Joe Gill

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A survey has found Maryland's oyster population has more than doubled since 2010.

Maryland's 2013 Fall Oyster Survey was released Wednesday by the Department of Natural Resources.

The survey says the oyster population is at its highest point since this type of monitoring began in 1985.

The increase is being attributed to high oyster survival over the past few years and strong reproduction in 2010 and 2012.

official photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is preparing to take up the embattled nomination of its new Department of Natural Resources secretary.

Joseph Gill's confirmation hearing is set for Friday morning. A nominations committee voted Monday to recommend him for the job. He is already the interim secretary.

Gill was the DNR's chief attorney for 14 years and has been its deputy director since 2010.

dnr.state.md.us

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- A Senate committee has approved Joseph Gill's nomination as secretary of Maryland's Department of Natural Resources. The issue will go to the Senate floor for final vote.

In a hearing lasting more than two hours Monday, the Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted 14-1 in Gill's favor. Three Senators abstained, intending to do more research and vote on the Senate floor.

dnr photo

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joe Gill’s reconfirmation could be in trouble.

It began following a hearing on a measure last week that would allow DNR to open, close or modify fisheries in a 48 hour period.

Maryland Watermen’s Association president Robert Brown said Gill came up to him and said that if the legislation did not pass he could curt quotas that would hurt him.

Gill says that his comments were misunderstood.