Annapolis, MD – Watermen have been banned from using hydraulics to dredge clams in the southern portion of Maryland’s coastal bays for nearly a decade.

A bill before lawmakers in Annapolis would ease that restriction, allowing the return of dredging by “mechanical” means. The current version specifically permits the use of a “hydraulic clam dredge,” but its main sponsor calls the language a mistake.

A correction will be made to specify that watermen can only use a mechanical dredge, said Del. Jay Jacobs (R-36-Kent) in a statement.