Saw this today while looking up state records and thought I'd pass it on.
2010 Management Options for Blue and Flathead Catfish – Feedback Due by June 1, 2009 The Department of Natural Resources is considering management options for blue and flathead catfish for 2010. These options are currently being discussed at the Inland Fisheries Public Meetings and will be further discussed at future public scoping meetings.
Currently, the Department is considering the following management options for future proposal:
- Allow the angling and harvest of blue catfish in the tidal Potomac River, with no movement of the species to other waters.
- Allow the angling and harvest of flathead catfish in the Susquehanna River at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, with no movement of the species to other waters
- Removing the minimum size limit (10 inches) on catfish for blue catfish and flathead catfish.
Pre-Proposal: Blue catfish and flathead catfish are invasive species that have become established in some tidal waters of Maryland. Fishing for these species will be allowed within those areas, but regulations are being considered to prevent anglers from moving these species to new areas.
Discussion: These are invasive species that either migrated into Maryland waters or were mistakenly stocked. They are large, highly efficient predators which may have significant impacts on other species through predation, and competition for food and habitat. Measures are being taken through a variety of avenues to reduce the chances of new species knowingly or unknowingly being introduced into Maryland waters.
Blue catfish in the Potomac and flathead catfish in the Susquehanna River have established populations and their removal is not considered possible with current available methods. Both species are listed in Maryland regulations as “Nuisance and Prohibited Species” and are on the “No transport” list which prohibits anglers from moving them to other waters of the state. However we recognize that significant fisheries have developed on these species. Language is being crafted which would allow these fisheries to continue while assuring that these species are not spread to new waters or new areas of a drainage.
To read more about the options or provide feedback, go to www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/regulations/draftregulations.html and look for the blue and flathead catfish section.
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