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Yellow Perch Regulations Amendments Proposed
ANNAPOLIS, MD — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) submitted proposed new regulations for yellow perch fishing to the General Assembly's Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee on Friday, October 19.
“These new regulations are designed to allow more yellow perch to reach critical spawning streams and rivers,” said Howard King, Fisheries Service Director. “We also hope to increase the opportunity for recreational anglers to catch a legal sized yellow perch with this new, more equitable harvest allocation and creel size.”
As proposed, the regulations would prohibit the use of fyke nets in tributaries of less than 200 feet in width during February and would extend the prohibition on commercial harvest and sale of yellow perch through March 14. This aims to enable yellow perch to migrate to historical spawning rivers and streams. The proposed regulations also lower the minimum recreational size from 9 inches to 8.5 inches, which should increase the probability of legal recreational catch. These proposed changes more equitably allocate yellow perch harvests between recreational and commercial anglers.
Under the proposed regulations, DNR designates two restoration creeks, McIntosh Run off Breton Bay (St. Mary’s County) and Northeast Creek off Northeast River (Cecil County), where recreational harvest and commercial harvest will be prohibited from February 1 through March 31. Yellow perch populations show positive signs of recovery due to natural and anthropogenic restocking efforts. The goal of declaring these creeks as restoration creeks is to accelerate that recovery.
The proposed regulations also remove language referring to an ineffective barbless hook requirement. As proposed, the regulations will apply to the 2008 season and could take effect as early January 28, 2008.
The regulations will be published in the Maryland Register on November 26, and the public comment period will run from November 26 to December 26, 2007. A public hearing on the proposed regulatory amendments is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 6 p.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd. in Annapolis, MD.
A summary of the proposed regulations is available at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/regulations/draftregulations.html.
October 22, 2007
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 449,000 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 12 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