Local fish types and handling tips

Check out your seafood neighbors!

Maryland is home to dozens of types of fish and shellfish. Listed below is the sample of the types of fish and shellfish you may receive in your bi-weekly share of seafood.

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American Eel

Greenland south along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the USA to Panama, and throughout much of the West Indies south to Trinidad. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Black Drum

Black drum occur along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic portion of the stock most commonly ranges from the Chesapeake Bay south to Florida.
Learn more from MD DNR.

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Blue Fish

Bluefish are found throughout the world and are a migratory species that range from Nova Scotia to Florida off the Atlantic coast and can be found in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Blue Catfish

As an introduced species, blue catfish have become very successful in the Potomac River and in several Virginia tributaries to Chesapeake Bay. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Red Drum

Historic distribution of red drum on the Atlantic coast is from the Gulf of Main to northern Mexico. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Spiny Dogfish shark

Along the Atlantic coast, spiny dogfish are found from Labrador south to Florida but are most abundant from Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Spotted Seatrout

Spotted seatrout move into the Chesapeake Bay in April and May and leave as water temperatures fall in November. Learn more from MD DNR.

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White Perch

White perch are well established in Maryland's larger Reservoirs: Liberty, Loch Raven, Prettyboy, Tridelphia, and Rocky Gorge. Learn more from MD DNR.

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fish-info-ShellfishBay-scallop

Shellfish - Bay Scallop

Bay scallops are primarily found from Massachusetts to Texas.
In Maryland, they only occur in the coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island. Learn more from MD DNR.

 

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Atlantic Croaker

Found in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic Croakers are uncommon north of New Jersey. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Black Sea Bass

Along the Atlantic coast, black sea bass are divided into two stocks for management purposes. The northern stock resides north of Cape Hatteras and is seasonally migratory. The southern stock resides south of the Cape and is not migratory. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Bluegill

Blue Gill are in all tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay with salinity less than 18 ppt. Many times these fish will be stocked along with largemouth bass in many Maryland ponds and lakes. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Summer Flounder

Summer flounder are found in estuarine and coastal waters from Nova Scotia to Florida.Within Chesapeake Bay, summer flounder are largely restricted to waters south of Annapolis, but they can be found occasionally in the upper Bay. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Spot

Spot occur along the Atlantic coast in estuarine and coastal waters from the Gulf of Maine to Florida. However, they are most abundant from Chesapeake Bay south to South Carolina. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Striped Bass

On the Atlantic coast, striped bass range from St. Lawrence River, Canada to St. Johns River, Florida, although they are most prevalent from Maine to North Carolina. Maryland also has landlocked striped bass populations in Liberty, Piney Run, Triadelphia, and Rocky Gorge Reservoirs. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are generally freshwater fish and can be found in all Maryland reservoirs, including Piney Run, Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy Reservoirs. However, in Maryland, yellow perch have adapted to the estuarine waters of Chesapeake Bay and have historically been reported in all of its major tributaries and streams.
Learn more from MD DNR.

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Shellfish - Eastern Oyster

The range of the American or eastern oyster extends well beyond the Chesapeake Bay, encompassing the east coast of North America from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to Key Biscayne, Florida, and continuing south through the Caribbean to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and to Venezuela. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Shellfish - Blue Crab

Blue crabs can be found in freshwater areas where salinity is 0 to the ocean where the salinity is full strength (32+ ppt).Males are often found in the upper reaches of the Bay while females are typically found further downstream and down-Bay where salinities are higher. Learn more from MD DNR.

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Shellfish - Hard Shell Clam

In Maryland, Hard Shell Clams occur in higher salinity waters (>15 ppt), especially in the Atlantic coastal bays, with smaller populations in southern Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds and lower Chesapeake Bay.
Learn more from MD DNR.

HANDLING & STORAGE TIPS

Fish

Upon receiving your fish, if you do not plan on eating it that night, we recommend sealing the fish in an airtight zip-lock bag, storing it on ice and refrigerating it for best results. Drain the water and replace the ice at least once a day. Just make sure that your fish isn’t sitting in melted water, which can damage the quality of the fish. By keeping your fish at the coldest temperature possible without freezing, you can help extend its usable life, keeping it firmer and fresher tasting for longer. If stored properly, your fish should keep for several days.

Shellfish

Your oysters and clams will come to you in a mesh bag. Before you prepare or shuck them, give them a quick scrub under cold water before shucking or cooking.

If you don’t plan on eating them right away, the best way to ensure the freshness of your shellfish is to keep the product in your refrigerator (not freezer) covered with a damp paper towel and in a container with drainage as they might give off some moisture. Do not put them in an airtight container — since they are alive, they will need to breathe.  Keep the shellfish at temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees F.  Some shells may open during storage.  Before you use them, tap them -- they will close if still alive. The shellfish should keep fresh for up to 5 days.

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