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Department of Natural Resources issues updated guidance on boating, hunting, and fishing based on Governor Hogan’s Stay-at-Home order

BALTIMORE, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Monday issued an executive order instituting a Stay-at-Home directive. Officials say that no Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.

While the order does allow for outdoor exercise recreation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is reaffirming the need for members of the public who engage in outdoor recreation to follow all rules and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Hogan has said that safely practiced outdoor recreation time is essential to health and well-being. Most Maryland state parks and other public lands remain open, and residents may engage in safe, isolated activities.

Under the executive order, no Maryland resident should leave their home except for an essential reason. Therefore, recreational boating is not allowed. Limited hunting and limited recreational fishing and crabbing can continue to provide sustenance, however social distancing must be adhered to strictly, DNR officials say.

No permits for fishing tournaments, including virtual tournaments, will be issued by the department until further notice. Commercial fishing is deemed essential and may continue since it is part of the food supply chain.

DNR stresses that anyone engaging in outdoor activity needs to follow social distancing and other CDC guidelines and state regulations.


The department website includes a guide to social distancing and safe outdoor activity.

Some key guidelines include:

  • Only individuals, immediate family members, and people who reside together should engage in outdoor activities — these groups should be limited to 10 people or fewer, and distance of at least six feet from others should be maintained.
  • Extra soap or hand sanitizer should be packed for any activity.
  • Anyone who is sick or has been sick the past two weeks should stay home.

Maryland Natural Resources Police, an essential first responder force, and Maryland State Parks staff will continue to patrol these sites and other locations to enforce the orders, disperse crowds and protect the public.

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