Watermen Charged with Oyster Poaching

Four Tilghman Island men were arrested on charges related to oyster poaching after the men were allegedly discovered on January 21 to be illegally power dredging for oysters. NRP officers were patrolling Broad Creek when they discovered four watermen on two vessels working with their navigation lights off. The four were: Bartlett Wade Murphy Jr., 36; Edward Bruce Lowery Jr., 45; Bobby Lee Gowe, 25; and, Richard Nicholas Fluharty, 24. NRP officers approached the first vessel, “Lady Katie,” where they found Murphy and Lowery allegedly culling oysters with lights strapped to their heads. When the officers approached the second boat, “Lil Lady”, the crew allegedly gunned the boat’s engine and attempted to flee, but eventually stopped and surrendered to police, according to NRP. Each was charged with power dredging outside legal hours, power dredging in a restricted hand tong area and possession of oysters on board a vessel more than two hours after sunset.