Robert T Brown Sr., Senator Hershey, Delegate JacobsApril 2018

Governor Hogan has budgeted $750,000 dollars for oyster seed, spat on shell and shell for the public bottom oyster program.  This means all counties in the program will receive a little over $68,000 dollars more which can be used this year or rolled over to next year.  These funds will help rebuild some of our public fishery acres.  Thank you Governor Hogan!

Department of Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Bill Anderson, accompanied by George O’Donnell, have been meeting with watermen across the Bay to help resolve some of the disputes in user conflict with oyster bottom and water column leases.  One problem is that the Yates oyster bars have been divided into public shellfish areas and some areas are being leased are part of the public fishery and are worked on part of the season.  Another issue is that according to the new lease law of 2009, clammers and crabbers were completely left out.    The lease law after eight years needs to be reviewed and revised by either law or regulation to preserve all user groups and our heritage. We should be protected under the Public Trust Doctrine.

The Charter Boat Association voted to bring up a Striped Bass Workgroup Meeting to request to get over 20.5 % reduction of Chesapeake Rock fish quota back.  This will be discussed at MWA Board of Directors Meeting on April 9th at 6PM.

Crabbers, we are still waiting the results of the winter Crab Survey, hopefully this late winter weather has not harmed our crabs that bedded down over the winter.  Water temperatures are low for this time of the year. (See Page 3 for the female crab commercial bushel limits and crew requirements for April 1 through June 30)

As of this writing of the President’s Corner we still are awaiting new on the several bills that have gone over to the Senate for hearing and vote.  I hope to have more information by April the 9 Board meeting.

The Annual Clay Shoot will be held on May 20th at Larry Bowling’s Clay Shoot in La Plata, Maryland.  We will be sending out flyers and posting on the event is on the MWA Website.  If you haven’t been to one of the shoots, it’s a great day for fellowship, food and friends.  If you have any questions please give us a call at the MWA Office 410-216-6610.  We hope to see you there.

The Annual Rock Hall, Rockfish Tournament will be held on June 8th, 9th, and 10th at the bulkhead next to Hook Line—N— Sinker.  Registration for this event can be made by calling the office, going to the website: MarylandWatermen.com or in person at Hook Line – N -- Sinker in Rock Hall, Maryland.

Please stay safe in your travels.

Robert T.

 

 

Top photograph courtesy of Jay Fleming

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