The information provided on this webpage is a summary of regulatory ideas and proposals that are being considered by the department. The purpose of posting this text is to make the public aware of the issues and to elicit public feedback on these ideas. Comments on the ideas presented provide the department with invaluable information and perspectives that may be incorporated into content or editorial changes. We appreciate your time and your commitment to Maryland's natural resources. The graphic within each topic will help you follow the change through the regulatory process. Learn our terminology…Scoping, Development,
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The Department would like to incorporate the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster into regulation by reference.
BLUE CRAB - Commercial Atlantic Time Change & Statewide Clarifications
The purpose of this action is to change the time for commercially harvesting blue crabs in the coastal bays of the Atlantic Ocean and their tidal tributaries and update statewide blue crab regulations by clarifying text. Several blue crab issues have been combined into one proposal..
Based on comments that the Department of Natural Resources has received we are clarifying the definition of “crab net ring”. Some crab net rings have one ring, but many have two rings and the definition needs to allow both types.
“Crab net ring” means netting supported by [a] one ring-shaped rim that is less than or equal to 30 inches in diameter
New Definition for Clarity
“Crab net ring” means a manually operated, portable device that:
Adopt a minimum girth size and require an escape vent in traps
CLAM — Hard and Soft
Create regulations for clam harvest in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance.
List cobia as in need of conservation.
COMMERCIAL LICENSE TARGETS - 2016/2017
Commercial license targets need to be adjusted based on unlimited tidal fish licenses (UTFL) that were
downgraded during the 2015/2016 license year.
COWNOSE RAYS Based on the feedback that the Secretary of Natural Resources has received to date, the Department is clarifying the details of what is being considered. The scoping in November was not completely clear regarding where the restriction would apply or if the restriction applied to recreational and/or commercial user groups. Please view the summary for specifics.
DIVIDING LINES FOR TIDAL/NONTIDAL WATERS - Barren Creek COMAR 08.02.01.09
The purpose of this action is to establish a dividing line on Barren Creek for tidal and nontidal waters. Barren Creek is a large tributary to the Nanticoke River.
FISHERY MANAGEMENT AREAS — Urbana COMAR 08.02.01.02The purpose of this action is to limit hunting at Urbana Lake Fishery Management Area to the use of archery equipment only. The primary goal for Urbana Lake is to provide access for fishing.
FISHING IN NONTIDAL WATERS — Changes for 2016 COMAR 08.02.11.01, .04 and .06The purpose of this action is to update and clarify existing regulations for fishing in nontidal waters. Specifically, the proposed action amends Regulation .01 by removing the #1 trout closure on both Herrington Creek and New Germany Lake; amends Regulation .04 by removing the season for river herring and increasing the size of eels; and adopts new Regulation .06 for rules that apply to the Youghiogheny River Lake.
FISHING IN NONTIDAL WATERS - Changes for 2017 COMAR 08.02.11.01 and .04
The proposed action increases the possession limits for trout, changes the closures for four put-and-take areas (Accident Pond, Georges Creek, Muddy Creek, and Little Youghiogheny River), extends the boundary on the North Branch Potomac River upper catch-and-return trout fishing area; makes possession limits for game fish consistent, defines when an individual needs a trout stamp, and clarifies the regulation by removing duplicate text.
GEAR — Commercial and Recreational
Due to bills passed by the General Assembly during the 2016 Session, the Department must write regulations for a number of gears. The changes include 1) Finfish Trotlines (Commercial Use); 2) Bowfishing (Commercial Use); 3) Gigging (Recreational Use); 4) Slat Baskets, Bush Bobs, Bank Poles, and Dip Nets (Recreational Use in Nontidal Waters); 5) Definition of “Bow”.
Require that horseshoe crabs must be harvested from a vessel and prohibit the harvest of horseshoe crabs from shore.
OUT OF STATE SUPPLIER REGISTRATION
The department would like to establish a permit for an out-of-state fish supplier.
OYSTER — Harvest Reserve Areas COMAR 08.02.04.13 The purpose of this action is to remove certain Harvest Reserve Areas (HRAs) from regulation and allow these areas to revert back to open harvest bottom. HRAs are not sanctuaries. No sanctuaries are being opened by this action.
Change the minimum mesh size for trawls from 4 ½ inches to 5 inches for the harvest of scup.
SHARKS — Recreational
Require certain sharks to be released in a manner that maximizes survivability.
SHARKS Smoothhound (Smooth Dogfish) — Commercial
Implement Addendum IV to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Coastal Sharks which allows smooth dogfish carcasses to be landed with corresponding fins removed from the carcass as long as the total retained catch on board at the time of offloading is composed of at least 25 percent, by weight, smooth dogfish.
SHARKS Smoothhound (Smooth Dogfish) — Recreational
Eliminate the recreational possession limit for smoothhound sharks (smooth dogfish).
SPINY DOGFISH - Commercial Eligibility and Declaration COMAR 08.02.05.24
Possible changes are for the commercial fishery and include reducing the minimum landing requirement for permit eligibility and change the declaration period.
Update tuna regulations to provide more consistency with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and list bigeye tuna as in need of conservation.
Change the size limits for commercial hook and line to be consistent with other commercial harvest methods (8 ½” minimum size limit and an 11” maximum size limit).
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