September 22, 2020

Art & Lifestyle:

GM Pool to Close Temporarily for Maintenance -

Saturday, September 19, 2020

‘Water Taxi’ Painting Donated to Museum -

Friday, September 18, 2020

4 Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinics Planned -

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Deadline for Crab Pot Pitch Is Sept. 21 -

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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Message From the Cap’n/Oysters, Another Lesson From Mother Nature


Cap’n Jack

Message From the Cap’n is a compilation of fishing advice, waterman and weather insights, Chesapeake lore, and ordinary malarkey from the folks who keep their feet wet in the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers.

What do we know about what is going on around us in the river? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Makes us think we’re dumber than a box of rocks.” Indeed, by Gawd cap’n we just don’t know didly squat.

WHY: We were very much alarmed after a year of rainfall, which dropped salinity levels to around 5-7 parts per thousand, that many oysters would be killed and reproduction cease as a result. But the weather went from one extreme to the other, and we have now had about three months of drought, bringing salinity back up to normal, about 15 ppt.

BUT oysters grew like crazy and the oystermen in the Chesapeake are having a good 2019 open of season, (catching their limits). A rule of thumb: There are about 300 three-inch oysters in a bushel and about 150 five-inch oysters in a bushel (or thereabouts).

AND the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ reduced per-person limits (from 12 bushels a day to 10 per day) and closing Wednesdays to commercial harvest (oystermen call it “taking Wednesdays off”) will make the season last longer. Perhaps, we can have the successful Thanksgiving harvest extend through Christmas and the New Year.

Potomac River is helping take up the slack for watermen. The Potomac is open all week for commercial harvest. The section opened on Jones Shore is producing a good catch, also.

Resulting in the price paid to the boat going down from a high of $55 to $57 per bushel to $50 per bushel before Thanksgiving. Unheard of in the history of oystermankind: prices going down before a holiday!

Keep in Mind: the little oysters experienced fantastic growth over the past summer, fooling all of us. These little oysters that grew like crazy will not last long, but will greatly assist in keeping the industry partially refreshed for the 2019-2020 season.

In reality: Mother Nature teaches us a lesson on a regular basis: We don’t know as much as we think we know.

From the Interpretive Buoy System: The Lower Potomac water temperature is about 49 degrees Fahrenheit and the salinity at 17 parts per unit this week.

Till next time,

Cap’n Jack

To learn about tours and trips into the Chesapeake, keep in touch with Fins + Claws on Facebook . Catch up on Messages from the Cap’n Member Page. Please visit Cap’n Jack’s lore and share with your social media sites. Or reach him at or 240-434-1385.

One Response to “Message From the Cap’n/Oysters, Another Lesson From Mother Nature”
  1. Tommy Goode says:

    Cap’n Jack,
    hello from landlocked Arizona! I read your messages and they make me long for the time when I lived near the Potomac and Chesapeake… No doubt, oysters from your area, raw or cooked any style, sound pretty darn good!
    Keep up the good work and keep fighting to make the waterman way and their catch, a sustainable food source for generations to come.

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