There are few experiences more enjoyable or relaxing than being on or near the water, casting a line and anticipating that moment of resistance. In Maryland, our vast network of waterways, from the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay to major rivers and coldwater trout streams, coupled with a diverse range of species, from rockfish to bluefish to catfish, make for angling experiences second to none.
As we take pleasure in and benefit from our State’s fisheries, we must also protect these significant resources. While both local and visiting anglers benefit from Maryland’s recreational fishing, we all benefit from the conservation practices of and the economic activity generated by these outdoor enthusiasts.
Indeed, the public trust of our fisheries extends to us all. By reducing the impact of our actions on the environment, and working together as a community, we can restore and maintain the health of our local waterways and, in so doing, protect aquatic life now and into the future.
And speaking to the future, also important is passing this wonderful experience on to our youngest citizens. What better way to share with our children the importance of stewardship than from a boat or dock, on a beautiful waterway, fishing for supper?
Thank you for your awareness and commitment as we continue our State’s remarkable fishing tradition.
Joseph P. Gill
Maryland offers an outstanding variety of recreational fishing opportunities. Among the most popular are fishing for striped bass, white perch and bluefish in Chesapeake Bay, wild trout in the mountain streams of western Maryland, tidal largemouth bass in the Potomac River and Susquehanna Flats, summer flounder and black seabass in the coastal bays, white marlin and tuna in the Atlantic Ocean and a variety of panfish in ponds across the State. Numerous other fishing opportunities for more than 60 species are also available.
To help you find your way to these fishing experiences we created an interactive online Angler Access Map, which includes detailed information on more than 500 public fishing locations in Maryland (page 19), a new Charter Fishing and Guide Directory to help you locate guide and charter services across the state (page 12), and a Maryland Fishing Facebook page (page 2) that provides recreational fishing information.
Perhaps this is the year you catch a Maryland Angler Award size fish, experience your child or friend catching their first fish, or have a meaningful conversation with your fishing companion as you take a break from the fast pace of today’s society. I encourage you to share your fishing experience, and read about those of other anglers, on our Angler’s Log (page 15). The Maryland Youth Fishing Club page features a unique Youth Angler’s Log where kids can share their fishing experiences and join this online community of young anglers (page 26).
As a father of four, my greatest joy is passing along a love of the outdoors. Each time we take a child or friend fishing and set an example of care, understanding and concern for our natural resources, we celebrate Maryland’s proud outdoor heritage while passing along a love of the fish and the sporting tradition we share.
On behalf of the Fisheries Service team, I wish you a safe and successful fishing season.
Thank you for being a part of the Maryland fishing tradition and for your contributions to support the conservation and management of our fishery resources for generations of today and tomorrow. Let’s go fishing!
Thomas J. O’Connell
Director, Fisheries Service
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.