DNR seeking to alter rules on sea trout catch

April 25, 1993|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

The Department of Natural Resources wants to change the regulations for recreational and commercial catches of sea trout and spotted sea trout to conserve the species and prevent long-term economic damage to the commercial fishery.

DNR proposes to set size and creel limits for recreational and commercial fishermen and to close the Notebook

commercial season in the Maryland waters of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays from July 1 through Sept. 30.

If the changes in regulations go into effect after public hearings May 3 and May 5, recreational fishermen would be limited to 10 of each species per day for the remainder of this year and to five of each species per day starting next year.

Sea trout or weakfish would be subject to the 12-inch minimum size that now apples to spotted sea trout.

Through changes in net mesh size, limiting fishing dates and area closures, DNR figures the commercial catch will be reduced by 25 percent.

The restrictions on the commercial fishery will cause a short-term loss of more than $122,000, but, over the long term, a reduction of catch now should prove beneficial.

The May 3 hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the Wicomico County Library, 1222 South Division St., Salisbury.

The May 5 hearings will be held at 6 p.m. in the Department of Agriculture headquarters building on Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis.

Written comment on the changes may be sent to R.S. Early, Fisheries Division, Tawes State Office Building, C-2, 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, 21401. Written comment must be received by May 18.

Summer flounder season

Remember, summer flounder are subject to new creel and size limits.

In the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, summer flounder are in season from June 1 through Oct. 31.

In Maryland tidal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, seaside bays and their tributaries, the season is May 15 through Sept. 30.

In all areas, the minimum size is 14 inches and the daily creel limit is 10 per person.

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