loving husband, David C. Carr; sons James David Printz, David B. Carr and Michael Carr (Vanessa); g...

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Columnists

SETTING

Local youth makes impressive showing at Jr. Nationals

Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Local youth makes impressive showing at Jr. Nationals

Wil Emory, 8 years old, is the son of Lucky and Becky Emory who operate Poplar Ridge Farm off Lambs Creek Church Road in King George. Wil Emory recently made the trek to Harrisburg to show two head of...

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Office-for-rent Jrnl Bldg 20130925

Marine Police target oyster poachers

Increased enforcement and toughened penalties aim to protect booming oyster stocks from unscrupulous thieves

Newport News — This year Virginia Marine Police will combat oyster theft by air, land and sea in an intensive effort to crush what has become an epidemic of poaching. The public oyster season is now open.


“We mean business. We will vigorously pursue anyone who violates the oyster regulations, and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Virginia Marine Police Chief Rick Lauderman.

“Stealing oysters from the public oyster grounds, private leased grounds or from oyster sanctuaries, in particular, will not be tolerated. Oyster poaching in Virginia will stop.”

A number of Marine Police Officers have been dedicated to search for oyster violations as their top priorities. An airplane will prowl the skies, patrolling for suspicious activity on both public and privately leased oyster grounds. Other techniques and equipment will be used, as well.

And the Virginia Marine Resources Commission comes armed to this fight with a renewed commitment to revoking violators’ commercial fishing licenses and with a new tool: Revocation of all saltwater fishing privileges, as allowed by a new state law that went into effect on July 1. The Marine Police is the Commission’s law enforcement division.

In fact, the Commission recently adopted new sanction guidelines that call for the revocation of commercial fishing licenses for even a single egregious offense. This is a tougher standard from prior guidelines, which called for a license suspension hearing on a third court conviction of fishery regulations within a calendar year.

Just last week, on Sept. 24, the Commission voted unanimously to revoke the fishing licenses of five commercial oyster harvesters who had pleaded guilty in criminal court to repeatedly harvesting more than their daily allowable bushel limits of oysters. Two of those five watermen saw their licenses revoked for a year, followed by a year of probation, and three were revoked for two years, which is the maximum allowed under current state law.

“Those who violate our oyster laws will face arrest, as well as the revocation of both their licenses and their right to fish in tidal waters,” said VMRC Commissioner Jack Travelstead. “They could be banned from any type of commercial fishing activity, even packing fish someone else caught. They’ll need another line of work for awhile. We anticipate a good oyster season this year, and law-abiding watermen should not have to suffer because of thieves.”

“Oysters are ecologically and economically important, and the Commission is committed to preserving a resurgent oyster stock and to protecting a substantial investment in oyster replenishment,” Travelstead said.

A single adult oyster can purge up to 50 gallons of water a day, and help clean the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Oyster reefs provide important forage and refuge habitat for invertebrates, as well as juvenile crabs and finfish species.
Over the past decade, the oyster harvest in Virginia has increased ten-fold, from 23,000 bushels in 2001, to an estimated 250,000 bushels in 2012. In that time, the dockside value of the oyster harvest increased from $575,000 to more than $8.26 million. The harvest is projected to jump to 320,000 bushels this year, which would make it the largest oyster harvest in Virginia since 1987.

“Oyster stocks are on the rise. We have invested a lot of time, effort and money into making that happen,” said Travelstead. “More oysters in the water may tempt some unscrupulous watermen. If so, this is a warning. We will not allow these stocks to be plundered.”

The Marine Resources Commission spent $2 million on oyster replenishment this summer, thanks to a historic level of funding from Gov. Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly.

Roughly 1 million bushels of oyster shells were planted on public oyster beds, which was an estimated 1 billion individual empty oyster shells, enough to fill approximately 4,000 dump trucks.

Every $1 spent by the state to plant oyster shells yields $7 in economic benefits in the form of larger harvests and increased jobs for oyster shuckers and oyster packing houses, when the oyster larvae that attach to the shells grow to market size in three years.

 

John Bull
VMRC

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