Local lawmaker backs 'sneakboating' bill

February 25, 1997


Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - Hunters know it as "sneakboating," and if one local lawmaker has his way, it will be allowed on all major waterways in Washington County.

But what is it?

Sneakboating is the use of an unpowered, and often camouflaged, boat for hunting waterfowl. The boat more or less acts as a moving duck blind, allowing a hunter to sneak up on ducks and geese.

Sneakboating in Western Maryland is restricted to the Potomac and Monocacy rivers. A bill in the General Assembly would allow sneakboating on Antietam Creek and Conococheague Creek in Washington County.


"For those who are sportsmen and who enjoy hunting waterfowl, it will open up an additional avenue that wasn't there," said Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, the legislation's sponsor.

The state Department of Natural Resources is researching the matter and has not yet issued an opinion of McKee's bill, said DNR spokeswoman Patricia Manown.

Dr. Paul Wolber, president of the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, said allowing sneakboating makes sense because it's already legal for hunters to shoot waterfowl from the banks of the creeks.

In addition to giving area sportsmen a new way to hunt waterfowl, sneakboating can address the growing problem of geese that do not migrate, he said. Last year, the state added hunting days to address the problem of the growing resident goose population.

"I don't know how many of them frequent the creeks, but I'm sure they do," said Jack Wetzel, a county resident who asked McKee to sponsor the bill.

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