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End Of Striped Bass Gill Net Season Busy For Natural Resources Police
HILLSBORO— The end of February marked the end of the striped bass drift gill net season in the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) officers working in the Upper Eastern Regional Area confiscated 63 illegal gill nets during the last week of the season. Over 1,200 pounds of fish along with waterfowl were removed from those nets.
Twenty-three nets were seized in Queen Anne’s Chester and Corsica Rivers, 19 nets in Dorchester’s Choptank River and Fishing Bay, 12 nets in Talbot County’s Blackwalnut Point area and nine nets from Kent County’s Chester River. These nets were unattended, unmarked and some were anchored.
A gill net is a net used for the commercial harvest of fish. The net is maintained in a vertical position in the water with sinkers or floats. The net captures fish by means of a mesh too small to permit passage of the body of the fish or withdrawal of the head once the posterior margin of the gill covers has passed through the mesh. A drift gill net is a net not secured to or anchored to the bottom, including a net rigged with up to 20 pounds of weight at each end. These nets must be attended by the licensee in a boat within two miles of the net while it is in waters of the Chesapeake Bay, or within one mile when the net is in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays and their tributaries, or a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. An anchor gill net is a net that is stationary in the water and secured to the bottom by conventional anchors or heavy weights.
No arrests or charges have been filed on any of the nets however, all are still under investigation.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is an enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources. With an authorized strength of 285 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the Natural Resources Police provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
March 4, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov