ANNAPOLIS - The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Friday announced the commercial weakfish seasons for the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays and their tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay for 2007.
The Atlantic weakfish fishery for gill nets and other gears, except trawl nets, will open at 12:01 a.m., Monday, March 26, 2007 and continue to 12:00 a.m. midnight, Thursday, April 26, 2007. This fishery for gill nets and other gears will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Monday, September 3, 2007 and continue to 12:00 a.m. midnight, Wednesday, November 14, 2007. A licensee using gill nets and other gears in the Atlantic may not catch or land weakfish on Sundays during these open seasons.
The Atlantic weakfish trawl net fishery will open 12:01 a.m., Thursday, October 18, 2007 and continue to 12:00 a.m., midnight, Tuesday, December 25, 2007. A licensee using a trawl net may not catch or land weakfish on Saturdays or Sundays.
The Chesapeake Bay commercial weakfish fishery for all gears will open at 12:01 a.m., Sunday, August 5, 2007 and continue to 12:00 a.m., midnight, Sunday, September 30, 2007. A licensee may catch and land weakfish from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay on any day during the open season.
During the closed weakfish season, a commercial licensee targeting species other than weakfish with gear other than hook and line may possess or land in any one day no more than 150 pounds of legal-sized weakfish as by-catch, provided that there is at least an equal poundage of species other than weakfish on board the vessel. During the closed weakfish season, a commercial licensee using hook and line may not land weakfish as by-catch.
All other current rules and regulations remain in effect for each weakfish season. The allowable harvest days for the commercial weakfish fishery are consistent with the Weakfish Fisheries Management Plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.