2017 Trapping Areas Open for Bids at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, Maryland will offer furbearer trapping rights on a sealed bid basis for the 2017 season, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Thirteen trapping units will be available. An individual may bid on one or more units, but only two units will
be awarded to any bidder. The successful bidder must personally trap the unit, and may have one helper and with consent an apprentice; subleasing is prohibited. For details obtain a bidding package.
Bid invitations and details are available at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge office or the Visitor Center, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Nov. 28, 2016. Inspection of the units will be allowed only from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 21-25, with a scouting permit.
Approximately 40 acres of marsh in the southwest portion of unit J, where Maple Dam Road meets the Blackwater River, cannot be trapped this year due to a marsh restoration project, Fish & Wildlife officials said.
A public meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 at 6 p.m., in the Refuge’s Headquarters. Information on state and federal regulations governing trapping on the refuge is to be included. All interested and prospective trappers are encouraged to attend. Bids will be accepted at the refuge office until 6:15 p.m. on that same day. Immediately following the meeting, a public sealed bid opening will be held. Successful bidders will be notified by mail.
Trapping for muskrat, nutria, raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum begins on Jan. 2, 2017, and ends on
March 15, 2017, unless extensions have been made by both the state and the refuge.
Trapping on Blackwater NWR is a management activity designed to control the population levels of furbearers as well as provide an economic benefit to local trappers. Uncontrolled muskrat and nutria populations can seriously damage marsh vegetation, which is vital to waterfowl, other migratory birds, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, according to Fish & Wildlife officials.
Trapping of predator species such as raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum helps to maintain healthy populations and reduce predation on nesting migratory birds, Fish & Wildlife officials said.