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Natural Resources News

Maryland Hosts First-Ever State of the Coast Conference

Connecting People, Innovation and Opportunity May 21-23 in Cambridge

Photo of coast by Karen McDonald

Blizzard Sunset by Karen McDonald

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will bring together more than 200 local officials, business and industry leaders, resource stakeholders and users, scientists, and federal and state agency experts for Maryland’s first State of the Coast conference.

The event takes place May 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge.

“As we all know the health of our coasts, which span 3,190 miles, is intractably linked to the health of our economy, environment and society,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said.

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Weekly Fishing Report: April 18

Photo of man and son reeling in a big one

Photo by Keith Lockwood

This coming Saturday, April 21, is a big day for those who dream of catching a trophy striped bass. More than a few anglers will spend the night before checking alarm clocks just to find themselves waking up a half-hour before the alarm is set to go off anyhow.

Weather is predicted to be a little nippy in the morning but should warm up as the day progresses. It will be a wonderful day to be out on the water with family and friends.

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Board of Public Works Approves Expansion of Pocomoke State Forest

Program Open Space Acquisition Benefits Environment and Outdoor Recreation

Photo of Summerfield property

The Board of Public Works today unanimously voted to approve the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 224.5 acres in Worcester County as an addition to Pocomoke State Forest.

The site provides both exceptional ecological benefits as well as recreational opportunities, especially for hikers — with trails linking Pocomoke River State Park, located within the 15,000-acre state forest, with the Town of Snow Hill. The state park offers biking, boating, camping and fishing opportunities, and also includes a nature center, park store and swimming pool.

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First Lady Yumi Hogan Celebrates Keep Maryland Beautiful; Launches New Anti-Litter Ad Campaign

State awards nearly $2 million to support community clean-up and beautification

Keep Maryland Beautiful logoFirst Lady Yumi Hogan highlighted first-year accomplishments and launched a new transit advertising campaign for the Keep Maryland Beautiful program in a ceremony held at the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Back Creek Nature Park Campus. Officials also announced awards of nearly $2 million to support community clean-up initiatives and workforce development.

“Keep Maryland Beautiful encourages local activism and volunteerism for a cleaner and more beautiful community,” said First Lady Yumi Hogan. “With this new advertising campaign, we want to promote pride in our state and remind our citizens that by working together, they can make a difference in their neighborhoods and change Maryland for the better.” Read more…

Weekly Fishing Report: April 11

Man holding Striped Bass in Kayak

Photo courtesy of Mike Otto

Cold nights and chilly days have prevailed far too long in the past couple of weeks, but change is on the way, with air temperatures of 80 degrees promised for the weekend.

We are a little more than a week away from the opening day of the trophy striped bass season and it would be safe to say that fishermen and charter boat captains are anxious and ready, even if the striped bass may not be.

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New Interactive Map to Provide Fish Consumption Advisories

Feature Shows Updated Health-Based Meal Advisories for Fish Caught by Maryland Anglers

Maryland Department of the Environment logoThe Maryland Department of the Environment today announced the development of an interactive map that provides modernized, user-friendly information on fish consumption advisories. It is one of the only “clickable” maps for fish consumption advisories in the nation. A consumption advisory is a recommendation to limit or avoid eating certain species of fish caught from specific water bodies due to environmental factors.

This resource will allow anglers to see what advisories are in effect in specific waterways by accessing links and replaces a static chart of advisories with an interactive feature that can be opened on web browsers. The web page is optimized for mobile devices, with a widget that allows users to zoom to their exact location on the map with the press of a button. Read more…

Revised Regulations Seek to Reduce Minimum Size Requirement for Striped Bass

Conservation-Minded Changes a Win-Win for Species and Sport

Photo of charter boat fishingThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources has submitted revised regulations that aim to reduce the minimum size requirement of striped bass for recreational anglers and charter boats during the summer and fall fishing seasons in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from 20 to 19 inches.

The changes, approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in February, are proposed to take effect May 16, 2018.

The proposal seeks to reduce the minimum size of striped bass with corresponding conservation-minded changes to gear, including the requirement that non-offset (inline) circle hooks be used when chumming and live-lining, and circle hooks or “J” hooks (of any gap width or size) when fishing with bait such as crabs, fish and worms.

In addition, the proposed regulations would sunset after two years, which will allow the department to determine if the new conservation actions were preventing fish mortality as intended. The department will have new stock assessment data available at that time. Read more…

Offshore Blind and Shoreline Licensing for Riparian Landowners is Now Open

Applications Must Be Submitted by May 31

Photo of offshore waterfowl blind

Photo by Larry Hindman

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting offshore waterfowl blind and shoreline license applications for riparian, or waterfront, property owners. Such landowners, or anyone who has the owner’s permission, may license their shoreline to establish offshore stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl.

A license allows the shoreline owner to hunt waterfowl from their own blind in state waters or to prevent other waterfowlers from licensing the shoreline at a later date.

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Earth Day Challenge Set for April 21 at Tuckahoe State Park

Help the Park Stay Clean and Green, Then Help Yourself to Fun and Adventure

Photo of youths at Tuckahoe State ParkEarth Day is a time when the world comes together to better our environment, just as the Maryland Department of Natural Resources works to enhance, protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and great outdoors.

Citizens can pitch in this year by taking part in the Tuckahoe State Park Earth Day Challenge to beautify our public lands. Volunteers can participate in a variety of activities 9 to 11 a.m. April 21, including art and citizen-science projects, debris removal and tree plantings.

Read more…

May 12 Fishing Rodeo at St. Mary’s River State Park

Annual Event Open to Children Aged 3-15

Photo of father and daughter at youth fishing rodeo

St. Mary’s River State Park hosts its ninth annual Youth Fishing Rodeo 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 12.

All children, aged 3-15, are eligible to participate in this free event.

The event will include a casting competition as well as educational and informational demonstrations with live animals. Prizes will be given to registered participants who catch the biggest fish of different species. Read more…

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AccessDNR April 2018

The April 2018 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Anna Lucente-Hoffmann.