Public Hearing For Snakehead Regulations July 7
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service will hold a public meeting regarding permanent regulations governing the possession of any and all species of snakehead fish in Maryland. The hearing will provide the opportunity for the Department to inform the public of current monitoring efforts for snakehead fish and the proposed regulation to ban the possession of live snakehead fish in the State.
The public meeting will be held at the Tawes State Office Building at 580 Taylor Ave. in Annapolis in the C-1 conference room at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7. All interested parties are invited to attend and give their views. Also, public comment may be submitted at the DNR Fisheries Service website at http://dnrweb.dnr.state.md.us/fish/2004snakehead_comment/ or faxed to 410-260-8279. The proposed regulation is available at this site and will be available at the hearing.
The proposed regulations are scheduled to be effective Sept. 13. The regulations prohibit the possession of live snakehead fish (family: Channidae) in Maryland. Live snakehead fish will only be allowed through a Department permit for scientific purposes.
An individual with a snakehead fish should contact the DNR office to ensure compliance with the proposed regulation. The Maryland Association of Pet Industries (M.A.P.I) has developed a group of stores, Gold Circle Dealers, who will take back any pet snakehead fish. The public is asked to NOT RELEASE fish, but return them to one of the Gold Circle Dealers. A list of Gold Circle Dealers is available at the M.A.P.I website http://mdapi.com/goldcircle.html
Anglers who think they may have caught a snakehead fish should NOT release it, but contact the Department's 24-hour Dispatch at 888-584-3110 for a positive identification of the fish.
These regulations will complement the Federal Lacey Act, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopted to declare snakehead fish injurious to the wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States in October 2002 after the infestation and successful eradication of northern snakehead fish in a Crofton, Md. pond. This action prohibited the importation or interstate transport of live snakehead fish without a permit. To date, at least 20 states have possession restrictions on snakehead fish.
Posted June 22, 2004