Regulatory changes to the Limited Crab Harvester (LCC) effective Feb 8, 2010
Regulatory changes to the Limited Crab Harvester (LCC) are effective February 8, 2010. This regulation requires that LCC licenses identified as latent must declare between a male only harvest or freeze their license. License holders of inactive licenses have been sent a declaration form that must be returned to the Department by Monday, March 15, 2010. The regulation also requires the status of the commercial LCC license be printed on the license card so all active LCC holders have been sent a new license card to replace their original card.
Specifications set for the 2010 Commercial Yellow Perch Fishery
The 2010 Chesapeake Bay Commercial Yellow Perch Fishery’s Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has been set at 50,249 pounds (all management regions combined – Upper Bay, Chester River and Patuxent River). Results of the 2009 Yellow Perch Assessment indicate that an Upper Bay TAC of 44,900 lbs would achieve the target fishing mortality rate (F=0.48) in 2010. However, an over harvest of the 2009 Upper Bay TAC (4,951 lbs.) was subtracted from the original TAC calculated for the Upper Bay, setting the 2010 Upper Bay TAC at 39,949 lbs. The Chester River TAC is established as a proportion to the Upper Bay TAC that would achieve the target fishing mortality rate. This methodology sets the Chester River TAC at 7,800 lbs. Limited yellow perch data on the Patuxent River requires the Department to maintain status quo when setting the annual TAC, therefore, the Patuxent River TAC will be 2,500 lbs and the harvest limit will remain at 100 lbs/license/day.
Commercial Striped Bass Hook and Line Season Closure
The Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources pursuant to COMAR 08.02.15.12(H) announces the closure of the 2009 striped bass commercial hook and line fishery, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 11, 2009.
The hook and line quota is expected to be caught by the date of closure.
July 1 Comercial Fishery Closure for Non-sandbar Large Coastal Sharks Species Group
The Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) pursuant to Code of Maryland Regulation 08.02.22.04B announces that in conjunction with National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission the commercial fishery for non-sandbar large coastal sharks species group will be closed effective July 1, 2009. Landings of these sharks could exceed 80 percent of the available 2009 quota by this date. Sharks included in this category are silky, tiger, blacktip, spinner, bull, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead. All commercial landing, harvest and possession of these species is prohibited until further notice.
DNR offering $2,260 buyback for LCC
The Department of Natural Resources is offering $2,260.00 to anyone who would like to voluntarily sell back their LCC.
If you have not renewed your LCC license for the season 9/1/09 to 8/31/10, you can receive payment by completing the buy-back form and returning it to the address on the form. Please be aware, if you do not sell or renew your license before 3/31/10 it will forfeit to the state.
If you have renewed your license you must return the new license (9/1/09 to 8/31/10) along with the completed buy-back form.
If you have an LCC with no other authorizations (oyster harvester OYH or finfish FIN, etc.) you may mail your license along with completed paperwork to the address indicated. However, if you have additional authorizations you must take the buy-back form along with your license to a service center. They will issue you a new license. Instructions for completing the form are located on the buy-back form including locations and phone numbers of service centers.
You will not receive immediate payment. Payment will be mailed to everyone that sells back their license in 4 to 6 weeks from the time your buy-back form is submitted.
Selling your license is completely voluntary.
If your LCC is labeled inactive and you choose not to sell, new regulations proposed this fall will affect your license. If your license has been designated active you will not be affected by these proposed regulations.
Now Available - Text Message Reminders Regarding Commercial Fishing Regulation Changes
Because there are so many changes in regulations for the commercial harvest of blue crabs, oysters and finfish throughout the season, Maryland Fisheries Service has set up three programs that will send text message reminders to your cell phone. A day or two before a regulation change goes into effect you will receive for example a reminder about changes in the female bushel limits and closure periods as well as changes in male and peeler minimum sizes. There is no charge for these programs from the Fisheries Service, but there may be charges from your cell phone service provider so check with them for details.
To sign up, click the appropriate link below and enter your name, cell phone number (numbers only, example 4431234567), select your service provider and then click the subscribe button - it's that easy and you can unsubsrcibe at any time.
To sign up for the commercial crabbing regulation text message reminder, click here!
To sign up for the commercial oyster regulation text message reminder, click here!
To sign up for the commercial finfish (striped bass) regulation text message reminder, click here!
Compliance Guide for the Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Fishery - 2009-2010
The coastal commercial spiny dogfish fishery opened May 1, 2009 with a quota of 12 million pounds that may be harvested prior to April 30, 2010. There are several new developments in management and allocation of the available quota and a summary of the requirements and allowable practices has been prepared to assist Maryland fishermen in complying with state and federal rules.
Maryland and Virginia Reciprocal Fishing Guide License Agreement
New for 2009, Maryland and Virginia have entered into a reciprocal agreement honoring certain fishing guide licenses in both states’ waters. Maryland will honor the Virginia Class A Fishing Guide License in Maryland tidal waters and Virginia will honor both the Maryland Resident Fishing Guide License and the Maryland Nonresident Fishing Guide License in Virginia tidal salt-waters. These license holders are automatically entitled to take advantage of the reciprocal agreement without any additional fees, a free permit is needed from the alternate state.
DNR Fisheries Service Recommends New Horseshoe Crab Harvest Ratio Stronger Conservation Measures Aimed at Protecting Female Horseshoe Crabs and Migratory Shorebirds
To provide further protection to the Atlantic coast population of horseshoe crabs and increase the availability of horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay to hemispheric migratory shorebird populations, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is implementing a 2:1 male to female horseshoe crab harvest ratio, effective April 1st. There is currently no sex ratio limit.
The State of Maryland has long taken a leadership role in the management of Atlantic coast populations of horseshoe crabs. In 1998, Maryland implemented actions to reduce its horseshoe crab landings by 72%. This leadership action led to the development of a coastwide horseshoe crab management plan through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 1999. After 10 years, the Delaware Bay population of horseshoe crabs is showing signs of recovery. Unfortunately, similar signs of recovery of migratory shorebird populations are not evident and there is increasing risk of extinction to some species.