Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia have agreed to a cooperative management plan for Potomac River largemouth bass, one of the most popular sport fisheries in the mid-Atlantic region. 

To help seek a unified assessment of the fishery, state agencies and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission — who share authority to manage the river system for largemouth bass — are jointly collaborating on monitoring and assessing the fishery with an update produced every three years. Work begins in March 2021, though planning for the project has been underway for more than a year.

Credit: Karin Dodge / Maryland DNR

The objective of the new collaboration is twofold: to estimate abundance of largemouth largemouth bass in a portion of the river and to develop a joint assessment of the population.

To help encourage angler participation and reporting, hundreds of bass will be tagged, and anglers who report a tag will be entered into a raffle for small prizes. Both recreational and tournament anglers who catch tagged largemouth bass are asked to report details of the catch. Those who submit their information are eligible to be entered into an annual prize lottery.

Tags may be reported by anglers fishing throughout the year to 1-804-367-2925 (maintained by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries). Tags may also be reported online with Maryland’s Volunteer Angler Survey for freshwater fishes or during bass tournaments to fisheries staff. Anglers who report capturing a marked largemouth bass are asked to report the tag number, date of capture, catch-and-release location, size of fish, and other details of interest.


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