The Environmental Matters Committee of the House of Delegates killed a bill that would have banned gill-netting for rockfish in Maryland. House Bill 1189 fostered by the Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishermens Association would have compensated netters in a one-time payout of from $7,000 to $10,000 for giving up their gear.
The vote was 14 to 4. MSSA executive director Rich Novotnsaid a somewhat modified bill would be back next year. Still under committee consideration in the Senate is SB575 to designate rockfish a gamefish, which, in effect, would ban all commercial fishing for and the sale of wild rockfish in Maryland.