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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,Comment Period,Final Decision,Effective.

Learn How to Get Involved with Fisheries Rulemaking.


?Click on title below to be taken to a regulation change.
BLUE CRAB— Sponge Crab Import-OPEN FOR COMMENT
BLUELINE TILEFISHOPEN FOR COMMENT
CLAM— Hard and Soft
CLAM— Harvest in the Chester River
COBIAOPEN FOR COMMENT
COMMERCIAL LICENSE TARGETS— 2017/2018OPEN FOR COMMENT
FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLANSOPEN FOR COMMENT
GEAR– Sharing Commercial Gear
GEAR– Stinger HooksOPEN FOR COMMENT
JONAH CRABS
LICENSE FREE FISHING AREASOPEN FOR COMMENT
OUT OF STATE SUPPLIER REGISTRATION
OYSTERS
PENALTIES

PUBLIC SHELLFISH FISHERY AREAS– #80? and #156OPEN FOR COMMENT

SEAFOOD MARKETINGOPEN FOR COMMENT
SHELLFISH AQUACULTUREOPEN FOR COMMENT
STRIPED BASS– Commercial FisheryOPEN FOR COMMENT
STRIPED BASS– Recreational FisheryOPEN FOR COMMENT
SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION
TAUTOGOPEN FOR COMMENT

TROUTOPEN FOR COMMENT


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BLUE CRAB –Sponge Crab Import
COMAR 08.02.03.08 and .14

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.


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BLUELINETILEFISH

The department needs to make changes to the blueline tilefish regulations in response to Amendment 6to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’sTilefish Fishery Management Plan.


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CLAM — Hard and Soft

Create regulations for clam harvest in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance.


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CLAM — Harvest in the Chester River
COMAR 08.02.02.12; 08.02.04.15; 08.02.07.03

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.


COBIA
COMAR 08.02.05.17 and COMAR 08.02.12.03

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.


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COMMERCIAL LICENSE TARGETS – 2017/2018
COMAR 08.02.01.05

This proposedaction adjusts commercialicense targetsbased on unlimited tidal fish licenses (UTFL) that were downgraded during the 2016/2017 license year.


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FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLANS
COMAR 08.02.01.01

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.


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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


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GEAR — Stinger Hooks
COMAR 08.02.25.01

Theproposed action clarifiesthe definition of stinger hook.


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JONAH CRABS
COMAR 08.02.08.06

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.


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LICENSE FREE FISHING AREAS
COMAR 08.02.01.07

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.


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OUT OF STATE SUPPLIER REGISTRATION
The department would like to establish a permit for an out-of-state fish supplier.


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OYSTERS
The department would like to make it clear that a person may not harvest oysters in a harvest reserve area when it is not open.


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PENALTIES
The department plans to make annual changes to commercial, recreational and dealer penalties based on the penalty workgroup meeting that was held June 15, 2017.


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PUBLIC SHELLFISH FISHERY AREAS— #109 and #110
COMAR08.02.04.17

The purpose of this action is to incorporate by reference “Public Shellfish Fishery Areas of the Chesapeake Bayand Its Tidal Tributaries (November 2016)”. This document contains coordinates for all Public Shellfish FisheryAreas (PSFA) in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The November 2016 version of this documentcontains amended coordinates for PSFA 109 to exclude a 4.9 acre portion of an 11.9 acre submerged landlease and PSFA 110 to exclude a 7.7 acre submerged land lease. The proposed action also corrects areference to statute.


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PUBLIC SHELLFISH FISHERY AREAS— #80 and #156

The department has been asked to declassify two public shellfish fishery areas.


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SEAFOOD MARKETING
The department plans to remove the seafood marketing regulations, which includes the True Blue Marketing Program, because the program has moved to the Department of Agriculture. Legislation passed during the 2017 legislative session that moved the responsibilities of the program from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture so the regulations are not necessary in our subtitle.
  • Submit Comments?to fisheriespubliccomment.dnr@maryland.gov by 11:59 p.m.February 18, 2018

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SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE
The department would like to add a penalty to the shellfish aquaculture regulations for violating shellfish import rules.

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STRIPED BASS – Commercial Fishery
COMAR 08.02.15.04 and .07
The purpose of this action is to extend the pound net season, change the declaration procedures for the Chesapeake Bay common pool fishery, and allow for partial in-season transfers of both allocation (temporary) and shares (permanent) in both the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean commercial striped bass fisheries. These actions were recommended by the Commercial Striped Bass Industry Advisory Work Group and the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission.

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STRIPED BASS – Recreational Fishery
COMAR 08.02.15.08 and .11
The purpose of this action is to update size limits for striped bass during the Chesapeake Bay recreational and charter boat spring season and the Atlantic Ocean recreational and charter boat striped bass fishery. The changes have been implemented with public notices for several seasons and we would like to put them into regulation. Making the changes in regulation allows the public to be better informed since the rules are in one location.

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SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION
The department intends to update the delineations of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Protection Zones.?


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TAUTOG

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.


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TROUT
COMAR 08.02.11.01

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.



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