The last time I was in Back Creek, which was about 10 years ago, there were at least two commercial crabbers docked near the upper end. Granted, they were just small workboats, but they were still working. I suspect that when crabbing season ended, they switched over to hand-tonging oysters, which as you are aware, takes place in the dead of winter.
As for all boats paying equal fees, well that's fine and dandy, but if DNR's budget hadn't been raided to balance the General Fund, they would have all the money they want. Having been in close contact with DNR for more than 4 decades I got to see the waste on a regular basis. You would be absolutely amazed at the number of do nothing projects our money is being spent upon. Kinda' like the bridges that you see on I-95 near Baltimore that go nowhere.