Three Tilghman Island watermen were charged with using illegal oyster harvesting equipment in Broad Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Kevin Steven Tarleton Sr., 45, Steven Kevin Tarleton, 21, and Kevin Steven Tarleton Jr., 22, received citations for the violations of oyster regulations. The Natural Resources Police said officers observed them allegedly using a hand scrape in an area designated for hand tonging. The hand scrape, also known as a dredge, is a more efficient method of collecting oysters than tongs. Tongs are hand held, and long scissor like devices with baskets on the end used to scoop oysters out of the water.
The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.
In addition, Kevin Tarleton Sr., and Steven Tarleton also were charged with failing to record the required information about their oyster catches on identification tags.
All three men are scheduled to appear in Talbot District Court on April 16.