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Fall Foliage and Festival Report: September 23 – 24, 2017

Map with leaves marking events

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Office of Tourism.

It’s official! It’s autumn in Maryland.

When this weekend rolls in, thoughts will begin to turn to the sights, sounds and scents of the season: fan-filled football stadiums, bright orange pumpkins, cinnamon and cider warming on the stove and the welcomed return of Canada geese.

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Weekly Fishing Report: September 20

Family on dock with Eel Catch

Anglers Esther and Veronica Cooley and their eel. Photo by Jamie Cooley

Many would agree we are entering one of the most beautiful times of the year in Maryland. Mornings are cool and daytime temperatures are inviting for outdoor activities. Where I live crops are being harvested, wildlife is on the move, bait in the tidal rivers is beginning to feel the urge to move out into the bay, and fish such as striped bass are enjoying the cooler water temperatures and ready to intercept the schools of bait. Some vegetation is starting to show color and the daylight hours are decreasing by about two and a half minutes a day.

Marylanders are on the move also, family schedules have adjusted to school and the weekends present a precious time to be with family and friends in the great Maryland outdoors. This is a great time of the year to visit your favorite fishing hole whether it is a creek or pond in western Maryland or just fishing off a dock in the Chesapeake Bay.
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New State Park Slated for Western Maryland

Ecologically-Important Area Conserved and Preserved; Public Access and Recreation Expanded

Photo of Potomac RiverThe Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 2,009 acres in Western Maryland for the development of a new state park. This acquisition in Garrett County consists of three parcels near Kitzmiller, with two of the parcels being adjacent to Potomac State Forest.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve a very large tract of ecologically-important land that will also provide true back-country recreation for residents and visitors,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. Read more…

New Grant Program Funds Nature-Based Solutions to Protect Coastal Communities

Four Demonstration Projects Proposed

Photo of Sunset after a storm over the Chesapeake Bay, taken by Krystle Chick

Photo: “Sunset After the Storm” by Krystle Chick

The Board of Public Works today approved funding for a new Coastal Resiliency Grant Program to help Maryland’s coastal communities enhance their resiliency to the effects of extreme storms and weather.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources program will help design four shoreline improvement demonstration projects across the state with an additional two projects pending.

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Trapping Opportunities Available on Lower Eastern Shore

Sealed Bids Accepted Until Oct. 18

Photo of Salt Marshes in Janes Island State ParkThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting bids for the 2017-2018 trapping seasons at multiple public lands located on the Lower Eastern Shore.

Properties include Janes Island State Park and Cedar Island, Deal IslandE. A. VaughnIsle of WightJohnsonMaryland Marine Properties, Pocomoke River, Pocomoke SoundSouth Marsh Island, and Wellington wildlife management areas. Read more…

Sang Run State Park Dedicated at Annual Fall Fest

Historic Friends Property in Garrett County Recognized

Photo of Friends Store at Sang Run decorated for Fall FestThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce that the property formerly known as Friends Delight will be officially opened and renamed Sang Run State Park.

The celebration will coincide with the ninth annual Fall Fest and Open House at the Friends Store Sept. 30, which runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The new park’s sign will be unveiled at 1 p.m.

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Federal Grant to Support South Mountain State Battlefield

National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program Provides $55,000

Photo of South Mountain Battlefield

On the 155th anniversary of the Battle of South Mountain, Preservation Maryland announced ambitious plans to support and enhance Maryland Park Service efforts at the historic hillside battlefield.

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St. Mary’s County Oysterman Banned from Working Potomac

Natural Resources Police Investigate Boating Accident, Charge Deer Poacher, Cite Fishing Violators 

A St. Mary’s County man whose Maryland commercial waterman’s license was revoked in 2015 for oyster harvesting violations has been banned from any oystering activity on the Potomac River for the coming season.

Photo of James Phillip Nelson

James Phillip Nelson, 41, of California, was convicted in St. Mary’s County District Court in February of harvesting oysters from a closed area on the river near Point Lookout. Maryland Natural Resources Police officers determined that Nelson was well within the marked boundary for the protected area.

At its meeting Sept. 7, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission decided that Nelson’s “brazen” actions required punitive measures. Read more…

Weekly Fishing Report: September 13

Vince Roberts holds up a northern snakehead he caught

Vince Roberts holds up a northern snakehead he caught in the lower Susquehanna recently. Photo by Josh Cofiell

After being away for two weeks, I’m struck by the changes that are occurring as we drift out of the grasp of summer. We all need to thank Erik Zlokovitz for doing such a great job covering the fishing report and keeping you informed of our fishing opportunities in Maryland while I was away.
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Trapping Opportunities on Eastern Shore Wildlife Management Areas

Sealed Bids Accepted Until Oct. 17

Photo of Nanticoke River Wildlife Management AreaThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting bids for the 2017-2018 trapping seasons at several Eastern Shore Wildlife Management Areas – Ellis Bay, Fishing Bay, IdylwildLeCompte, Linkwood, Nanticoke River, Taylor’s Island and Wetipquin. Read more…

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AccessDNR September 2017
The September 2017 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Anna Lucente-Hoffmann.