Stephen Linhard of Annapolis has been selected to serve as a commissioner on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

The 19-member board, one of eight in the country, develops fisheries management plans for the federal waters from New York to North Carolina.

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Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service and former deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, made the appointment from a list supplied by the O'Malley administration.Linhard, 43, is the chief administrative officer of St. Mary's Parish and Schools. He is the former treasurer at St. John's College and former controller of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. A graduate of Calvert Hall and Washington College in Chestertown, he has been active in the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. He is the former chairman of the Annapolis chapter of Ducks Unlimited and also served on the Severn River Commission and Annapolis Environmental Commission.

Recently, he rallied the outdoors community when the faltering economy threatened the viablity of the Maryland Fishing Challenge. At a December meeting in Annapolis, Linhard urged groups to find alternative funding sources for prizes and help raise the visibility of the annual event.

"Steve was instrumental in bringing the Fishing Challenge final awards ceremony into a partnership with the Maryland Seafood Festival to bring sport fishing greater exposure to Marylanders," says Marty Gary, assistant director of the Fisheries Service and driving force behind the Challenge. "That creates the potential for annual Maryland sport fishing celebration."

The awards ceremony will be on Sept. 11 at Sandy Point State Park.

Gov. Martin O'Malley submitted three names for the at-large council seat: Earl Ray Gwin Jr. of Berlin, Lee M. "Monty" Hawkins of Ocean City and Linhard. Incumbent Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association, has served three terms and was ineligible to be renominated.

In a statement, the governor praised Linhard for his "great integrity along with a strong commitment to stand for all fishing interests while balancing the need to foster robust fishing opportunities through sustainable, science-based fisheries management."

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