(1) In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
(2) Terms Defined.
(a) “Bushel” means an amount of oysters that would fill a container that meets the requirements of Regulation .04A of this chapter.
(b) Oyster Harvest Area.
(i) “Oyster harvest area” means submerged ground where an individual may catch oysters.
(ii) “Oyster harvest area” does not include an area leased for aquaculture, restricted by the Maryland Department of the Environment, or designated as a submerged aquatic vegetation protection zone, harvest reserve area, or sanctuary.
B. This chapter does not apply in areas leased for shellfish cultivation under Natural Resources Article, Title 4, Subtitle 11A, Annotated Code of Maryland.
C. Oyster Culling.
(1) A person who catches oysters shall cull the oysters on the natural bar from which they were caught and return every shell to the bar. Any oysters whose shell measures less than 3 inches in length, from hinge to bill, shall be included in the culling and replaced upon the bar from which caught.
(2) A person may not possess more than 5 percent shells and oysters less than the allowable size specified in §C(1) of this regulation. However, a person may possess marketable oysters that have undersized oysters or spat less than 1 inch in length from hinge to bill attached to them that cannot be separated without destroying the small oyster.
D. Fees for Moving Oyster Seed.
(1) Subject to the other conditions and terms agreed to each year, the rates to be paid by the Department to any person for the moving of oyster seed shall be adjusted yearly in coordination with the hiring of the captains to move the seed.
(2) A captain hired to move seed shall be notified of the rates by certified mail.
E. Fees for Purchasing, Hauling, and Planting Fresh Oyster Shell.
(1) Subject to other conditions and terms agreed to each year, the rate to be paid by the Department to any person for the hauling and planting of fresh oyster shell shall be 25 cents per bushel.
(2) The rate to be paid to purchase fresh oyster shell shall be $2 per bushel.
F. A licensed commercial oyster harvester may not have more than one type of oyster harvest gear on board a vessel with oysters on board.
(1) Notwithstanding Natural Resources Article, §§4-1004, 4-1008.1, 4-1009, 4-1013, and 4-1015.1, Annotated Code of Maryland, in order to implement the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Oyster Management Plan, the Secretary may issue a public notice to:
(a) Establish or modify the season, daily catch limits, days of the week, or times for catching oysters for recreational or commercial purposes; or
(b) Open or close an oyster harvest area for the harvesting or conservation of oysters.
(2) A public notice issued to implement §G(1)(b) of this regulation shall state:
(a) The specific area;
(b) The specific period of time that the area is opened or closed;
(c) Daily bushel limits; and
(d) The days of the week a person may catch oysters in the area.
(3) A public notice shall state its effective hour and date and shall be published on the Department’s website at least 48 hours in advance of the effective hour and date.
(4) The Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to disseminate a public notice issued under §G of this regulation through various other media so that an affected individual has a reasonable opportunity to be informed.
(5) A violation of the restrictions set by the Secretary in accordance with §G of this regulation is a violation of this regulation.