The Maryland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (MDFWO), located in Annapolis, Maryland, was established in 1985 to manage the striped bass cooperative tagging program. Between 1985 and 1993, more than 9 million tagged hatchery-reared striped bass fingerlings were released into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributarires. In addition, since 1985 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and cooperating agencies have tagged almost half a million striped bass with external anchor or "spaghetti" tags. MDFWCO stores coast-wide tagging information and fishery dependent and independent survey data. The information from this database is used to develop appropriate management measures to maintain a sustainable striped bass fishery.
Over 30 years after opening, the MDFWCO coordinates and manages cooperative tagging programs for striped bass, horseshoe crab, Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon. Biologists collaborate with partners to implement American eel passage, American shad restoration, and anadromous fish and brook trout habitat restoration. Work is also being done to monitor sturgeon, invasive species, and freshwater mussels. These programs provide information needed to develop the framework for managing fisheries resources along the Atlantic seaboard.
"Conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats, in cooperation with partners, for the continuing benefit of the American people."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was created by Congress in 1871 to recommend solutions to the decline in fish available for food. More than 130 years later, the USFWS has expanded to become the only federal agency whose primary responsibility is conserving and protecting fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats.