Opportunities increase for outdoor recreation

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/Tammy Rue
Jenna Rue and her father Greg celebrated harvesting a turkey recently.

ANNAPOLIS — Given the announcement of the governor’s Roadmap to Recovery, the administration expanded opportunities earlier this month for outdoor exercise and recreation in the state and on Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties.

BEACHES
DNR-owned beaches were opened and outdoor exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, and fishing are permitted, however:
• Guidance on social distancing must be followed.
• The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.
• Chairs, blankets, and picnics will be prohibited.

BOATING
Recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted, however:
• Boaters must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• No more than 10 people can be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.
• Boats must be distanced from each other by at least 10 feet and are prohibited from rafting up, beaching, or having rendezvous events.
• Boats are prohibited from docking at restaurants or bars.
• Vessel and boat races remain prohibited.
• Marinas can reopen to recreational boaters, but must adhere to Maryland Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.
• Pump-out stations and boats may resume operations under the Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.
• Local jurisdictions may choose to open public boat ramps, but must ensure social distancing guidelines.
• All normal boating rules and regulations are in effect and must be followed.

CAMPING
DNR is accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds, however:
• Campers must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• Guidance on social distancing must be followed.
• No parties or reservations for more than 10 people will be granted for any one site.
• Reservations for cabin rentals will not be accepted at this time, however DNR will begin to consider protocols for accepting reservations again in the near future.
• Reopening will likely proceed on a gradual or regional basis based on guidance from the Maryland Department of Health.

FISHING
• Recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release, are allowed, however:
• When fishing from a boat, one must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• No more than 10 people may be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.
• When fishing from onshore or at a pier, social distancing guidelines must be followed.
• DNR fishing piers will reopen immediately.
• Fishing tournaments remain prohibited at this time.
• All normal rules and regulations regarding fishing are in effect and must be followed, including creel limits, gear restrictions, and seasons.

HORSEBACK RIDING
Horseback riding activities, including riding on state lands, is allowed, however:
• Equestrians must be riding with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.
• Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
• No organized rides, gatherings, or races will be authorized.

HUNTING/TRAPPING
All hunting activities are allowed on private and public lands under following conditions:
• Hunters on public lands must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.
• All normal rules and regulations regarding hunting are in effect and must be followed, including bag limits, firearm restrictions, and seasons.
OFF-ROAD VEHICLES
• Off-road vehicles can be ridden on DNR-owned lands where they are allowed, however:
• Drivers/riders must be riding with immediate family members or people with which they reside.
• No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.
• Gatherings and organized events remain prohibited.
POOLS
All DNR-owned swimming pools remain closed at this time.

SHOOTING RANGES
Effective immediately, DNR will reopen shooting ranges on state land, however:
• Groups of no more than 10 will be allowed on the range.
• Social distancing guidelines must be followed.