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#1 mantisfan101

mantisfan101
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  • Maryland

Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:06 PM

Hi all, I've been keeping and breeding mostly exotic fish(apistogramma, bettas, cichlids, etc) but I've always wanted to try and keep native fish. I'mfrom Maryland and I'd like to know if we need any permits to catch and keep any native fish as pets up here.



#2 minorhero

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  • Maryland

Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:47 AM

Hello and welcome!

 

There are a couple of Maryland'rs on this forum myself included. You need a non-tidal fishing permit and a means of catching them. Its (essentially) illegal to use a dipnet which is pretty annoying but you can use a minnow trap, hook and line, and a seine net that is not larger then 6 feet long and 4 feet high. I believe the limit for minnow and bait fish is 25 a day? But not sure, other then that you don't need anything else special.



#3 El Todd

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  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:46 PM

There are a few species that are restricted because they are state endangered. Two that come to mind are the flier and the blackbanded sunfish. Both are good aquarium fish, so people from states where they are legal keep them sometimes, but in Maryland they are illegal to take and possess without a special permit.

 

Last I checked a few months ago, dipnets are legal in Maryland but only in certain places and only for certain species. I don't know where you are in Maryland, but D.C. and Virginia allow the use of dipnets, with similar caveats as well as seasonal restrictions in Virginia.

 

There are less restrictions on Minnow traps so I use them pretty often and after lots of trial and error I devised a way and found a certain bait mix that attracts a lot of different species found in the area. I've also had good luck catching sunfish using microfishing techniques. Maryland has no extra restrictions on hand fishing, so I've done that lots of times with some success. It's illegal to take bait fish from trout stocked areas. If you're near the coast the tidal regulations are different than non-tidal, but some of the tidal areas actually have lots freshwater fish because they have low salinity(Bladensburg Waterfront park is a good example). I could go on but that would get pretty boring I'm sure.

 

All in all if you are interested in natives I think Maryland is a great state to be in and gives you lots of options despite having some annoying regulations. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me, I would be happy to help!



#4 minorhero

minorhero
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  • Maryland

Posted 13 November 2019 - 07:58 PM

There are a few species that are restricted because they are state endangered. Two that come to mind are the flier and the blackbanded sunfish. Both are good aquarium fish, so people from states where they are legal keep them sometimes, but in Maryland they are illegal to take and possess without a special permit.

 

Last I checked a few months ago, dipnets are legal in Maryland but only in certain places and only for certain species. I don't know where you are in Maryland, but D.C. and Virginia allow the use of dipnets, with similar caveats as well as seasonal restrictions in Virginia.

 

There are less restrictions on Minnow traps so I use them pretty often and after lots of trial and error I devised a way and found a certain bait mix that attracts a lot of different species found in the area. I've also had good luck catching sunfish using microfishing techniques. Maryland has no extra restrictions on hand fishing, so I've done that lots of times with some success. It's illegal to take bait fish from trout stocked areas. If you're near the coast the tidal regulations are different than non-tidal, but some of the tidal areas actually have lots freshwater fish because they have low salinity(Bladensburg Waterfront park is a good example). I could go on but that would get pretty boring I'm sure.

 

All in all if you are interested in natives I think Maryland is a great state to be in and gives you lots of options despite having some annoying regulations. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me, I would be happy to help!

 

Unfortinately dipnets are essentially not legal. This is the relevant section:

 

COMAR is 8.02.25.02(D)(6) and states:
 

"(6) Dip nets:

(a) May be used in areas of the Potomac River, Monocacy River, and Conococheague Creek that lie within Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties to catch the following fish species:

(i) Carp;

(ii) Catfish;

(iii) Northern snakehead; and

(iv) Suckers; and

(b) May not be used in any other area or to catch any other species."

 

 

That is pretty limiting. I suppose if you really want to go after suckers, or catfish in those counties you will be glad to have one. But for 99% of what we are interested in and locations we might be, its not legal. Virginia is similar in species but state wide except where they stock trout (from memory but I don't have the citation as readily available). So not really useful there either unless going after suckers.

 

Here is a full list of endangered species in Maryland. All of them are pretty rare so unlikely to see one, but if you do /shrug you have to throw it back.



#5 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:16 PM

This sounds like another one of those cases where the term dip net had a different historical meaning than what it does now. Georgia has a similar law. Not that we can fight it, but apparently there was a historical commercial fishing method that involved a large frame like (6ft by 6ft), on a cantalever arm (like12ft long) that you could lower into the river and then lift up to catch larger and more fish. These were called dip nets I believe. Anyway, we have such a law as well and so you just have to use a small seine.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#6 minorhero

minorhero
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  • Maryland

Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:23 PM

There is a definitions section as well and its incredibly vague when it comes to dipnets. From memory its any net attached to a pole or stick that can be held in the hand. Or something like that. Its actually the exact same definition they use for a landing net. But a landing net has the additional provision that the fish must be caught by some other means before the landing net can be employed. 

 

Anyway I actually contacted DNR (our fish agency) and asked them to change the regulation to allow dipnets for minnows and bait fish. I got shuffled around a little. I doubt anyone will do anything but I plan to keep poking them a few times a year for the rest of my life ;P



#7 El Todd

El Todd
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  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:36 AM

 

Unfortinately dipnets are essentially not legal. This is the relevant section:

 

COMAR is 8.02.25.02(D)(6) and states:
 

"(6) Dip nets:

(a) May be used in areas of the Potomac River, Monocacy River, and Conococheague Creek that lie within Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties to catch the following fish species:

(i) Carp;

(ii) Catfish;

(iii) Northern snakehead; and

(iv) Suckers; and

(b) May not be used in any other area or to catch any other species."

 

 

That is pretty limiting. I suppose if you really want to go after suckers, or catfish in those counties you will be glad to have one. But for 99% of what we are interested in and locations we might be, its not legal. Virginia is similar in species but state wide except where they stock trout (from memory but I don't have the citation as readily available). So not really useful there either unless going after suckers.

 

Here is a full list of endangered species in Maryland. All of them are pretty rare so unlikely to see one, but if you do /shrug you have to throw it back.I 

 

Unfortunately for us dipnets are very heavily regulated in Maryland as you say - and we are not really saying anything different as far as I can tell. You are describing non-tidal regulations, but dip nets are legal in tidal areas for a wider variety of species; and as I said previously, there are some tidal areas I have been to that have a few desirable species. Ultimately, because of all the regulations, dipnets are not usually a great option for collecting in Mayland in my opinion, but I wouldn't completely rule it out either. Also, northern hogsuckers are fun to keep from what I have read here.

 

Virginia has interesting laws regarding nets. Any non-game fish can be taken with a net they refer to it as a hand held bow net (which to me sounds like a dip net) as long as it is not endangered. The VDGIF has a separate definition for dip net which is meant to regulate very large nets from my understanding.  I think this difference in the use of the term dip net is the same thing Michael Wolfe is describing in the fifth post. Virginia also allows the use of cast nets and umbrella style nets.

 

Washington D.C. also has less restrictive dip net laws than Maryland allowing for the taking of cyprininds, shiners and other bait fish.

 

In all of these jurisdictions, the regulations for dip nets have additional restrictions in regards to where and sometimes when you can use them that I have not mentioned and sometimes you have to call the department for clarification.

 

Anyhow, I myself use a minnow trap or microfishing more than anything because there are fewer restrictions on those activities - especially microfishing.

 

When I first got into this I was so confused by some of the regulations I called the DNR a few times for clarification on certain things. I try to be helpful when I can and hopefully save someone from those headaches. I think this is a great hobby and I would love to see more people interested in it in the area so I try to help anyone as best I can.





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