September 28, 1993

Oyster reef considered for Patapsco mouth

The state Department of Natural Resources is considering whether to place an artificial oyster reef in the mouth of the Patapsco River as part of its effort to save the fishery.

Two fish diseases that thrive in salt water have ravaged the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay, said DNR spokesman John Verrico. The lower Patapsco may be safe from Dermo and MSX because it has a lower salinity, he said.

The DNR has never looked at the Patapsco in the past because the water quality never was considered good enough. However, the state Department of the Environment announced last year that the water quality there had improved drastically and opened the water to commercial clammers.

State Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, D-31, and the three District 31 delegates requested the study after residents of Bayside Beach and other waterfront communities complained about the clamming boats off their piers.

Mr. Jimeno said if the DNR decides to build a reef in the Patapsco, that would close the area to clammers.

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