A new pilot project provides free fishing gear and tackle for people to use at Janes Island State Park in Crisfield.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the new program, a partnership between Fishing and Boating Services and the Maryland Park Service.
Janes Island is a fishing destination in Somerset County on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore, and offers boating and fishing access to Annemessex River, Daugherty Creek and Tangier Sound. It even has a fish-cleaning station in its marina.
“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 started this summer, 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 considering expanding the program to more state parks and offering more gear and tackle options.
-Meg Walburn Viviano