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Boy, do I have egg on my face. To summarize, last weekend I posted a report about fishing the Marshyhope River near Federalsburg. In the report I mentioned that I was fishing with some locals and targeting white perch, but they didn't bite. We still had a fun day because we found 12" + post-spawn yellow perch. I posted pictures. The next day someone from the Eastern Shore, I think Eastduck was the first, commented that he thought the Marshyhope was closed to YP fishing. Despite a little discomfort in the pit of my stomach, I didn't feel too concerned because I remebered, and even photographed a sign at the Federalsburg ramp prescribing current YP size & creel limits. I took the sign to mean the river was open. Still, I was concerned and called DNR. My first two calls went unreturned, as did a couple of emails. The confusion is about the term "watershed." In several DNR publications the "Marshyhope Watershed" is cited indepently, but it obviously flows into the Nanticoke which is a "closed watershed."

Boyd Pfieffer from the Baltimore Examiner, who is tracking the YP situation and has written previously about confusion in the regs, contacted me. He said he would make some calls. The next day I got an email from Dianne Samuels at the DNR fisheries department in Annapolis. It read, "If the Marshyhope is a tributary of the Nanticoke River, you cannot catch yellow perch there." Obviously, that didn't answer the question. Boyd called me back and said that he had encountered similar confusion from his contacts. I wrote Ms. Samuels back, copied some other people at DNR, and asked more specifically about the "watershed" issue. I don't know if it was my calls, Boyd's, or those from others here on the TF board, but this time I got a specific answer. Ms. Samuels wrote back defining "watershed" and specifically confirming that the Marshyhope is closed to YP.

Now, I know very well that it's the individual sportsman's responsibility to know the rules and regulations of where he is fishing. So I'm not passing the buck here. But I will say that this situation is at best confusing. When I was fishing the Marsyhope I talked to other anglers who were catching and keeping YP. I don't believe it's common knowledge that the river is closed and I don't think DNR is enforcing it or providing adequate notification. According to Boyd, who writes about it in his column today, some people at DNR apparently agree and they are considering new signage. Yellow perch sign language is fishy - Examiner.com Additionally, I have sent a check to the Otter Creek Alliance/Leight Estuary Center, a self-imposed fine of sorts, to promote further education about yellow perch habitat and associated conservation efforts. My apologies for any confusion my post might have caused here. -Shawn
 

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It takes a big man to admit he was worng. Hopefully some of those locals that were keeping fish will read this and learn something from you mis-adventures. Cheers.

-Evans
 

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I have similar confusion regarding the closed "West River Watershed" and whether it includes the Rhode River and its tributaries.
 

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Shawn-
I had talked to a game warden that works that area- without any hesitation he confirmed Marshyhope closed to YP. The enforcement probably seems slack because there are so many people perch fishing in so many different locations.

I would think a simple map in the regs and/or internet, similar to the ones available for rockfish, would be a really good idea. And better signs!
ChopCrab
 

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WOW. Talk about a straight up gentleman. Makes a mistake, admits it, teaches other not to make same mistake, and then penalizes himself. You have done more to helping the bay fishery in a week then most people do in their lifetime. We all mistakes, don't let it ruin your weekend.
Tom
 

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everyone makes mistakes, thanks for following up on it and informing us of the regs. maybe it will help others. and maybe even the dnr will learn from it
 

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that is very responsible

i think more fisherman should be as considerate to this sport and authority as you. you are a good example to fishermen of all ages.:thumbup:
 
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