FAQs regarding Governor Hogan's Announcement of Boating and Hunting Restrictions

Tue, March 31, 2020 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



I reached out to DNR about the no recreational boating. They referred me to the new Frequently asked Questions.

— Scott Stose, ABI Chair

Here is the info:

March 31, 2020
Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis. While there are certain exceptions for essential functions, the primary intent of the order is for people to stay at home in order to limit the spread of the virus. 

With that in mind, here is some additional guidance in response to questions the department has received. This is current guidance and subject to change throughout the duration of the public health emergency. 

Can I go hunting? Limited hunting is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can I go fishing? Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can I go boating? Recreational boating is prohibited until the governor lifts the executive order or until the State of Emergency has ended. However, if an individual is boating to seek food for them or their family, boating is permitted. Boats used to transport essential employees or goods as defined in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce are also permitted. 

Does kayaking or paddle boarding count as recreational boating? Since kayaking and paddle boarding are a form of exercise, they are permitted under the executive order. Guidance on social distancing and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. 

I live on my sailboat – can I still be in my boat slip or moored out? If your boat serves as your residence, you can remain on the vessel.

Can I go to a state park? Hiking, biking, and walking are allowed under the executive order but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Most state parks are open but some have been closed or have restricted areas. Please choose a park nearest your home to limit travel and be sure to check our website before you leave for the park and read our guidelines for social distancing in state parks. Natural Resources Police and Maryland Park Service staff are authorized to enforce the governor’s executive order and will close areas and disperse crowds as necessary.

Can you fish in a state park? Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can you fish/crab from a boat if it is for sustenance? Limited recreational fishing and crabbing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. 

Can charter boats work next month since they technically fall under the recreational quota from a fisheries standpoint? As part of the food supply chain, charter boats can continue operating but must abide by social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. Charter boats and head boats should NOT have more than 10 individuals on the vessel at any time.

Wildlife offices are closed, so hunters cannot get a permit to hunt on managed lands. Are managed lands closed to hunting? Limited hunting is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Hiking, biking and walking are also allowed. Please check the department’s website for the most recent information on closures before visiting DNR’s managed lands.

Are marinas an essential business now that boating is not allowed? The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines certain marine trades and marine services as essential. Additionally, the interpretive guidance that accompanied Executive Order 20-03-23-01 includes the following language:

“Companies engaged in the … distribution, and sale of oil, gas, and propane products” (section 2.g.ii) and “companies that supply parts, or provide maintenance and repair services for transportation assets and infrastructure including… marine vessels” (section 2.m.xii).



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