Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

CAMBRIDGE — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge will offer furbearer trapping rights on a sealed bid basis for the 2022 season.

Fifteen trapping units will be available, and 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 as subleasing is prohibited.

Bid invitations, maps and other details are available by calling wildlife biologist Matt Whitbeck at 410-221-2034. Inspection of the units will be allowed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, and Dec. 6 through Dec. 9, with a scouting permit.

Bids must be received at the refuge office by 5 p.m. Dec. 15. Successful bidders will be notified by mail. The refuge must receive full payment on or before Dec. 30 for successful bidders to receive their permit.

Trapping for muskrat, nutria, raccoon, fox, skunk and opossum will begin on Jan. 1, 2022, and end on March 15, 2022, 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.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 32,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwoods and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife. To learn more, visit the refuge’s website at

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