Watermen | Folkstreams

Watermen (1968)

About the Film

In 1965, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, there was the last operating fleet of sailing work boats in the United States. Forty-odd "Skipjacks" were still used by Maryland watermen to dredge up oysters from the Bay. At that time, the fleet had survived because of a Maryland conservation law which prohibits the use of motor power for oyster dredging. The watermen traditionally marked the opening of each oystering season with a skipjack race which the Maryland State Tourist Board incorporated into its annual "Chesapeake Bay Appreciation Day."

The original negative of Watermen was lost, and a new negative was made with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. That negative and a new proof print from it are stored in the Folkstreams archive in Chapel Hill, NC.


  • Atlanta International Film Festival, Bronze Medal,


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Holly Fisher, the distributor Holly Fisher, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: Holly Fisher
  • Produced by: Holly Fisher, Romas V. Slezas
  • Cinematographer: Romas Slezas with Holly Fisher
  • Sound: Holly Fisher
  • Editor: Holly Fisher and Romas Slezas
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1968, Fisher-Slezas Films Inc.
  • 1h 3mins, Color
  • Categories:
    WorkAgricultureFamilyMaritime Lore