2013 trapping areas open for bids at Blackwater Refuge

CAMBRIDGE — It has been announced by the Refuge Manager Suzanne Baird that Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, will offer furbearer trapping rights on a sealed bid basis.

Fifteen 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; subleasing is prohibited.

Bid invitations and details are available at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge office, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., through Dec. 10. Inspection of the units will be allowed only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 1 through Dec. 5.

A public meeting will be held Dec. 10, 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 not in attendance will be advised by mail.

Trapping for muskrat, nutria, raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum will begin on Jan. 1, 2013, and end on March 15, 2013, or the end of the Maryland State trapping season, whichever comes first.

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. Trapping of predator species such as raccoon, fox, skunk, and opossum helps to maintain healthy populations and reduce predation on nesting migratory birds.