Recent News


Hurricane Florence, Already a Monster, is Due to Strengthen as 1 Million People are Told to Flee the US Coast
CNN, 11 September 2018

VA Gets a Year to Comply with Menhaden Limits or Face Moratorium
Bay Journal, 10 September 2018

Chesapeake Crab Industry Pinched by Work Visa Shortage
Bay Journal, 6 September 2018

Young Right Whale Likely Died from Entanglement
NOAA Fisheries – Greater Atlantic Region, 6 September 2018

MD Changes Plans, Picks Manokin River for Oyster Restoration Effort
Bay Journal, 5 September 2018

Chesapeake Bay Magazine, 4 September 2018

Oyster Farmers, Southern Md. Residents Clash Over Water Rights
Chesapeake Bay Magazine, 28 August 2018

Study of Chesapeake Bay Cownose Ray Urges Caution in Managing Population
WTOP, 24 August 2018

Raw Sewage Making Way from Erupting Manhole to Chesapeake Bay
WBALTV 11, 24 August 2018

Record Rains Continue to Pummel Clam Populations
WJZ 13 CBS Baltimore, 24 August 2018

Pollution, Freshwater Killing Clams in Chesapeake Bay
WBOC, 23 August 2018

Senate MSA Reauthorization a Step Back for Fishing Communities
The Hill, 21 August 2018

On Tape: Wind and Solar Leaders Plead for MD Legislation
Chesapeake Climate Action Network, 17 August 2018

Ocean City Officials Strengthen their Opposition to Proposed Wind Farms
Institute for Energy Research, 17 August 2018

Fresh Water Impact Concern Chesapeake Bay Watermen
WJZ-TV CBS, 17 August 2018

Md. Governor Reacts to Conowingo Dam Debris in Chesapeake Bay
WBOC, 16 August 2018

Second Wave of Debris, Pollution Enter Bay After Conowingo Dam Opens Gates
WBOC, 15 August 2018

Op-Ed: As Weather Worsens, We Must Double Down on Chesapeake Bay Protection
Baltimore Sun, 14 August 2018

Chesapeake Bay Program Keeps Hogan as Chairman
The Star Democrat, 10 August 2018

A Day of Chesapeake Bay Politics: Plenty of Harmony, Some Discord
Maryland Matters, 7 August 2018
DFA Chairman Rob Newberry was on hand at the meeting of the Executive Council for the Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore. Gov. Hogan was unanimously re-elected as Chairman of the Council and acted as host to Governors from Delaware and Virginia, as well as the Acting Director of the EPA, the Deputy Mayor of DC, and proxies for the Governors of Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia. Member States renewed their commitment to meeting the EPA’s pollution goals but acknowledged that there is plenty of work left to do before the 2025 deadline.

Facing an Onslaught of Debris in the Chesapeake, Gov. Hogan Asks Other States to Do More
The Washington Post, 7 August 2017

Along with Debris Littering Waterways Comes Another Concern: Pollution
Capital Gazette, 3 August 2017

31 July 2018
It seems unlikely that anyone could blame the working watermen for the horrifying results of last week’s storms. The Conowingo Reservoir has reached dynamic equilibrium; it’s full. It is no longer trapping the junk streaming downstream from NY and PA; it is loading that phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment and debris into the bay in shocking proportions every time spill gates open and water rushes through at higher than 100,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Last week it came through at 400,000 cfs. We’re all feeling the results. As are the Bay’s submerged aquatic plants, oysters, crabs and other marine life. It’s time to come up with a plan to deal with that material behind the Dam. And Exelon has a responsibility to share the burden of the cost; they are are making money off a public resource and not taking appropriate steps to ensure that their business is run safely.

WJZ 13 CBS Baltimore, 30 July 2018

“Working with our partners and stakeholders, we can help rebuild the oyster population while also improving the health of Chesapeake Bay,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This funding will go toward ongoing oyster industry programs and projects, and help design and develop new initiatives that could benefit both the bay and our working watermen.”
Hogan Administration Announces Additional Funding for Bay Oysters
MDNR, 23 July 2018

Why the Fishing Industry is Against Offshore Wind Farms Near Ocean City
Delmarva Now, 20 July 2018

EXCLUSIVE: DPW caught dumping chlorinated water into the Jones Falls
WBOC, 20 July 2018

Approved Amendment Strips EPA’s Role in Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Efforts
WBOC, 20 July 2018

As the Tide Rises Against Them, Deal Islanders Hold Their Ground
Bay Journal, 19 July 2018

Army Corps Commander Retires from Baltimore District with a Legacy of Oyster and Island Restoration
Bay Journal, 18 July 2018

Chesapeake Bay Media, 13 July 2018

Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team June 2018 Meeting Summary
Chesapeake Bay Program, 12 July 2018

MAFMC and NEFMC Launch Northeast Offshore Wind Webpage
MAFMC, 11 July 2018

Fox 5, 7 July 2018

Scientists Scrutinize Virus, Contaminants in Smallmouth Bass Die-Off
Bay Journal, 5 July 2018

Blue Crab Population in Chesapeake Bay Down for a Second Year
Delmarva Now, 2 July 2018

MDNR: The Seafood Marketing Program, 29 June 2018

Congress is Considering Big Changes to Longstanding Federal Fisheries Regulatory Act
Pensacola News Journal, 29 June 2018

Man-made Oyster Reef near Key Bridge ‘Flourishing,’ Chesapeake Bay Foundation Says
Baltimore Sun, 28 June 2018

Amid Rising Waters, Smith Island Puts Faith in God, Jetties
Bay Journal, 28 June 2018

New Report Evaluating US Shellfish Aquaculture Permitting Systems Now Available
NOAA Fisheries, 27 June 2018

Summer Dead Zones in Chesapeake Bay Breaking Up Earlier, 27 June 2018

US Commerce Department Announces Appointments to Regional Fishery Management Councils for 2018
NOAA Fisheries, 27 June 2018

Hogan Administration Awards $22 Million for Chesapeake Bay Restoration Projects
MDNR, 26 June 2018

Flotilla of Saildrones Deploy to Arctic and Pacific for Earth Science Missions
NOAA Fisheries, 26 June 2018

Virginia Shore Dredging Projects Get Federal Funds
Delmarva Now, 19 June 2018

Feds Give Qualified Okay to Dredge Oyster Shells from Man O’ War Shoal
Bay Journal, 18 June 2018

WIP Plans out Phase Three
The Star Democrat, 18 June 2018

Scientists Say They’re Confident Chesapeake Bay Health is “Significantly Improving”
Baltimore Sun, 15 June 2018

Army Corps Rejects Request to Fund Maryland Oyster Restoration
Bay Journal, 13 June 2018

Hurricane Season 2018: Experts Warn of Super Storms, Call for New Category 6
Inside Climate News, 2 June 2018

Data the New Driver in Conservation decisions Regarding Bay
Bay Journal, 1 June 2018

Report: Chesapeake Bay Improving but Huge Challenges Remain
The Star Democrat, 31 May 2018

A Dynamic Ocean Management Tool to Reduce Bycatch and Support Sustainable Fisheries
ScienceAdvances, 30 May 2018

Pearl in the Making, Programs Bolster Oysters in the Chesapeake
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 29 May 2018

Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund Awards 12.5 Million
Maryland DNR, 23 May 2018

A Bi-Product of the Rainy Weather: Sewage Overflows
Baltimore Brew, 22 May 2018

NOAA Response to FERC re: Conowingo and Sturgeon
NOAA Fisheries, Greater Atlantic 18 May 2018

Researchers Hopeful of Chesapeake Bay Health after Dolphin Sightings
WBAL TV11, 15 May 2018

Over-Fished List Drops to a New All-Time Low
NOAA Fisheries, 14 May 2018

DFA Responds to MDE WQC for Exelon, Conowingo Dam
Delmarva Fisheries Association, 4 May 2018

DFA Supporter Named to Oyster Advisory Commission
Maryland DNR

DFA Response to The Star Democrat Article re: Rockfish
Delmarva Fisheries Association 18 April 2018
(Published in The Star Democrat 20 April 2018)

MDNR Response to Oyster Season Extension Request
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 28 March 2018

Hogan Responds to DFA Oyster Advocacy
National Fisherman, 27 March 2018

DFA Urges Secretary Belton to Extend Oyster Season
5 March 2018

Heavily lobbied menhaden bill finally emerges
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), 28 February 2018

ASMFC Approves Striped Bass Changes in Maryland
The (Shirley, N.Y.) Fisherman (2/13/18)

Virginia Lawmakers Fight Over Menhaden Fishery
A battle over menhaden is underway in the Virginia General Assembly right now…Chesapeake Bay Magazine (2/20/18)

See this important report from WJZ TV (CBS) (2/19/18)

Conowingo Dam Spill Condition Hotline (877-457-2525)
Per the Conowingo Dam Spill Condition Hotline (877-457-2525), as of Monday, February 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm, there were 4 spill gates opened at Conowingo Dam with a river flow of 143,000 c

Clam Dredging: A Rebuttal to ShoreRivers by Marc Castelli
Chestertown Spy (2/15/18)

Omega Protein challenging menhaden catch limits on Chesapeake Bay
WAVY 10 (Portsmouth, Va.) (2/13/18)

Celebrating African heritage on the bay
Op-Ed by Vincent O. Leggett – Capital Gazette (1/28/18)

Invitation for Bids: Striped Bass Program Experimental Drift Gill Net Survey. Click Here for More

Delmarva Fisheries Association, Inc. (DFA), as a member of the National Coalition of Fishing Communities, has locked arms with fellow commercial seafood organizations nationwide in supporting Congressional reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) with reforms that enable both sustainable fisheries management and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities.  In a January 31 letter of support to U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, DFA and other like-minded organizations advocate for greater flexibility in fisheries management, without compromising conservation.


Icy Waters and Chesapeake Bay Critters

Record cold weather in early January led to significant icing in large areas of the Chesapeake Bay. Icebreaking ships worked to keep shipping lanes free, and NOAA technicians responded to protect the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System buoys and sensors from ice. But the effects of this icing on the bay’s crabs, oysters, and finfish may take longer to play out.


From MDNR Website: 2018 Commercial Atlantic Menhaden Quota and Season

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services

2018 Commercial Atlantic Menhaden Quota and Season — Effective Jan. 1, 2018

The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, pursuant to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), B and F, announces the quota and season for the commercial Atlantic menhaden fishery. The annual total allowable landings of Atlantic menhaden for Maryland, as established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), are 9,002,733 pounds. The season is Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018.

The 2018 quota may be adjusted pending final 2017 landings and application of the 1 percent set aside for the 2018 fisheries. If the quota is adjusted, a new notice will be issued.

Mark J. Belton 
Secretary of Natural Resources

Smith Islanders Mobilize Against Questionable Oyster Sanctuary Projects in Local Rivers: 

December 18, 2017

This Petition was recently circulated, widely endorsed by local residents and submitted to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, DNR Secretary Mark Belton, State and local elected officials and various watermen associations.  For more information, contact Dory Matarazzo (


Maryland Announces Comprehensive Oyster Restoration Plan

December 15, 2017

Breton Bay and St. Mary’s River Selected for Large-Scale Restoration;
State Pledges Investment in Manokin, Nanticoke and Severn Sanctuaries

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today announced a comprehensive plan on oyster restoration, including its intention to recommend Breton Bay and the upper St. Mary’s River as the fourth and fifth tributaries to satisfy the state’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goal of restoring native oyster habitat and populations in five tributaries by 2025.

The department’s selection complements ongoing large-scale oyster restoration activities in Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River and the Tred Avon River.

“Maryland is committed to restoring the oyster population throughout the Chesapeake Bay for both ecological and economic reasons,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This keystone species builds the foundation of a healthy marine ecosystem, cleaning and filtering water, while also serving as the backbone of our fisheries-based economy, be it aquaculture or commercial harvesting.”

The recommendations will be shared with the Maryland Oyster Restoration Interagency Workgroup, which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The department will also gather input from citizens, communities and stakeholders in an open and transparent public comment process.

Breton Bay intends to be restored with the assistance of the state’s federal partners while work in the upper section of the St. Mary’s River would be conducted by the state. All contracts for seed planting and substrate placement in the final two restoration sites will be competitively bid.

“These restoration recommendations strike the right balance between the environment and the economy by concentrating limited yet targeted resources on existing sanctuaries with the most potential for success, based on the best available science,” Belton said. “These two sites have the broad support of environmentalists and riverkeepers as well as county leaders and watermen.”

Along with its restoration selections, the state also plans to study and survey existing state oyster sanctuaries around Annapolis and the Lower Eastern Shore. For the first time, the department will design and develop oyster management plans for the Manokin, Nanticoke and Severn rivers to determine how the strategic use of state investment and resources, including seed, shell and spat, could spur natural oyster growth and reproduction.

Lastly, the department intends to move forward with developing a rotational harvest system, designating a seed study area, and renewing the state’s oyster shell collection and recycling programs.

The state’s oyster restoration plan was formed, in part, from feedback from the Oyster Advisory Commission, which includes academics, conservationists, legislators and watermen.

Articles of Note

Oyster Prices Drop, Watermen Take a Hit, Offer Solution,
WBOC, TV-16, December 6, 2017

DFA Weighs in for NOAA Administator Nominee

‘Nobody anticipated’ oysters making a comeback; industry transforms
The (Salisbury, Md.) Daily Times, November 20, 2017

Trump Administration dives into fish fight
The Associated Press, November 21, 2017

US regulators boost Atlantic menhaden catch limits by 8%
undercurrent news, November 14, 2017

Watermen Happy for Small Win over Menhaden Regulation
WBOC16 TV, November 14, 2017

Fishery managers reject – for now – bid to manage menhaden for their ecological value
Bay Journal, November 14, 2017

Was Virginia wronged in a decision to raise quota for a fish called manhaden?
The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, November 15, 2017

Oyster Restoration Hurting Watermen Boats
WBOC16 TV, November 15, 2017

Advancing Progress in NOAA’s Habitat Focus Areas
NOAA’s network of Habitat Focus Areas (HFAs) tackle a wide range of habitat issues, including reducing sediment and nutrient runoff, improving coral health, restoring salmon habitat, and preventing the spread of invasive species. Look back at several completed and ongoing keystone projects in Habitat Focus Areas in 2017 – including the Choptank River HFA in Dorchester County.


Recent correspondence from Virginia State Senator Richard Stuart to the Atlantic State’s Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) concerning Atlantic menhaden and pending Amendment 3 (10/31/17)

DFA Encourages DNR Secretary to Look Out For Maryland’s Menhaden Fishery
DFA corresponded this week with DNR Secretary Mark Belton about the upcoming ASMFC meeting and pending Amendment 3 concerning Atlantic menhaden.  See the Letter to Secretary Mark Belton and ASMFC Amendment 3 Fact Sheet.





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