Sunday, March 18, 2012

MD Legislator Moves to Ban Gill Nets

New bill calls for banning of gill nets in Maryland waterways
A year after the rockfish season was cut short because recreational and commercial fishermen were charged with poaching with illegally tied-down gill nets, a bill proposing the ban of all gill nets in Maryland waterways will be considered by the General Assembly.

Sponsored by the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association and state Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Baltimore County Democrat, Senate Bill 1032 calls for the ban of gill nets whether they are weighted down or not. Gill nets are legal, but it has been illegal to hold the nets down with weights since 1985
Hmm, I'm a little torn on this.  Gill nets, properly used, are a good way to catch the sized fish you want, in the place you chose to.  Unfortunately, history suggests that a significant number of Maryland watermen abuse them, taking fish without reporting them, and cheating on the size and season requirements.  Perhaps a ban for a few years would make an impression, and turn that behavior around.  Certainly, the light that shown on the issue last year appears to have resulted in less problems this year.

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