Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association So. MD Chapter

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Leadership   Presidents of the Southern Maryland Chapter MSSA   Chapter Brochure  SMC Angler of the Year


MSSA Southern Maryland Chapter Leadership






Phil Zalesak

(301) 994-2457 

Vice President

David Gaestel

(410) 474-7664


Amy Widerman

(410) 935-8509


Chris Goudreau

(410) 440-6721

Activities Leads

Fishing Fair

Bill Bonner

(301) 866-0977 

Chapter Programs

Phil Zalesak

(301) 994-2457 

Chapter Website

Tom Meiser

(301) 863-5008 

Legislative Liaison

Ronald W. Smith

(410) 610-3729 

Monthly Bulletins

Phil Zalesak

(301) 994-2457 

Fishing Camps

Phil Zalesak

(301) 994-2457 

Hooked on Fishing

Tom Kemp

(301) 373-3071 


Cy Staniec 

(703) 338-1267 


SMC Members of MSSA State Board of Directors

SMC President Phil Zalesak (301) 994-2457
SMC Liaison with State Chris Goudreau (410) 440-6721
State Secretary Bruno Vasta   (410) 326-2622
Chmn. Legis. Comm. Ron Smith  (410) 610-3729 

Chapter Mailing Address:  MSSA-SMC   P.O. Box 1191, Solomons, MD  20688

Chapter Email Address:

Fishing Fair Email Address:

Chapter Website:

Chapter Facebook Page:  Southern Maryland Sport Fishing (Closed Group for Members)

Chapter Mission

The mission of the MSSA is to provide a unified voice to presserve and protect the fisheries resources, the rights of recreational fishermen, the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the opportunity to support activities that enhance the overall marine environment.


The Southern Maryland Chapter, like its parent organization, serves four primary purposes:

  1. Provide services that cultivate interest in fishing, particularly among the youth who will become the fishermen of the future.

  2. Learn about the various factors that affect fish populations and the health of the Bay.

  3. Support public policies that optimize the fisheries and enhance the health of the Bay.

  4. Build relations and networks among members.


Membership is open to anyone interested in joining the MSSA in support of its mission and payment of the annual dues. The Southern Maryland Chapter has nearly 500 members and is among the largest in MSSA, which has over 6,000 members state wide.


As with other service organizations, the Southern Maryland Chapter of the MSSA raises funds to support its mission and various activities and events. Funding comes from several sources: annual dues, its sponsorship of the Solomons Fishing Fair, chapter raffles and contributions.


Cultivate interest in fishing:

SCHOLARSHIP: The MSSA Scholarship Foundation provides grants to qualified college students interested in careers related to the marine environment.

CHILDREN’S CASTING ACTIVITY: The chapter provides a casting event for children each year at the Fishing Rodeo hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

SOLOMONS FISHING FAIR: This annual event offers individuals the opportunity to shop for rods, reels, lures, supplies and boats exhibited by a wide variety of vendors. This is the Chapter’s major fund-raiser to support its service activities throughout the year. Usually held the first weekend in April, the event attracts over 1,500 persons.

GREENWELL PROGRAM: Each summer, members of the chapter provide fishing and boating experience for children attending a week-long summer camp sponsored by the Greenwell Foundation at Greenwell State Park in Hollywood, Maryland. The Greenwell summer camps are for children ages 6-12 and provide activities that are inclusive and universally accessible to all children. The children, along with their counselors, join members on their boats for a fishing outing on the Patuxent River.

“HOOKED ON FISHING”: This annual event provides children attending the summer camps of the St. Mary’s County, Department of Recreation and Parks the opportunity to learn about fishing and be exposed to the Chesapeake Bay. With the cooperation of Point Lookout State Park, the chapter provides each camper with a rod and reel to do catch-and-release bottom fishing from the park’s pier, learning to identify various species.

Learning about fish and the Bay:

SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY SPEAKERS: Periodically scientists and fisheries experts, including those from the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, speak at Chapter meetings about the condition of the bay, fisheries, pollution, and conservation strategies.

Publications: The MSSA office publishes “Tidelines”, a quarterly magazine containing reports such as surveys of spawning successes, results of recent research studies, and techniques for safely releasing undersize fish. It also produces electronic newsletters regarding current issues of concern to members.

MEMBERS EXPERTISE: Many members have professional expertise and are knowledgeable about conditions in the Bay, which contributes to informed discussions and helps set an agenda for further studies and policy positions.

Develop public polices:

COLLABORATIONS: The enactment of public polices requires concerted action among multiple organizations. Partner organizations include the Recreational Fishing Alliance, the Solomons Charter Captains Association, the Costal Conservation Association, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Environmental Defense, and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation.

REPRESENTATION: MSSA represents members in public hearings and advisory boards of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

LOBBYING: The MSSA lobbies the legislature on issues concerning fishing and the Bay. Examples include regulation of menhaden; development of artificial reefs as habitat that attract and hold game fish; and a Freedom to Fish law that forbids efforts to designate certain areas as off-limits to fishing.

Build relationships and networks:

MONTHLY MEETINGS: Meetings are held at the Solomons Firehouse on the third Thursday of each month, with invited guest speakers, including charter captains, boating experts, scientists, and officials for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Meetings also usually include the sale of fishing supplies and door prizes.

FISHING NEWS: Clicking on the FACEBOOK link will take you to the MSSA SMC Facebook page, Southern Maryland Sport Fishing. This is a “closed group”, for SMC MSSA members to share their fishing activities and results in real time. To be added to the group, contact Martin Stuble via email  

Additionally, A fishing update named “Fish Tales, containing up to date Chapter news, is also periodically posted to this website.

TOURNAMENTS: Members participate in the MSSA sponsored Bay-wide spring and fall tournaments.

FISHING ACTIVITIES: members, family, and friends get involved in local fishing activities in both small and larger groups.

SOCIAL EVENTS: Each fall the chapter holds a picnic featuring crabs and a fish fry. In December the chapter hosts a Holiday Party for members and their families to celebrate the achievements of the year and the holiday season.

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