This is good news for cold freshwater anglers
New Yellow Perch Regulations Create New Opportunities for Anglers
Recreational Creel Limits Doubled Annapolis, Md. (Jan. 22, 2009) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released new regulations designed to ensure sustainable yellow perch populations and create new opportunities for recreational yellow perch fishing. The new guidelines will take effect on January 26, 2009.
Under the new laws, the daily recreational creel limit increases from 5 fish per day to 10 fish per day.
The changes also allow the opening of previously closed watersheds to recreational yellow perch fishing. The Patapsco, Magothy, Severn, South, and West River watersheds on the western shore, and the Nanticoke River watershed on the Eastern Shore are now open to recreational yellow perch fishing.
Commercial harvesters are now required to obtain a yellow perch harvest permit and to tag and report their daily catch in order to provide greater accountability and improved harvest data. If the commercial harvest target is achieved prior to the season closure, the fishery will be closed by DNR.
Regulations now restrict commercial fishing to areas above the Rt. 50 Bay Bridge (excluding the Magothy River) and Patuxent River, and establish a target harvest for each open area. The use of commercial fyke nets are prohibited in the upper reaches of 14 streams and rivers during the spawning season in an effort to minimize user conflicts. The commercial season is shortened.
Throughout 2008, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists and managers met with scientists, recreational anglers and commercial watermen to discuss a new population assessment and develop new management strategies that would allow for continued harvest and at the same time allow for growth in tidal yellow perch populations. The new assessment allowed managers to develop allocation goals and set conservative harvest quotas. The population assessment and data from a 2008 creel survey - along with angler-supplied data from an on-line survey - showed that the daily recreational creel limit could be increased.
"This year-long process is one more example of science and stakeholder cooperation guiding management decisions that promote the natural resources of Maryland," said Tom O'Connell, Director of Maryland Fisheries Service. "The new management framework, along with continued monitoring and consultation with user-groups makes certain that the yellow perch resource is sustainable at levels that provide high quality recreational and commercial fishing opportunities for today and future generations."
The new management measures were guided by provisions in a law passed by the Maryland General Assembly (amended Natural Resources Article, §4-215.2, Annotated Code of Maryland) in 2007.
For participating in the 2008 online creel survey, Michael Coates was awarded an ultra light spinning combo and a tackle box overflowing with lures and other tackle from Bass Pro Shops - perfect for the upcoming yellow perch run. Another lucky angler will win a spinning combo for providing their 2009 recreational yellow perch catch data to DNR. To participate, just log on to the Maryland DNR website: Yellow Perch Volunteer Angler Survey