A new Maryland survey released this week backs up what local watermen have been reporting — that oysters are healthier and more plentiful, particularly in Tangier Sound.
The 2011 Fall Oyster Survey conducted by the Department of Natural Resources shows the highest survival rate for oysters since 1985.
"They're the fattest they've ever been," said Jody Tull, who works in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds. "And I see a lot of little ones." Danny Webster, a waterman from Deal Island, also agreed with the survey results.
"They're in better shape than I've ever seen them as long as I've been working on the water," he said. Webster said 2010 was a "banner year" for spatset, which means there will be more mature oysters to harvest in the future.