Thu07282016

Last updateThu, 28 Jul 2016 9am

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King George woman arrested on manslaughter charge

The King George Sheriff's Office last week arrested a King George woman and charged her with involun...

King George Fire Department responds to fire at landfill

A fire of undetermined origin erupted at the King George landfill on Bullock Drive Saturday. A King ...

GEAR UP students, parents attend national NCCEP conference

Two Washington & Lee High School GEAR UP students, Hazen Shryock and Destiny Crockett,

and their ...

Benefit scheduled for Colonial Beach's Vickie Coffman

Benefit scheduled for Colonial Beach's Vickie Coffman

Friends and customers of Vickie Coffman, who owns High Tides Restaurant in Colonial Beach with her

hu...

Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins coming to Dahlgren

King George will be getting a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dahlgren on the vacant parcel next to

McDonald&...

Beauty salon to honor Colonial Beach teen killed in 2014 crash

Beauty salon to honor Colonial Beach teen killed in 2014 crash

Her dream was to become a hairdresser and open up her own salon.

From there, she hoped to branch out ...

20160323cctower

 

King George

SETTING

VCLA Tutoring celebrates move to new location

Thursday, 28 July 2016
VCLA Tutoring celebrates move to new location

VCLA Tutoring celebrated its move into a new location across from the King George courthouse

on Route 3, 9508 Kings Highway, with a ribbon cutting and open house on July 15 with teachers,

county officia...

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Wildlife Center educates and entertains children at Colonial Beach library

Thursday, 28 July 2016
Wildlife Center educates and entertains children at Colonial Beach library

Wilson, a box turtle; Quinn, a great horned owl; and Delphine, a blind opossum were the star attractions at the

Cooper Library in Colonial Beach last week as the Wildlife Center of Virginia introduced ...

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Westmoreland

SETTING

Stratford Hall Teachers learn about Virginia early history

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Historic Stratford Hall, the Westmoreland County plantation that was home to the Lee family of Virginia, last

week hosted more than two dozen high school teachers from across the state and from far awa...

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Sports

SETTING

W&L's Wild gets ready for football

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Josh Wild, Washington & Lee High School's new varsity football coach, has only met with his players for a few moments since he was hired.  But he already has at least one clear goal for the s...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

King George County obituaries

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Elsie C. Grimes , 96, of Warsaw departed this life Sunday, July 17, 2016, in a Kilmarnock

hospital.

She is survived by two daughters, Deborah Bass of Warsaw and Mary Henderson of Hartford,

Conn.; and two ...

Readmore

Columnists

SETTING

Outdoor Report for July 27

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The heat finally took a bite out of the fishing, but it is mostly the people not fishing instead of

the fish not biting.

Rappahannock River

Ken’s Tackle in Spotsylvania reported that anglers are fi...

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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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