Maryland's coast hosts many different fish communities. In Maryland's Atlantic waters and federal waters off Maryland's coast, migratory species such as black sea bass, spiny dogfish, and summer flounder can be found. Maryland's Coastal Bays are nursery areas for species such as summer flounder, black sea bass, weakfish, American eel, and bluefish. Species such as sea robins, puffers, lizardfish, stingrays and other coastal species are often encountered in the Coastal Bays. As a result of this diversity, Maryland's coast offers recreational and commercial fishermen opportunities to harvest many different species.
In support of these diverse fisheries, and to promote healthy coastal ecosystems, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service created the Coastal Fisheries Program. Since 1972, the Coastal Fisheries Program biologists have been monitoring Maryland's Coastal Bays fish populations and providing support to recreational and commercial fishermen. Throughout that time, fisheries management has changed; fishermen have become more efficient at catching fish and fisheries are more closely monitored for stock status. The Coastal Fisheries Program is continuously changing to meet the needs of Maryland citizens.