There are currently multiple bills being proposed in the state of Maryland which could drastically affect Chesapeake Bay fishing, and need your input. Fortunately, CCA-MD has developed a (fantastic, spectacular, awesome) new TAKE ACTION webpage which lists out a synopsis of the current legislative issues in Maryland affecting anglers, and provides one-click links to email pertinent committees and legislators with your opinion. Reaching out directly to your delegates and senators is one of the best ways to make your voice heard and this webpage makes it easy (look at the link you just blew by; one click there and then you’re just one more click away!). You don’t have to be a CCA member to utilize this service, though we’re pretty sure you anglers already know how we feel about this — all Bay fishermen should join CCA-MD to help magnify our collective political voice.
At the moment there are several issues at hand with two big stand-outs. The first is mind-bogglingly bad for anglers and the Bay as a whole: after decades of ruinous oyster shell strip-mining with little to no benefit to the Bay’s ecology, House Bill 593 proposes that the DNR apply for permits to rip more shell from the bottom in such Upper Bay hotspots as Belvedere Shoal, Tea Kettle Shoal, Seven Foot Knoll, Gale’s Lump, and 23 other fishing hotspots. If you ever fish areas like these, be aware that once that shell is gone it’s gone forever and your favorite fishing spot may well become barren.
The second bill of interest, House Bill 500, takes the opposite attitude and seeks to protect Man-O-War Shoal from shell mining. (See Battle Stations: Man-O-War Shoal to learn about this hotspot, how to fish it, and why it should never be mined for oyster shell again).
Of course, everyone’s free to make up their own minds what to support and what to oppose. The most important thing is to check out this TAKE ACTION page, and make your angling voice heard.