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Message from the DNR

Secretary Josh Kurtz

Welcome to another season of fishing and crabbing in Maryland!

From the coldwater streams of the Appalachian Mountains to the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean, opportunities for world-class sportfishing abound in Maryland.

In Maryland, we know that fishing is more than just a pastime–it’s an integral part of our cultural identity.

At the Department of Natural Resources, we use sound science to guide conservation of our aquatic resources as a way to offer the best experience, whether you are fly-fishing a quiet stream or trolling out on the Chesapeake Bay.

Thousands of miles of waterfront of varied terrain provide the backdrop in our fishing and wildlife management areas, state parks, and state forests. To increase these opportunities to enjoy Maryland nature, we continue to acquire, conserve, and protect lands so that all Marylanders and visitors can enjoy them.

Outdoor activities like fishing and crabbing also provide significant economic benefits to our state. Recreational anglers who bring home blue catfish or a bushel of crabs for a special meal support local businesses such as tackle shops, marinas, and bait providers.

We work with countless partners throughout the state to protect our waterways and the species that inhabit them by promoting wise use and careful stewardship. The state’s anglers are key to this effort as well. Maryland’s sportsmen and sportswomen play an essential role in conserving and promoting the long-term sustainability of these species. The information in this guide is based on regulations and laws developed with your input.

Above all, we must pass down our knowledge and experience to the next generation who will take to Maryland’s waters. When you go out fishing this year, be sure to introduce this beloved pastime to someone new.

Josh Kurtz
Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources