Local Maryland Seafood Update from Steve Vilnit
Yellow Perch - Tuesday, February 21st was the last day for the Upper Bay Commercial Yellow Perch Fishery. DNR Staff projected that the quota would be reached and preliminary results indicate that the fishery closed with less than 500 lbs remaining. The fishery remains open in the Chester and Patuxent River with approximately 5,000lbs left on their quotas.
This doesn't mean that you can't get your perch fix! Did you know that there is a white perch fishery open year round? While the skin doesn't have the beautiful yellow and black markings of the yellow perch, the flesh tastes just as delicious! White perch can range between 4oz and 1lbs and the females have roe very similar to that of their yellow cousins. Make sure you ask your purveyor to carry them for you!
Striped Bass - The season for Maryland gill net striped bass is open today and tomorrow! This means you should be able to get high quality local fish through the weekend. There is a very limited ocean fishery open through the end of next month. Due to the small size of this fishery you can expect prices to go up drastically. I would recommend removing it from your menu or at least making it a special only from now until the first week of June when the MD hook & line season reopens. Your food cost will thank me.
Aquaculture Oysters - We have had over 100 people apply for aquaculture leases in the last 2 years. These leases account for 2865 acres of Chesapeake Bay bottom that will be planted with millions of oysters. Each adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day. Millions of oysters means billions of gallons of water filtered! Support our local fledgling oyster farms to make a real difference!
We already have two great farms that are open for business and providing high quality local oysters. Make sure you look at Chesapeake Gold (www.cgoysters.com) and Choptank Sweets (www.marineticsinc.com).
Chesapeake Bay Sturgeon - Did you know that we have sturgeon in the Bay? We do! Unfortunately they are very rare, so much so that the NOAA has listed them as an endangered species.
Maryland Crab - Maryland crab season starts April 1st! Are you a restaurant that highlights MD crabmeat? You may be interested in our new "True Blue" program. We will be heavily promoting restaurants that are using Maryland crabmeat throughout the year through our website, social media, and other outlets. Let us know if you would like to be on board!
Fisheries Marketing Director
MD DNR Fisheries Service
580 Taylor Avenue Floor B-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410)279-7951 Cell Phone
"Without promotion, something terrible happens ... Nothing!" -- P.T. Barnum
Maryland Department of Naturual Resources, 580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401, USA
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