New Program Offers $30 Per Invasive Fish Caught in Baltimore’s Middle Branch

| March 7, 2024 | 0 Comments

Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative (EJJI) press release: 

Reel Rewards Program to Launch in Baltimore, MD: Incentivizing Sustainable Fishing

Baltimore, MD – In April 2024, the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative (EJJI) will launch the Reel Rewards program, an innovative program that promotes sustainable fishing practices and combats invasive species in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

The program is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP) and will be executed in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Applied Research in the Environment (ICARE), Reimagine Middle Branch, and the Middle Branch Resiliency Initiative.

Reel Rewards offers local fishers an opportunity to take part in environmental conservation and research initiatives while receiving incentives for their work. We encourage those fishing within the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River to identify and catch invasive fish species. These invasive species include the Northern Snakehead, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish.

Upon successfully catching any of the designated invasive species, participants are asked to collect the fish heads and deliver them to drop-off points on specified days. In exchange, fishers will receive $30 per invasive fish head submitted. This program provides data for invasive species management and supports local fishing communities through financial incentives.

Reel Rewards is a collaborative effort between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local stakeholders. Our goal is to address environmental challenges, foster community engagement, and support local fishers.

For more information about Reel Rewards and how to participate, please visit

About EJJI

The Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative (EJJI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental justice and community empowerment. Through collaborative initiatives and innovative programs, EJJI connects communities – especially youth – with the journalists, policymakers, scientists, and researchers doing environmental justice work in their neighborhoods here in Baltimore. For more information, visit:

About the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership

The South Baltimore Gateway Partnership was established in 2016 to help implement the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan, a sweeping plan to improve neighborhoods near the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, with funding provided by the Local Impact Grants generated by video lottery terminals. Under its Strategic Plan, SBGP works to improve the vitality of its communities by focusing on three crucial elements of the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan: Community Development and Revitalization, Environmental Sustainability, and Health and Wellness. To achieve the agenda laid out in the Strategic Plan, SBGP has established three interrelated program areas: Community Grants, Enhanced Services, and Transformational Projects. For more information, visit:

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