The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is taking proactive steps to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland.
Following Governor Hogan’s emergency actions to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will remain operational, but we are implementing changes to certain department activities, customer service functions, and scheduled events to minimize the spread of the virus.
Governor Hogan has issued an executive order related to licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. The executive order immediately grants a grace period of 30 days after the date of termination of the state of emergency. This includes items processed at our Maryland Department of Natural Resources Licensing Service Centers. By reducing the number of people at our service centers, we greatly reduce the possibility of spreading the virus. With that in mind, we are asking our customers to take advantage of this grace period.
Additionally, our online COMPASS portal provides 24/7 self service access to our entire product catalog of recreational licenses, permits and stamps; off-road vehicle registrations; magazine subscriptions; and donation options in support of your favorite Department of Natural Resources programs.
After careful consideration, the department decided to suspend spring trout stocking to protect the health and safety of our state employees and also the public and angling community. We must avoid situations that encourage anglers to gather near stocked locations. The department may also cancel or postpone fishing-related events this spring, including youth fishing rodeos and fishing tournaments, due to the Executive Order prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more.
Maryland state parks are enacting enhanced measures to mitigate the risk of contact with the COVID-19 virus. This includes enhanced cleaning protocols at our state park public facilities, restrooms, ranger stations, nature centers, and other public buildings. Additionally we are canceling all events and gatherings of groups larger than 10 people and restricting access by the public to certain park buildings and facilities. We will continue to adjust operations as events warrant. Park patrons are encouraged to check the individual website page of their favorite park for updates.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police are suspending in-person safety classes, referring all who are required to attend to take online classes instead.
Hunter education students are encouraged to take the online course, which combined with a field day workshop will satisfy the hunter education requirement. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a voucher, that is good for one year, to take a field day workshop to satisfy the hunter education requirement.
Boater education students are encouraged to take the online course, which is offered through three private vendors: Boat Ed, Boater Exam, or Boat US Foundation. Successful completion of any one of these courses will satisfy Maryland’s boating safety education requirement.
All in-person council meetings, workgroups, advisory boards, or other official public gatherings are also suspended indefinitely.
For all information regarding Maryland Department of Natural Resources activities, customer service functions, and scheduled events, please check our social media accounts and online calendar. The department and its units will also provide information via our numerous free email newsletters -- subscribe online.
The health and safety of the public is paramount, and we encourage you to keep track of the latest factual information regarding COVID-19 at the Maryland Department of Health website.
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