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August 18th, 2008, 03:49 PM
Hi all,

I know there are a couple of dive shops in the DC/Baltimore area that take divers to Kent island to dive for oysters in the fall months. I'm thinking about trying one of these trips out, but I was wondering what type of gear one needs to do the job. A goodie bag obviously, but a bushel of oysters is heavy. Do people use lift bags to haul up 10lb at a time or do you have to hunt around for a good while to fill your quota?:lotsalove:

Am I off in thinking constantly shifting weight + trim as you pick up and drop oysters in cold, shallow water = buoyancy madness?:no I'd really appreciate the skinny on this from anybody who's been.

August 19th, 2008, 07:28 AM
Well I dive for them in the Patuxent River In Southeren Maryland. I use a bushel size laundry basket with a small lift bag. The dive is about 12' and I havent had to worry about bouyancy, just the current if i time it wrong. I have one of my kids at the entry point to haul them up the ladder.
Gear wear a GOOD pair of work gloves, I put the pair of workers gloves over my 3mil when working. I also carrie a old blunt knife to dig through the shells and junk on the bottom.
I hope this will help

August 19th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Equipment I need for Kent Island oyster dives:
1. Drysuit with really thick undies, thick hood and thick gloves (temps: Nov 48, Dec 40)
2. lots of weight - since you are only going down 9 or 10', nothing really compresses.
3. Bag or basket for oysters - generally, most of the people on the boat I've been out on use bags - you can take multiple bags and mark them with a lift bag or just go back and empty your bag when it is too full to haul around.
4. Warm clothes for boat ride
5. Warm drink for boat ride and surface interval

August 19th, 2008, 02:19 PM
I am going to wait to winterize my boat this year with hopes of getting out for a dive or two. I don't eat them but my family will. If you are crafty make a metal measuring device that will measure for 3 inches. That is the min. size. If you measure while you are down there you can be select and haul up only legal oysters. Saves you from having to cull through them on the surface starting with a bushel and ending up with less. After all you as a resident of Maryland take one bushel a day. :D

Remember to measure hinge to bill, and a oyster bushel is different then a normal bushel.

Oyster Gauge something like this with out all the fancy extras.

August 19th, 2008, 02:25 PM
After Thought. Before you go if there has been any hard rain or more then 1 inch of rain in the last 24hours prior to your dive, check with the DNR or I think Marine CH22 @ 0700 est for oyster closures. This happens mostly when heavy rains cause polluted waters to run faster and harder in to areas that oysters are in. Remember oysters cant get up and leave like fish and crabs so the DNR and MDE have set regulations to help protect the consumers from getting sick.

August 26th, 2008, 01:56 PM
The season starts in October and wetsuits are fine for then. Farmer John or a good one piece 7mm or semi-dry. Depths are shallow and suits do not compress well and the water is brackish so
extra weight is a necessity. Going with a charter is recommended as they know where the beds are. If you try to go with your own boat it can be very difficult even with the DNR charts. Goodie bags with metal handles are best just try not to overload them. With charters you just
bring them up and the captain dumps them, gives you your bag back and then he will sort them.
Viz in October would probably be about 3-8 feet, but it is enough to see the oysters. When diving for oysters, you have to be out of the water by 12:00 pm. Early in the season is warmer,
viz is not so good but oysters are much more plentiful. You would get your quota in no time.
Later when it's colder, viz is much better but it gets to be slim pickings. I'm in the process of setting up some charters. Price is estimated to be about $65-70, but all in all it's a good time.
Contact me in a few days if you would like to book a dive.

September 28th, 2008, 10:27 PM
HELP!!!! I have 4 guys that are looking to do an oyster dive this weekend, Oct 4, 2008(thinking beach) and I can't find the web site to the dive shop that was hosting the dive. I think they were going out of Town Creek, Md but don't quote me on that. Regardless, I was wondering if any of you can help with any suggestions of locations or shops or boats, anything to make this happen.

Thanks in advance

September 29th, 2008, 10:12 PM
Contact the dive master for Olney Scuba Adventure Dive Club. (

September 30th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the info. Web site is not working but was able to leave a message with someone from the club. Any good tips on how to do an oyster dive? I would think some work gloves to prevent the 3mils from getting shredded, dive bouy, dive light, good dive plan, a way to measure the oysters, and a bushel basket. It does not look like there are any restrictions in the Town Creek, MD area that i saw on the maps from the state and I can't find anything that says we need a license for the day. In the water after sun rise and out by noon, min 3" oysters, one flat bushel per person max, return undersize oysters to water before exiting the water.

Anything I'm missing or any suggestions from you all would be very welcome. Thanks in advance



September 30th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Town Creek has a bulkhead, so you will need a ladder. If you dive with Olney Scuba, there will be a ladder. Last year at this time, it was cool and windy. The water was choppy and limited viz. I believe I dove 7mm as it had cooled off from the previous month (the club did a critter dive). I don't believe I wore dive gloves, but I'm not sure. I used a mesh goody bag and dive flag. We did not get a full bushel. We did get about 45 - 49 oysters. Last year I did not have a measuring device with me. Instead, I made a fist and measure that. My fist was larger than 3 inches, so I used that. The bag was rather heavy for the swim back. My guess was about 1/4 mile. Bring a cooler and some ice or frozen 1 liter soda bottles filled with water.

I won't be able to make it Saturday. I will ask on Thursday night if some club member might go on 10/11. If not, I will head to Hydes quarry. No oysters, but it is wet.

September 30th, 2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the news. Any other recommendations on areas that would be more a friendly entry. I'm not married to the Town Creek location, just have not heard of any other places.

October 3rd, 2008, 09:56 PM
Some members of the club are going to look for other locations. Apparently, the parking lot that we were using may not be available. The adjacent restaurant is opening back up.

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