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Message from the DNR

Dear Anglers, As our state and our nation faced the unprecedented challenges of the past year, Maryland’s tremendous natural resources once again proved invaluable. Our state parks reported record attendance as hundreds of thousands of Marylanders took to the great outdoors, including our diverse waterways and unparalleled fishing destinations. Maryland’s world-class experiences include wild rivers, peaceful lakes, the ocean, and the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. With that vast array of waterways come a vast array of fishing opportunities that are hard to rival. As Maryland anglers showed us last year, that includes record-setting catches of Longnose Gar, Florida pompano, and Gray Triggerfish. While fishing provides fun (and socially distant) recreation, it is also an important component of our conservation and management efforts for aquatic species. In that vein, we continue to urge recreational and commercial anglers to help with one of our most important environmental initiatives: reducing the number of destructive invasive species in our waterways, such as blue catfish, flathead catfish, and northern snakehead. These species pose a direct threat to the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and the most effective method of removal is to catch them and eat them. Fortunately, they make exceptional meals. With no catch limits or season limits, we encourage you to join the food fight. If you see these or other local seafood options on the menu at a Maryland restaurant, please order them! Now more than ever, we encourage you to buy local to support Maryland’s seafood industry, Maryland’s economy, and Maryland’s natural resources. By participating in the responsible stewardship of our waterways, you are preserving time-honored Maryland traditions to share with future generations. At a time when it matters most, please enjoy all that our natural resources have to offer, and have a memorable year out on the water! Sincerely, Larry Hogan, Governor Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources