The information provided here 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, Comment Period, Final Decision, Effective.
?Click on title below to be taken to a regulation change.
CLAM — Hard and Soft
CLAM — Harvest in the Chester River
COMMERCIAL LICENSE TARGETS— 2017/2018
PUBLIC SHELLFISH FISHERY AREAS – #80? and #156
The purpose of this action is to make changes to the commercial crab fishery. Specifically, the proposed action modifies the dates for importing sponge crabs and the size of the letters displayed on vessels.
The department needs to make changes to the blueline tilefish regulations in response to Amendment 6 to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Tilefish Fishery Management Plan.
- View the Summary
- Additional Information — Visit the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Tilefish webpage at www.mafmc.org/tilefish/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Create regulations for clam harvest in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance.
Current regulations conflict on whether clamming is allowed or prohibited in a certain area of the Chester River. The department would like to clarify that clamming is allowed in Zone A of the Chester River Oyster Recovery Area.
The proposed action adds cobia to the in need of conservation list and creates rules for both the recreational and commercial fisheries. The proposed action establishes rules to allow changes to the regulation by public notice so that Maryland may implement management measures of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia in a timely manner.
This proposed action adjusts commercial license targets based on unlimited tidal fish licenses (UTFL) that were downgraded during the 2016/2017 license year.
The proposed action incorporates the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coast King and Spanish Mackerel Fishery Management Plan (1994) and the Fishery Management Plan for Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) in Maryland Tidewater (January 2014) into regulation. The department uses fishery management plans to guide actions taken to conserve and manage the species.
GEAR — Sharing Commercial Gear
COMAR 08.02.03.07; 08.02.05.01, .02, .07; 08.02.15.04, .07; 08.02.25.04—.07
- View the Proposal?
- Regulatory Hearing held November 8, 2017 – No one attended
- Adopted as Proposed – Effective January 1, 2018
The proposed action clarifies the definition of stinger hook.
COMAR 08.02.05.02; COMAR 08.02.15.03, .09 and .10; and COMAR 08.02.25.01 and .03
The department submitted an emergency action to the Maryland General Assembly’s? Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review that will make changes to several regulations from May 16 through December 15. The committee is in the process of reviewing the action. We hope to have their decision by mid-April so that everyone can prepare for the summer and fall season.
The purpose of this action is to reduce the minimum size of striped bass for the recreational and charter boat summer and fall fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from 20 inches to 19 inches. The proposal makes changes in several chapters to accomplish the purpose including changes to the season, gear and use of bait. All changes apply to recreational anglers and charter boats.
- Reason: The intention is to reduce dead discards of striped bass that occur throughout the summer/fall when anglers are using bait.?
- Minimum Size: 19” for the striped bass summer and fall fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries
- New Rules Apply: May 16 through December 15
- Hook Requirements:
- *Hook requirements apply to fishing for all species, not just striped bass
- *Circle hooks required when chumming or live-lining. Chumming and live-lining are defined
- *Circle hook is defined in regulation (COMAR 08.02.25.01) as a non-offset hook with the point turned perpendicularly back to the shank.?
- ?*J hooks with a gap of less than or equal to ½ inch from the point to the shank are required when using bait
- View the Emergency Proposal?
- The Procedures for Emergency Regulations may be found on the Joint Committee’s Webpage.
- If you have questions, please contact Mike Luisi at 410-260-8341 or [email protected].
The purpose of this action is to amend commercial management measures for Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis) in response to Addendum II to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Jonah Crab. Addendum II to the fishery management plan develops a coastwide standard for claw harvest and establishes requirements for the bycatch fishery.
The purpose of this action is to add three new areas to a geographically diverse network of license free fishing areas throughout the state in order to promote recreational fishing. An individual fishing in a license free fishing area is required to observe all fishing laws and regulations. A free angler registration is required for anglers fishing without a license in designated tidal license free fishing areas. An individual is exempt from all other license fees and requirements.
The purpose of this action is to incorporate by reference “Public Shellfish Fishery Areas of the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tidal Tributaries (November 2016)”. This document contains coordinates for all Public Shellfish Fishery Areas (PSFA) in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The November 2016 version of this document contains amended coordinates for PSFA 109 to exclude a 4.9 acre portion of an 11.9 acre submerged land lease and PSFA 110 to exclude a 7.7 acre submerged land lease. The proposed action also corrects a reference to statute.
The department has been asked to declassify two public shellfish fishery areas.
The department plans to implement changes for the commercial and recreational tautog fishery in response to the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog.
- View the Summary?
- Additional Information — Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog asmfc.org/uploads/file/5a0477c3TautogAmendment1_Oct2017.pdf?
The purpose of this action is to create a new delayed harvest trout fishing area. The proposed action adds the South Branch Patapsco River from West Friendship Road (Howard Co) and Main Street (Carroll Co) upstream approximately 1.1 miles to the upper boundary of the Hugg Thomas Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the list of Group 1 Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Areas.