DNR to Allow More Netting of Spawning Fish
Seeks an Increase in Commercial Exploitation of Vulnerable Yellow Perch
January 3, 2006
Annapolis, MD– Despite overwhelming opposition at two public meetings, the DNR has again rejected the concerns of recreational fishermen. On December 23, the special interests representing commercial exploitation of the public’s resource got an early Christmas present when the DNR submitted a proposal to allow netting of spawning yellow perch in two rivers closed to such netting since 1989, the Choptank and Nanticoke.
“The DNR just doesn’t get it,” said Sherman Baynard, chairman of CCA MD’s Fisheries Committee. “They continue to manage yellow perch for commercial netters and could care less about the needs of recreational anglers. We don’t see how netting these spawners will help restore yellow perch or improve recreational fishing when we can’t even catch our five fish limit.”
CCA MD is urging all recreational anglers to take advantage of the public comment period before the proposed regulation takes effect. Two public hearings have been scheduled concerning the adoption of this proposal, the first at 7pm on Wednesday, January 25, at Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, and the second at 7pm on Wednesday, February 8, at the County Commissioners Office, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge.
“This is bigger than yellow perch,” said Robert Glenn, Executive Director of CCA MD, “This is about the DNR and their appetite for serving the special interests that profit at the expense of the public’s resource. We have nobody to blame but ourselves if we don’t attend these hearings.”
The DNR’s fishery management plan for yellow perch, adopted in 2002 after years of lobbying by CCA MD, calls for the restoration of yellow perch. According to DNR, monitoring of yellow perch stocks indicate that populations are increasing in the Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers, which have been closed to commercial exploitation since 1989.
“The time has come to start managing our recreational fisheries for abundance and not maximizing commercial pounds to be sold at the dock. 2006 is going to be marked by a campaign to educate recreational anglers and voters on the DNR’s archaic fisheries management philosophy and its institutionalized bias against them,” said Bill Curry, President of CCA MD.
Written comments should be sent to Sarah Widman, Fisheries Service, B-2, Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401. Ms. Widman’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.