September is here & it already feels like Fall! I just wanted to check in and let you all know about a CRITICAL program I have coming up. I’d love to have you there, and really need your help in spreading the word.  

The Menhaden Film Screening & Discussion with CBF Fisheries Scientist, Dr. Allison Colden, will be this Wednesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center at 114 South Washington Street in Easton. This event comes with an exciting opportunity to do a lot of good for the menhaden fishery.

It’s a little complicated, but in brief:

Right now the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), is looking at adding ecological reference points to their management of menhaden. This is HUGE because menhaden provide two critical services to the Bay.

1.       They eat phytoplankton (aka algae). That’s right, we all know the filtration capacity of oysters, but we forget that menhaden are the Bay’s OTHER filter.

2.       The second role they play is the BASE OF THE FOOD CHAIN. They are a main food source for osprey, rockfish, blue fish, drum, etc., etc., etc. I can’t stress enough that they are a MAIN food source for these critters, not just a snack.

Fishery managers are considering an amendment that would factor in menhaden’s ecological value to their management plan, hopefully ensuring enough fish are left in the water for menhaden to continue to play their role as a vital food source and filter. The draft amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden can be found here, but it’s really long and technical. This event is meant to be a way to bring people up to speed on what menhaden are, why we are considering this change to the way we manage them, and what you can do to support it the amendment. Dr. Colden is a commissioner on ASMFC and an excellent resource.

To go a step further and make your voice heard, there’s a Public hearing for the state of Maryland scheduled for September 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Anne Arundel Community College, Cade Center for the Fine Arts – Room 219, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD. Written comments can be submitted to through October 20, 2017. IF YOU NEED HELP DRAFTING COMMENTS OR GETTING TO THE HEARING, PLEASE REACH OUT. I’m here to help and get you the resources you need to be an effective advocate on this issue.

I need your help in getting people to this event! Please share the attached flier, Facebook event, and registration link ( ) with your networks. Little fish, big deal!


Hilary Gibson
Eastern Shore Grassroots Field Specialist
Eastern Shore Conservation Center
114 South Washington Street, Suite 103
Easton, MD 21601
410/543 -1999 office
302/388 – 7659 cell 

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pdf icon Menhaden-Film-Easton-Sept-2017-Flier.pdf