Wes Moore, Governor
Josh Kurtz, Acting Secretary
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services
Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission
This commission is comprised of individuals from across the state who represent the interests of various recreational fishing constituencies. Information related to the commission is found on the department website under
Trout Unlimited, Coldwater Fisheries
Marine and Ocean Surf Fisheries, Assateague Mobile Sportsfishermen's Association
Charter Boat Captain
Charter Boat Captain
Steven R. Lay
Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission Liaison
Raymond P. Morgan II
Nontidal Fisheries Western Maryland
Nontidal, Tidal Fisheries
Nontidal, Tidal Fisheries
Fishing at Large, Conservation
David Sikorski - Chairperson
Coastal Conservation Association
David M. Sutherland
Marine Conservation and Economics
Nontidal, Tidal Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass Fisheries, Maryland Bass Nation
Tidal Fisheries, Heroes on the Water
Tidal, Marine Fisheries
This publication is intended as a guide only. Rules are subject to change. It is the angler's responsibility to know and abide by all rules. For statutes see the Natural Resources Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. For regulations see the Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 08. Maryland statutes and regulations can be found at the following web sites:
- Public Notices:
- Follow Fishing and Boating Services:
- Share your fishing story on the Angler’s Log
The Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing is a publication of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services. Political advocacy ads, ads promoting alcohol or tobacco and ads of a sexual nature will not be accepted. The department is not responsible for advertising claims contained herein. The department disclaims any liability regarding product pricing, claims, descriptions, availability, or condition. No warranty is expressed or implied concerning product errors, omissions or misprints.
This program receives Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility, or if you need more information, please write to:
Office of Fair Practice
Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., C-3 - Annapolis MD 21401
Telephone: (410)260-8058 Email: [email protected]
Office of Civil Rights
Dept. of Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C., 20240
Take a Child Fishing!
- My First Fish Certificate: Recognize a child with a certificate for their first fish.
- Youth Fishing Rodeos: Events which enable and encourage kids to catch a fish.
- Youth Angler’s Log: Share Your Catch!
- Youth Fishing Club: Membership is free and open to ages from 5 to 15. All members receive a newsletter and gifts for joining.
Learn more about these and other youth fishing programs at:
Better Data, Better Fishing
When you share information about your saltwater fishing trip with a Maryland Department of Natural Resources field interviewer, you’re playing a key role in supporting healthy and productive fisheries. Stationed at publicly accessible fishing sites, these specially trained DNR staff collect information used by NOAA Fisheries to estimate total recreational catch. As part of the survey, field interviewers measure and weigh harvested fish and ask about releases. A typical interview takes only about 5 minutes. Field interviewers play no role in enforcement, and have nothing to do with catch limits, rules, or regulations. Participating in the survey is one of the most important things anglers can do to help ensure sustainable fisheries today—and for generations to come.
Learn More. Go Fish.
Private Property Rights
We urge anglers to respect property rights and seek permission before attempting to park, fish or enter private property. The privilege of fishing and right of entry to private property is at the owner’s discretion. Respect for landowners and their property helps to ensure continued fishing access. Poor behavior encourages landowners to post their property to prevent access. Remember that every angler pays for the improper actions of a few. Always be courteous and respectful.
Dog Health Alert
Dog owners are asked to keep pets away from Dark False Mussels and also to take these preventative measures to ensure the safety of your pet. Consumption of Dark False Mussels has been associated with canine illness events and fatalities.
- Keep pets away from boats after being pulled out of water
- Clean boats away from animals
- Dispose of all boat scrapings properly keep dogs on leash to avoid exposure
If you suspect your dog is sick from having eaten dark false mussels, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
Turtle Reduction Devices Are Required By Law
Turtle reduction devices are required in recreational crab pots in Maryland. These devices reduce the number of terrapins entering a crab pot without hindering blue crab entry. Without turtle reduction devices, terrapins can enter crab pots and drown. To get instructions for making or attaching a turtle reduction device, visit
Help Save Maryland's Endangered Hellbenders—Please Do Not Kill
The hellbender is a large, dark, aquatic salamander that can live for more than 30 years and grow to over two feet long. Hellbenders can bite, and their protective coating of slime makes them difficult to handle. If you catch a hellbender on your fishing line, cut the line as close to the hook as possible and let the animal go.
If you have seen or caught a hellbender, we would like to hear from you. Please call the department's Wildlife and Heritage Service at 410-260-8540.