Fishing opportunities in the tidal, brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Chester River are available at the Tundra Swan Boardwalk, Ingleside Recreation Area (April 1-September 30), Bogles Wharf and the bridge spanning the Eastern Neck Narrows. A boat ramp is available at Bogles Wharf (a Kent County trailer permit is required) and small watercraft may be launched by hand at the Ingleside Recreation Area. Species include striped bass, white perch, spot, seatrout, croaker and blue crab. Maryland state fishing regulations apply.
Hunting and Fishing Plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a final hunting and fishing plan for Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex in Maryland, which includes Blackwater and Eastern Neck NWRs. A draft plan was issued earlier this spring; during the 97-day public comment period, 24 comment letters were received. We are grateful to those who provided comments, which helped in developing the final plan.
A summary of all substantive comments, and our responses, can be found in Appendix E (Finding of No Significant Impact). No significant changes have been made between the draft and final versions of the Hunting and Fishing Plan. As part of next year’s proposed rule, Blackwater and Eastern Neck NWRs will propose a non-lead requirement, which will take effect on September 1, 2026. The Environmental Assessment analyzes the impacts of lead ammunition and tackle; based on the breadth of comments received on the plan to require non-lead ammunition and tackle by 2026, the Service intends to complete additional analysis and provide another opportunity to comment during next year’s annual rulemaking.
Other changes that are now in effect include the use of straight wall cartridges during shotgun hunts this fall, the incidental take of coyotes, and an early teal season in 2023.
We may begin to implement the Hunting and Fishing Plan for Chesapeake Marshlands NWR Complex upon publication of the final 2022-2023 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations in the Federal Register. The final plan can be viewed here.