March 22, 2021
Thanks to your calls and emails to your local representatives, HB 843, the bill to bring commercial seine net fishing to Lake Ogleton, Whitehall and Meredith Creeks, is DEAD, as of March 19, 2021.
At least for this year.
Earlier this month, we alerted you to a bill in the Maryland House of Delegates that would expand haul seine net commercial fishing to Whitehall Creek, Meredith Creek and Lake Ogleton.
Proponents of HB 843 said the measure would open these creeks to commercial scale fishing and the use of large haul seine nets — 750 feet or more — to catch gizzard shad, a forage fish for rockfish, white and yellow perch and other predators, for shipment to the Gulf Coast as bait.
But the proponents of this measure never consulted the communities that live in these waters.
Thanks to your help, we can now announce that the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee declined to move HB 843 out of committee on March 19, effectively killing the measure. The bill will not be presented to the full House of Delegates for further consideration.
Members of the Anne Arundel Delegation told us that the concerns they heard from our members, particularly those who live along the affected waterways, were instrumental in causing the Delegation to rethink its support of this bill in its present form.
SRA thanks the Delegation for listening to our members and acting on these concerns, and it hopes that this process is the beginning of renewed cooperation between the Delegation, SRA and, most importantly, each of you who live along and use the Severn River.