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,
Learn How to Get Involved with Fisheries Rulemaking.
Click on title below to be taken to a regulation change.
The purpose of this action is to reopen the commercial black drum
fishery within the Chesapeake Bay at levels commensurate with other south
Atlantic states. Currently, the commercial harvest of black drum is prohibited
in the Chesapeake Bay which is the most conservative management among the south
Atlantic states. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved
Addendum I to the Black Drum Interstate Fishery Management Plan which allows
Maryland to reopen its black drum commercial fishery in the Chesapeake Bay.
Reopening the commercial fishery is justifiable now because the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission has classified the black drum stock as healthy and
the limited Maryland harvest would have negligible impact on coastwide harvest.
The purpose of this action is to make clarifications in regulatory
text for blue crabs so that everyone understands what is intended by the
regulations. Clarifying the text does not change the department’s
interpretation or enforcement of these regulations.
Create regulations for clam harvest in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance.
The department would like to remove the designation of Gumtree Cove, located in Nanjemoy River, as a fish refuge. Removing the designation will increase fishing access and opportunities in Nanjemoy River. This idea is supported by the Black Bass Advisory Subcommittee.
1) The department intends to establish notification procedures for commercially fishing with haul seines on the weekend.
2) Housekeeping Change — The department needs to remove an antiquated requirement that a haul seine first be sealed by the department prior to its use.
The department would like to authorize a boat owner to provide proof of purchase for a certain period of time to allow for a delay in shipping of fishing or crabbing boat decals. This change will be better for customers and help enforcement.
The purpose of this action
is to establish a permit for an out-of-state finfish supplier. Currently,
out-of-state suppliers are required to register annually with the Department.
Once registered, the supplier is required to follow certain criteria.
Establishing a permit in regulation will make expectations clear. The proposed
action establishes the permit to ensure the health of Maryland’s wild stocks of
fish. There is no cost for the permit and it is valid for the calendar year.
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.
The purpose of this action is to update regulations for
commercial oyster divers and required attendants based on legislation. House
Bill 1137, which addressed commercial oyster divers, was passed during the 2018
legislative session. The bill modifies Natural Resources Article, 4-1015.1,
Annotated Code of Maryland and became effective October 1, 2018. This bill
modifies the tidal fish license and oyster authorization requirements for
persons aboard a boat who are using diving apparatus to catch oysters for
commercial purposes from the waters of the State.
The department intends to adopt regulations for an oyster gardening program. Regulations are required by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP).
The department would like to limit the recreational harvest of oysters.
The purpose of this action is to update the regulations for the tax credit a person may receive for recycling oyster shells. The law allows for a person to receive a State income tax credit for recycling oyster shells. Legislative changes require the department to update our regulations. The credit for recycling oyster shells is $5 per bushel up to a maximum of $1500 per year.
The purpose of this action is to incorporate by reference Public Shellfish Fishery Areas of the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tidal Tributaries (September 2018). The proposed action: 1) removes aquaculture enterprise zones and references in regulation to the zones; 2) declassifies two public shellfish fishery areas (PSFA) to allow for aquaculture; 3) changes the boundary of one public shellfish fishery area that overlaps with a sanctuary; and 4) updates several public shellfish fishery areas that were inadvertently changed or omitted when the last update was completed in November 2016.
The department intends to make annual changes to commercial, recreational and dealer penalties based on the recommendations of the joint penalty workgroup of the Sport Fisheries and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commissions. The annual penalty workgroup meetings were held June 15, 2017 and June 7, 2018.
The department plans to clarify who needs to submit the Commercial Charter Boat Captain's Daily Log.
The department is considering two changes for recreational shark regulations.
Recreational anglers have asked the department to consider changing the creel limit for sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus). The department is considering four options.
The department would like to add a penalty to the shellfish aquaculture regulations for violating shellfish import rules.
The department would like to make two changes for clarification.
The department plans to require that shellfish (oysters and clams) be delivered to a buy station on the same day of harvest so that harvesters are in compliance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP).
The department would like to put the seafood dealer requirements for following the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance into regulation. The model ordinance requires that dealers must only accept product from a licensed harvester on the day of harvest. It is not legal for seafood dealers to purchase oysters from unlicensed individuals.
The department would like to remove the specific methods for
killing a snakehead and simply requiring an individual to kill the snakehead
upon capture. This would simplify the requirement for both enforcement and
The Striped Bass Industry Workgroup and the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission would like the department to remove the appeal process for licensees who miss the striped bass permit registration deadline.
The department needs to update the coordinates for Sandy Point and Turkey Point. The coordinates appear in different regulations, but are not identical. This is a housekeeping change for clarification.
The department intends to update the delineations of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Protection Zones.
The department needs to make changes to the blueline and golden tilefish regulations so that the rules are consistent with federal rules.
The purpose of this action is to
remove the provision in the current regulations that requires a Department
representative to be present during the sale of yellow perch in the live
market. The Commercial Yellow Perch Workgroup, consisting of members from both
the Sport and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commissions, asked the Department to
consider this modification.
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