CAMBRIDGE — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County will offer furbearer trapping rights for 13 trapping units on a sealed bid basis, Suzanne Baird, refuge manager, announced.
Trapping for muskrat, nutria, raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum will begin on Jan. 1, 2014, and end on March 15, 2014 or the end of the Maryland state trapping season, whichever comes first.
People may bid on one or more units, but a maximum of two units will be awarded to any bidder. The successful bidder must personally trap the unit, and may have one helper; subleasing is prohibited.
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, according to the refuge. 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, the refuge said, and trapping of predator species such as raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum helps to maintain healthy populations and reduce predation on nesting migratory birds.
Bid invitations and details are available at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge office, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Nov. 11, 2013 through Dec. 2, 2013. Inspection of the units will be allowed only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 23 through Nov. 27.
A public meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 at 6 p.m., in the refuge’s headquarters. Information on state and federal regulations governing trapping on the refuge will 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 day. Immediately following the meeting, a public sealed bid opening will be held. Successful bidders not in attendance will be advised by mail.