By now everyone had heard that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland’s Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order for the entire state of Maryland. Unfortunately, much of the Potomac is part of Maryland, leading most people to think they can’t go boating. Wrong!
The good news is that Virginia doesn’t have these restrictions, and as long as you stay in Virginia waters, you are completely safe. The border between Virginia and Maryland is here:
So everyone’s favorite Belmont Bay is still on the menu! However, social distancing guidelines are still in effect:
- Only your immediate family should be aboard
- Keep 6 feet of separation between people
- No rafting up – at least 50 feet between boats
Due to Governor Hogan’s Stay at Home Order, boating in Maryland waters is a bit more difficult but still can be done. The order has been interpreted by MD’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to include recreational boating:
Under the executive order, no Marylander should leave their home except for an essential reason. Therefore, recreational boating is not allowed. Subsistence hunting and fishing — limited hunting and limited recreational fishing and crabbing for sustenance — can continue, however social distancing must be adhered to strictly. No permits for fishing tournaments, including virtual tournaments, will be issued by the department until further notice.https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2020/03/30/dnr-issues-guidance-on-governor-hogans-stay-at-home-order/
Because Virginia and Maryland have reciprocity in regards to fishing licenses, here’s how you go boating in Maryland waters:
- Buy a Virginia fishing license (Click here)
- Bring a fishing pole
- Drive your boat to your favorite anchorage and drop anchor
- Put your fishing line into the water
- Enjoy your day boating!
Now this doesn’t mean you need to be a moron and bring 50 of your favorite friends with you – that would be stupid and will just invite trouble. Instead, keep to the social distancing guidelines as mentioned above and you should have no problems!