Call to Action

Recreational Fishing Data & Licensing – Pilot Program and Task Force

House Bill 601 / Senate Bill 455 creates a task force of recreational anglers, DNR staff and academic partners to address recreational fishing data collection. It also includes the creation of a pilot program by DNR to improve an understanding of who fishes under a consolidated boat license, the $50 "Boat sticker"

Current Status

  • Bill Introduced

  • In Committee

  • Passed to Opposite Chamber

  • Signed by Governor

5/16 Update: HB 601/SB 455 has been signed by the Governor and become law.

Our Position on this Legislation

In Support

CCA Maryland SUPPORTS improving fisheries data and SUPPORTS House Bill 610/ Senate Bill 455

Task Force:

This action empowers recreational fishing stakeholders to work with Maryland DNR and academic partners to work as a task force to identify actions that can be taken and funded to improve our understanding of recreational fishing activities and the scientific assessment of our fishery resources.

  • Recreational fishing licenses are a core driver in funding to Maryland DNR to manage our shared marine resources.
  • Licenses allow Maryland DNR to understand who is fishing so they may survey participants to understand their activities on the water.
  • Recreational fishery based data is a very important component of the science based systems to estimate fish populations and ensure sustainable management.
  • Current coast-wide survey systems do not provide the level of statistical accuracy needed to better manage our fisheries in a timely manner.

Pilot Program:

  • The proposed pilot program is focused on improving the data collection associated with the  Consolidated Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License (boat license)
  • The proposed pilot program is an example of an action that can be taken now to improve a known knowledge gap in the current licensing structure and an issue with compliance with current reporting requirements.
  • The proposed pilot program does not increase any fees on fishery participants.
  • The specific purpose of the pilot program as proposed in the legislation:
    • To collect demographic data of individuals fishing under a boat license
    • Collect information regarding the number of trips taken and fish caught and released under a boat license
    • Improve FREE registration compliance under current regulations
    • Requiring reporting to obtain the boat license in a subsequent year.

Take Action

Better data means better fishing. Email the members of the Environment & Transportation Committee and ask them to PASS House Bill 601 and providing recreational fishery stakeholders a path forward to improve science and better manage our public resources.

Legislation Details

Click here for full HB 601 bill details

Click here to view CCA Maryland written testimony on House Bill 601

The Environment & Transportation Committee will hold a VIRTUAL hearing on this bill on February 16th @ 1pm.  Click here for a google calendar link

Do you know your Delegate or Senator? Search for them here, and make sure they know how you feel on this issue too.