Policing oysters in Chesapeake Bay

On the James River, experienced watermen can identify another boat from far, far away.

“They can see us right now,” said Virginia Marine Police Officer Bryant Stephens said. “We’re a mile away from them. So, even if they were where they’re not supposed to be, they have plenty of time to get back to where they need to be.”

Officer Stephens and the Marine Police took the News4 I-Team onto the James River because, they explained, many of the Virginia oysters you buy in the grocery store come from the rivers surrounding Newport News.

Powering upriver, Stephens’ colleague, Officer Bob Griffin, said they’ve become pretty creative when it comes to catching cheaters on the water, using undercover surveillance equipment and staking out potential spots in the middle of the night.

The two officers slowed down to float near a white, diamond-shaped sign that reads, “Oyster. No Harvest. Sanctuary.”

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About the author

Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is the online editor for National Fisherman.

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