Maryland watermen are hauling in oysters at a pace not seen since before a wave of disease outbreaks in the mid-1980s devastated the fishery.
"We've probably got more oysters here than we've had in the last 20 years," said Greg Price, a waterman based in this small fishing village near Deal Island in Somerset County. "It's a bumper crop for what we've been having."
One sign of the shucking-good times: Maryland Department of Natural Resources offices are struggling to keep up with demand for the tags that must be affixed to each bushel of oysters.
"It's actually created a situation now where we're running out of oyster tags," said Mike Naylor, head of DNR's shellfish program. "We've just never been in this situation where we're in December and we still have demand for tags."
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