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Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Sport Fishing Regulations

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Nontidal Sport Fishing

It Is Illegal

  1. To use more than 3 rods at one time, except for ice fishing.
  2. To use more than 2 hooks or 2 sets of hooks for each rod or line. Artificial lures or plugs with multiple hooks are considered 1 set of hooks.
  3. To use more than 5 rods (hand held devices) or tip-ups for ice fishing.
  4. To cut a hole through the ice measuring more than 10 inches in any direction for the purpose of ice fishing.
  5. To take any bait fish from any Put-and-Take Fishing Areas or Special Trout Fisheries Management Area.
  6. To use any projectile gear (spear, spear gun, bow and arrow, crossbow, or gig):
    • Without a retrieval line attached to the projectile.
    • Within 100 yards of any person, private or public swimming area, scuba diver’s flag, (other than that used by the spear fisherman), occupied duck blind, or vessel in the water without specific advance permission.
    • In Special Trout Management Areas, state-owned ponds and lakes or Put-and-Take Trout fishing areas.
    • To shoot any frog, turtle, trout, Walleye, Striped Bass, Striped Bass hybrid, Northern Pike, Large and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge or Tiger Muskie in the nontidal waters of the state.
  7. To use a trotline:
    • Made of metallic material, or having more than 25 single hooks, or more than 100 feet long, or baited with scale bait.
    • Not identified with the DNRid of the person operating it.
  8. 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.
  9. Bush-bobs/bank poles:
    • To use bush-bobs or bank poles except in the mainstems of the Potomac and Monocacy rivers within Carroll, Washington and Frederick Counties.
    • For anyone other than a resident to use bush-bobs or bank poles.
    • For residents to use more than 25 bush-bobs or bank poles, or any bush-bobs or bank poles having more than 1 hook to a pole or bob.
    • To use bush-bobs or bank poles between sunrise and sunset.
    • To use bush-bobs or bank poles on any streams stocked with trout.
    • To use a bush bob or bank pole baited with scale bait or live bait to catch Suckers, catfish, Carp, eels, Gudgeons or any species of sunfish, including Bluegills and Rock Bass, commonly known as Redeye.
    • To use a bush-bob or bank pole without the user’s DNRid number marked on it in some manner.
  10. Jugs:
    • To use more than 25 jugs or jugs having more than 2 hooks per jug.
    • To use a jug that does not have the user’s DNRid number marked on or attached to the jug.
  11. Dip net:
    • For anyone other than a resident to use a dip net in the Susquehanna River in Cecil and Harford counties; anywhere in Allegany and Washington counties; and the Monocacy and Potomac rivers in Carroll and Frederick counties.
    • To use a dip net from April 16 through December 31.
    • To use a dip net within 50 yards of the mouth of a tributary or the base of any dam.
    • To use a dip net in any trout-stocked waters, any Put-and-Take Trout Fishing Area or any Special Trout Fisheries Management Area (landing nets used to land fish are not considered dip nets.)
    • To use a dip net to fish for any trout species, Walleye, Striped Bass, Striped Bass hybrid, Northern Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge, or Tiger Muskie.
    • For anyone to use a dip net baited by attaching an attractant to the net material or frame.
  12. For a non-resident to fish in nontidal waters of the state with nets of any description. However, non-residents may use a net commonly known as a landing net to land fish caught by hook and line.
  13. To snag fish with hooks.
  14. Traps (minnow/bait)
    • To use more than one trap in State waters.
    • To use a trap not marked with the user’s DNRid number.
    • To use a trap in any Special Trout Management Area.
    • To set a trap in any waters if the trap is not attached to the user’s property or a privately owned pier or dock and marked by a buoy or pole and sign or attached to an undocked boat.
  15. 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.
  16. To disturb, take, destroy or possess the nest or eggs of a terrapin or snapping turtle.
  17. 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.
  18. To trespass or fish any waters closed to the public for fishing by the Department.
  19. To operate any vehicle on any lands owned or controlled by the Fisheries Service without written permission from the Fisheries Service except on those roads, lanes or areas which are open to automobile traffic or which are specifically marked by the Fisheries Service.
  20. To camp on lands owned and controlled by the Fisheries Service except on designated sites or with written permission.
  21. To swim in any state-controlled lake except in designated areas.
  22. To cut any brush, trees or shrubbery on the C&O Canal National Historical Park unless authorized by the National Park Service.
  23. Battie Mixon Fishing Hole:
    • To fish in Battie Mixon Fishing Hole in Allegany County between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.
    • To use boats propelled by gasoline or diesel power on the waters of Battie Mixon Fishing Hole.
  24. To throw, dump, deposit, or cause to be thrown, dumped or deposited, any refuse upon any of waters.
  25. To fish any streams or nontidal waters that contain trout between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. (This does not apply to nontidal impoundments of five acres or more.)
  26. To cull trout.
  27. To use a seine:
    • That exceeds six feet in length or four feet in depth or ¼ inch mesh to catch bait fish.
    • Within 50 yards of the mouth of any river or tributary or the base of a dam.
    • In state waters stocked with trout, any Put-and-Take Trout Fishing Area or Special Trout Fisheries Management Area.
  28. Regarding crayfish in the Susquehanna River, Middle Potomac River, Monocacy River and Upper Potomac River basins, to:
    • Catch 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.
    • Possess any species of crayfish while fishing unless the head is removed behind the eyes.
    • Catch and possess a female crayfish with eggs attached to the underside of the abdomen.
  29. To buy, sell, or offer to buy any fish harvested from the nontidal waters of the state.
  30. To use a cast net in nontidal waters.
  31. To feed any wildlife in a Fisheries Management Area.
  32. To use waders or boots soled with felt or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing liquid.

Tidal Sport Fishing

Chesapeake Bay & Tidal Tributaries and Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays & Tidal Tributaries

It Is Legal

  1.  To use projectile gear (spear, spear gun, bow and arrow, crossbow, gig…) to harvest all species of fish within the seasons and limits established by the Department except for any species listed as threatened or endangered, American Lobsters, all species of shark, snapping turtles, Striped  and Hybrid Striped Bass, trout, Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, and Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
  2. To use a finfish trotline that is no longer than 100 feet, with no more than 25 hooks, marked with the user’s DNRid.
  3. To use a seine up to 50 feet in length and 5 feet wide to obtain minnows for bait.
  4. To use a cast net by hand with a radius of 10 feet or less in any tidal water of the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries.
  5. To keep any size White Perch if caught by hook and line.
  6. To use an umbrella rig that has no more than 2 hooks or 2 sets of hooks.
  7. To catch and release American Shad, Hickory Shad, Blueback Herring or Alewife Herring.

It Is Illegal

  1. To use a finfish trotline made out of metal, baited with scaled fish bait, or not marked with the user’s DNRid number.
  2. Traps (minnow/bait)
    • To use more than one trap in State waters.
    • To use a trap not marked with the user’s DNRid number.
    • To set a trap in any waters if the trap is not attached to the user’s property or a privately owned pier or dock and marked by a buoy or pole and sign or attached to an undocked boat.
  3. To have in one’s possession aboard any boat on the tidal waters of Maryland any Striped Bass cut up or filleted at any time. Striped Bass must be landed whole.
  4. To have in one’s possession aboard any boat on the tidal waters of Maryland more than 15 cut up pounds of any fish upon which a size or weight limit is prescribed by law or regulations.
  5. To use more than 2 hooks or 2 sets of hooks for each rod or line. Artificial lures or plugs with multiple hooks are considered 1 set of hooks. Sabiki rigs are not legal in Chesapeake Bay or in Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Multiple hook rigs including Sabiki rigs are allowed in the Atlantic Ocean.
  6. To use a dip net in the Susquehanna River above the mouth of Deer Creek except to land a fish caught by hook and line.
  7. To operate a boat within the area 400 yards below or 400 yards above the Conowingo Dam.
  8. To take or have in one’s possession American Shad, Hickory Shad, Blueback Herring, Alewife Herring, Atlantic Sturgeon, or Shortnose Sturgeon.
  9. To use waders or boots soled with felt or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing liquid.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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