News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Task Force on Fishery Management Issues Final Recommendations

2-year study paves the way for enhancing management and enforcement

Annapolis, MD (October 9, 2009) ― The Maryland Task Force on Fishery Management presented the findings of its 2-year study of the State’s fishery management process at the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Summit today in Annapolis. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service has already implemented several of the Task Force’s recommendations and is in the process of adopting others.

“I want to congratulate all the members of the Task Force on their success, with special thanks to Chairman Tom Lewis for leading the effort,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This is important work that will have a significant impact on the management of our State’s fisheries, now and in the future.”

Governor O’Malley worked with the Maryland General Assembly to create the Task Force during the 2007 legislative session, and the group began its work the following November. The Task Force’s recommended changes to policy and regulation included a spending plan for priority areas such habitat protection, stock assessment and enforcement, and mechanisms to engage stakeholders. The spending plan is linked directly to the increased revenue from the license fee bill of 2007.

“This was a hugely challenging undertaking that required unprecedented collaboration between our Fisheries staff and our valued stakeholders,” said Secretary Griffin. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results and are grateful to the stakeholders who dedicated their time and expertise to the effort.”

“Our continued pursuit and implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations will surely lead us towards an improved management process and sustainable fisheries resources that will be enjoyed by today and future generations,” added Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell.

DNR is in the process of implementing additional recommendations and will be working with the Governor and the 2010 legislature to move changes forward.

“The Task Force was important for reasons that don’t appear in the headlines; for the fundamentals of gathering data, evaluating data and incorporating that data into fishery management plans,” said Chairman Thomas B. Lewis. “Our work went to the fundamentals of fisheries planning, management and enforcement rather than the hot issues of the day.“

DNR’s Fisheries Service will continue to refine and put into place the findings and recommendations with the help of the Sport Fisheries and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commissions.

For a complete list of the Task Force Members and their affiliations go to:

   October 9, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at