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Tidal Seasons, Minimum Sizes, Daily Creel & Possession Limits

CHESAPEAKE BAY & ITS TIDAL TRIBUTARIES

CHESAPEAKE BAY & ITS TIDAL TRIBUTARIES

Species

Minimum Size Limits

Season

Creel Limit

Remarks

American Eel

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—25

Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth)

15 inches
March 1–June 15

Open Year Round

Daily—5 in aggregate

12 inches
June 16 through last day in February

Black Drum

16 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Boat Limit—6

Black Sea Bass

 12.5 inches

May 15–September 21 and
October 22–December 31

 Daily—15

Bluefish

8 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—10

Catfish

None

Open Year Round

No Limit

Chain pickerel (Pike)

14 inches

CLOSED March 15–April 30

Daily—10

Croaker (Hardhead)

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—25

Northern Snakehead

No minimum size

Open Year Round

No limit

Illegal to transport live snakehead fish.

Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum)

18–27 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Sharks

See Highly Migratory Species Section—page 44

Spanish Mackerel

14 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—15

Must be landed with head and fins intact.

Spotted seatrout

14 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—4

Striped Bass

20 inches Open Year Round Daily–2

Minimum size is 20 inches, only one of which can be equal to or greater than 28 inches

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

16 inches

Open year round

 Daily—4

Walleye

15 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—5

Weakfish

13 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

White perch

None if caught with hook & line; 8 inch minimum if caught with other gear

Open Year Round

No Limit

Yellow perch

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—10

The taking of American shad, hickory shad, alewife herring, blueback herring, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon is prohibited.

Areas Closed to Fishing—February, March and April:
1. Magothy River from Lake Waterford dam downstream for 3,300 feet.
2. Severn River and Severn Run from the Route 3 Bridge downstream for 2,400 feet.

ATLANTIC OCEAN & COASTAL BAYS

ATLANTIC OCEAN, COASTAL BAYS & TRIBUTARIES

Species

Minimum Size Limits

Season

Creel Limit

Remarks

American eel

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—25

Black Drum

16 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Boat limit—6

Black sea bass

12.5 inches

May 15–September 21 and
October 22–December 31

 Daily–15 in aggregate

Bluefish

8 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—10

Cobia

None

Open Year Round in state waters

None

Closed in federal waters

Croaker (Hardhead)

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—25

Dolphinfish (Mahi-Mahi)

None

Open Year Round

Daily—10

Boat limit—60

Only applies to federal waters.

Grouper species

None

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Grouper species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm

Lobster
*Please see additional recreational lobster information below

3385¼ inches
carapace length

Open Year Round
Except Feb. 1 – March 31

100/person/24 hour period or 500 for a 5-day or longer trip when using gear other than lobster traps

Must be landed whole. Spearing is prohibited.

Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum)

1827 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Scup (Porgy)

8 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—50

Sharks

See Highly Migratory Species Section—page 44

Snapper species

None

Open Year Round

Daily—20 in aggregate

Snapper species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm

Spanish Mackerel

14 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—15

Spotted seatrout

14 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—4

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

16 inches Open Year Round Daily–4

Striped Bass

28 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—2

28-38 inches or 44 inches plus.
Striped bass may not be caught, harassed or possessed in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which stretches from 3 to 200 miles off the coast.

Tautog

16 inches

Jan. 1-Nov. 26

Jan. 1–May 15 and Nov. 1–Nov. 26, Daily—4

May 16–Oct. 31, Daily—2

Tilefish species

None

Open Year Round

Daily—7 in aggregate

Tilefish species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm

Wahoo

None

Open Year Round

Daily—2

Only applies to federal waters.

Weakfish

13 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

The taking of American shad, hickory shad, alewife herring, blueback herring, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon is prohibited.

*Gear: A lobster trap must have:

  • A minimum of one rectangular escape vent which must be a minimum of 2 inches by 5¾ inches; or
  • A minimum of two circular escape vents which must have a minimum diameter of 25⁄8 inches

It is unlawful to catch, land, possess, sell, offer to sell, or transport any:

  • Lobster that is egg-bearing or from which eggs have been intentionally removed;
  • Female lobster bearing a V-shaped notch which is:
    • A straight-sided triangular cut with or without setal hairs, at least 1/8 inch in depth and tapering to a sharp point
      in the flipper next to the right of the center flipper as viewed from the rear of the female lobster; or
    • Mutilated in a manner which could hide, obscure, or obliterate such a mark.

An individual who catches an egg bearing female lobster that measures 338 inches to 5¼ inches in length from the rear end of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of body shell (carapace) to the rear of the body shell (carapace) must:

  • Mark the lobster to the right of the center flipper as viewed from the rear of the female lobster when the underside
    of the lobster is down with a v-shaped notch that:

    • Is made by means of a sharp bladed instrument;
    • Is at least ¼ inch in length;
    • Is not greater than ½ inch in depth; and
    • Tapers to a sharp point; and

• Immediately release the lobster.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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