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Slim pickings from oyster rock on York River

Special to the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal


Commuters headed south on the Coleman Bridge last week could have seen dozens of deadrise workboats clustered offshore up the York River. Watermen were out in force after the Jan. 1 opening day of oyster rock season.

However, a few days later the fleet had thinned as pickings were slim. Dickie Owens of Mathews was on hand at York River Yacht Haven on Jan. 4 receiving watermen as they came in. He trucks the harvest daily to J&W Seafood in Deltaville. On only the fourth day, he was getting discouraged.

“It was good the first day,” Owens said. He went to his truck to consult a small notebook he keeps. “We got 81 bushels then, but only 53 yesterday on the second day. I’ve got three more boats coming in this afternoon and I doubt I’ll get to 50 bushels all day.”

The marina was geared up to host 60 fishing boats for the season, which runs the month of January before other rivers get their de...

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