Catch-and-release program aims to protect selected species

February 03, 1991|By Peter Baker

There is a growing movement toward catch-and-release sport fishing in waters around our country, and in Maryland this year, the Department of Natural Resources and Fishing In Maryland magazine have agreed to work together in an attempt to further conserve selected species.

This catch-and-release program will award patches and citations fishermen whose catches equal or surpass established lengths and are released alive after being measured and photographed when possible. If a photograph is not possible, catches, measurements and releases must be witnessed by another person.

RTC To be credited with the catch, an entry card obtained from an official weigh station must be submitted to tournament officials. Weigh stations are located in tackle shops, marinas and other locations around the state and in the 1991 issue of Fishing In Maryland magazine.

The catch-and-release program is separate from the magazine's annual creel award program and will run year-around.

"This is one way we can reward those catch-and-release fishermen who are out there and have been out there," said Dave Blazer, tournament director for the DNR's fisheries programs. "And, hopefully, we will be able to further instill the catch-and-release ethic among other fishermen."

Blazer said the Maryland Sportfishing Tournament will continue in its traditional format with renewed emphasis on catch and release. The sportfishing tournament offers citations and patches to licensed Maryland fishermen who catch fish that meet or exceed established weights.

Last year, the sportfishing tournament issued more than 2,100 citations and patches to anglers who were successful in Maryland waters. The sportfishing tournament is divided into

Atlantic, Chesapeake and freshwater divisions.

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