Freshwater Fishing Regulations
Rules are subject to change
Please check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services regulations page for possible changes at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/pages/regulations/changes.aspx
It Is Illegal
- To cut a hole through the ice measuring more than 10 inches in any direction for the purpose of ice fishing.
- To take bait fish from Put-and-Take Fishing Areas or Special Trout Fisheries Management Areas.
- In Deer and Swan creeks in Harford County:
- For a person to catch or attempt to catch fish other than by hook and line, with line held in hand, attached to a pole or rod held in hand, or attended in a manner that the fish voluntarily takes bait or lure in its mouth.
- For a person to possess or use minnows for bait while fishing.
- For anyone to use a dip net baited by attaching an attractant to the net material or frame.
- To remove the head and tail of fish in possession while at the fishing location, except for snakeheads. The head and tail shall remain attached in such a manner as to permit identification of fish species and total length. A person may take snakehead fish from Maryland waters by any legal means provided that the head of the snakehead fish is immediately removed, or the body is gutted, or the gills are removed from both sides of the fish, or the fish is filleted upon capture.
- For a person to catch snapping turtles from waters of the state by hook and line, trotline, bow and arrow, net, seine, trap, fish pot, or other fishing rig, spear, gig or iron or any device capable of piercing any part of the turtle.
- To operate any vehicle on any lands owned or controlled by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources without written permission from the department except on those roads, lanes or areas which are open to automobile traffic or which are specifically marked by the department.
- To camp on lands owned and controlled by the department except on designated sites or with written permission.
- To swim in any State-controlled lake except in designated areas.
- In the Battie Mixon Fishing Hole:
- To fish between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.
- To use boats propelled by gasoline or diesel power.
- To fish any streams or nontidal waters that contain trout between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. (This does not apply to nontidal impoundments of five acres or more.)
- To cull trout.
- Regarding crayfish in the Susquehanna River, Middle Potomac River, Monocacy River and Upper Potomac River basins, it is illegal to:
- Catch or process any species of crayfish unless the head is immediately removed behind the eyes upon capture.
- Use any species of crayfish as bait unless the head is removed behind the eyes.
- Catch and possess a female crayfish with eggs attached to the underside of the abdomen.
It is Illegal
- To buy, sell, or offer to buy any fish or crab harvested under a recreational license.
- To use waders or boots soled with felt or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing liquid.
- To disturb, take, destroy or possess the nest or eggs of a terrapin or snapping turtle.
These are the only types of gear you may use in nontidal waters
Rules and Exceptions
|Bait Traps|| |
|Hook and line, |
rod and reel
(general rules that apply to seines, dip nets and landing nets)
|Dip Nets|| |
|Landing Nets||May only be used to land a fish caught by other means|
|Bow, gig, spear |
and spear gun
|Hand and Noodling||No special rules|