According to the Maryland Fisheries Service, a proposal to the ASMFC Tautog Technical Committee to reduce the minimum size to 15-inches for tautog was met with resistance. Based on conversations with the Committee, "it did not appear that the Technical Committee supported the proposal and was not likely to recommend to the ASMFC Tautog Management Board that they approve it. Their technical concerns included: it was only one year’s worth of data; all states saw a reduction in fishing effort, which could be responsible for the reduction in harvest estimates across the board; and because there wasn’t any harvest of fish between 14-16 inches last year, there would be more 15 inch fish available in 2013 which could result in an increase in harvest and MD would not meet the reduction requirements."
Due to the concerns, the MD Fisheries Service decide not to submit the proposal to the ASMFC Tautog Management Board for final approval.
Editors note: Kudos to the Maryland Fisheries Service for listening to Maryland anglers and attempting to get the regulations relaxed for tautog fishermen.