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Pultz Bar in Mobjack closed to oyster harvesting

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted Dec. 8 to close Pultz Bar in the Mobjack Bay area of Mathews County to oyster harvesting for the 2016 season.

VMRC spokesperson Laurie Naismith, said the commission, meeting at its headquarters in Newport News, decided to close Pultz Bar in order to protect an exceptionally large spatset that should yield higher harvests when the juvenile oysters grow to market size.

Pultz Bar was originally scheduled to open for harvest on Jan. 1, 2016. The Towe Stake area in Mobjack Bay will still open on that date, she said.

On a separate oyster matter, the commission agreed, on a trial basis, to allow hand tongs as a legal gear type on public grounds for the seaside on the Eastern Shore in what had been hand-harvest only areas.

Watermen using hand tongs on those seaside grounds will have to pay the All Gear Oyster User Fee ($300), rather than the By Hand Only User Fee ($50), and will be confined to a daily possession limit of eight bushels of oyste...

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