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Tidal Seasons, Minimum Sizes, Daily Creel & Possession Limits

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The following tables summarize rules governing the harvest and possession of fish species that anglers commonly catch in Maryland. This is an abridged summary and does not include all regulated species. Full information and updates are available at www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/

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-Sept. 18 and Oct. 18-Dec. 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

Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum)

18–27 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Sharks

See Highly Migratory Species Section

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

See Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass section—under Striped Bass.

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.

Coastal Bays, Coastal Bay Tributaries & Atlantic Ocean

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-Sept. 18 and Oct. 18-Dec. 31

Daily-15

Bluefish

8 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—10

Croaker (Hardhead)

9 inches

Open Year Round

Daily—25

Dolphin (Fish)

None

Open Year Round

Daily—10

Boat limit—60

Grouper species

None

Open Year Round

Daily—1

Grouper species— See Website

Lobster
*Please see additional recreational lobster information below

3385¼ inches
carapace length

Consult the online version of the MD-DNR Fishing Guide for fishing season and creel limit information—
eregulations.com/maryland/fishing

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

New Creel Limit: 28 inches or longer, 1 per person per day.

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

Open Year Round
Except Nov. 27–Dec. 31

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

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 3 38 inches to 5 1/4 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 1/4 inch in length;
    • Is not greater than 1/2 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.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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