ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is implementing a statewide moratorium on harvesting river herring.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the fishing ban Friday but said it has been in effect since Dec. 26.
A multi-state commission manages Atlantic Coast river herring stock. Each state from Maine to Florida was required to institute a fishing stop for herring by Jan. 1, unless a state plan was developed to demonstrate sustainability of the fish population.
Herring numbers have been declining for 40 years.
Maryland authorities say anyone possessing river herring as bait will need to have a receipt showing where it was purchased.
States with open river herring fisheries include New York, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Sou