Bad actors among recreational anglers will soon be subject to tough penalties similar to the ones put in place by the state to punish rogue watermen.
The penalty schedule, designed after consulting with the recreational and commercial fishing communities, law enforcement officers and charter boat captains, would allow the Department of Natural Resources to suspend or revoke fishing licenses for offenses ranging from fishing out of season and overfishing various species to crabbing violations and illegally selling striped bass.
The Fisheries Service will have a hearing at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10 at DNR headquarters in Annapolis. The new regulation is set to take effect March 21.
The penalty system consists of four tiers containing 187 offenses. Suspensions begin at 30 days and go up to 1 year. In addition to penalties for individual offenses, the regulations contain a “three strikes you’re out” provision that would allow DNR to revoke for one year the license of any angler convicted of three offenses on separate days within the calendar year