The Maryland Department of Natural Resources now offers visitors to Janes Island State Park in Somerset County free use of fishing gear and tackle as part of a new pilot project between Fishing and Boating Services and the Maryland Park Service.
The state park in Crisfield is a well-known fishing destination on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, and provides boating and fishing access to Annemessex River, Daugherty Creek and Tangier Sound. The park also has a fish cleaning station in its marina, making it an ideal location for this innovative department program.
“Janes Island is a family-friendly state park with a good shoreline and License Free Fishing Area,” Recreational Fishing and Public Access Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “We believe this program will encourage both children and adults to learn about fishing and pursue it as a hobby and sport.”
The loaner program began in the summer of 2018, with eight to 10 rods available at the camp store. Each rod is rigged with simple top-bottom rigs for croaker, perch and spot. The rods were donated by Bass Pro Shops to help support the department’s recreational conservation, education and outreach efforts.
“People are really enjoying the loaner tackle program,” Janes Island Assistant Park Manager Curtis Dale said. “The island park, with over 30 miles of water trails, is perfect for anglers looking for a remote and tranquil setting to fish marshy or open waters.”
The department is exploring expanding the program to additional state parks as well as enhancing gear and tackle options.