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Maryland Fishing Report – May 11

Photo of young boy holding a fish caught on his line

Angler Alonzo Magee caught his first fish — a bluegill — in a Gaithersburg pond. Photo by Leroy Hyson

The big story recently was a major storm system with heavy rains and northeasterly winds, which brought flooding conditions to the Potomac, Susquehanna, and other rivers and streams across Maryland. Fishing conditions should slowly get back to normal with a stretch of warmer sunny days and lighter winds. The shad run should continue until late May, and the 2022 striped bass trophy season will run through May 15. Summer season regulations start on May 16 – be sure to check the DNR website for seasonal regulations in your area of the Bay

With the weather improving the next few days, don’t forget to take your kids out on the water and introduce them to the great sport of fishing!

Read more…

Secretary’s Message – May 2022

Opening Up Maryland’s Great Outdoors

Photo of three people holding bird replicas in front of a display on wingspan

Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford join Ranger Melissa Acuti at Sandy Point Nature Center, Sandy Point State Park. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Governor’s Office

As we approach the start of summer season, DNR is prepared to meet it with new additions to our Maryland State Park system and a growing list of outdoor recreation and education opportunities.  Read more…

Maryland State Forests Earn Sustainability Certification for 19th Consecutive Year

Five Forests Have Met International Standards for 2022

Photo of group of people in front of a grove of trees

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio join Maryland Forest Service staff for a tour of Pocomoke State Forest on May 3, 2022. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the major five state forests comprising Maryland’s state forest system – totaling more than 200,000 acres –- this year received two favorable independent audit reports recognizing that DNR is managing the state forests according to internationally accepted Forest Certification standards for sustainability.  

These positive 2022 surveillance audits by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) show Maryland’s state forests meet their standards for sustainable certification.

Lt. Gov. Rutherford Boyd K. Rutherford and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio recently visited Pocomoke and Chesapeake forests to view some of the Maryland Forest Service’s sustainable management practices. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – May 4

Photo of young girl on a dock, with a fish she caught

Brady Matthew enjoyed a great family day of fishing with his daughters, catching both sunfish and golden shiners.

The shad run is on, and fishing for both American shad and hickories has been very good for catch-and-release anglers.

The striped bass trophy season got off to a fair start with some large fish in the 40-inch to 50-inch range caught on the first day, May 1.

The 2022 striped bass trophy season will run through May 15. Summer season regulations start on May 16 – be sure to check the DNR website for seasonal regulations in your area of the Bay.

Read more…

Arbor Day Celebrated at Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Colleges Eligible for Tree Campus Higher Education Award

As part of celebrating the 150th National Arbor Day on April 29, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that all four Maryland historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have completed the first step to be eligible to apply for the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus Higher Education, a national recognition program, which recognizes colleges and universities efforts to establish and sustain healthy community forests.

This year marks the first time all four HBCUs – Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) – have conducted Arbor Day plantings, one of the five steps toward eligibility. Maryland Forest Service staff will be assisting the schools as they develop their plans to complete the additional steps.

Photo of group of people with a tree they planted

Maryland DNR photo

Bowie State held a tree planting on April 22 with the student group, Green Ambassadors, planting six native trees that were supplied by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

Read more…

Maryland Departments of General Services and Natural Resources Celebrate Arbor Day

Marylanders Plant Trees Coupons & Gift of Trees Donation Forms Distributed to Guests of State Facilities in Honor of the Day

The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day today by presenting Marylanders Plant Trees coupons and Gift of Trees donation forms to visitors and employees at state of Maryland facilities in Baltimore and Annapolis.  Read more…

Angler Catches Record White Perch in Isle of Wight Bay

Worcester County Resident Sets Record for Atlantic Division

Photo of man holding a white perch

Photo courtesy Robert J. Hudson

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a new state record for white perch in the state’s Atlantic division. Robert “Bob” Hudson, of Ocean Pines, unexpectedly landed the 1.85-pound white perch in the Isle of Wight Bay near Ocean City.  Read more…

DNR Advises Keeping Fawns and Other Wildlife Safe in the Wild

Anyone Encountering a Fawn Should Leave it Alone

Photo of fawn in the woods

Photo by April Price, submitted to the 2014 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cautions anyone who encounters a fawn to avoid disturbing it and resist the urge to feed or handle it. Removing deer from the wild and keeping them in captivity is dangerous, harmful to the animal, and against the law.

Deer are born with specialized adaptations, including a lack of odor that prevents predators from locating them; remarkable camouflage that makes it hard to see them; and “freezing behavior” that allows them to stay absolutely motionless when approached by potential predators. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – April 27

Photo of a man holding a fish at streamside

Reza Karimi was fishing Seneca Creek when he caught this trophy-sized rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Reza Karimi

April has been a wonderful month for fishing, especially for our put-and-take trout anglers. Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff have been out each week stocking trout waters around the state.

The 2022 striped bass trophy season begins Sunday, May 1, and our Chesapeake Bay anglers will be out in force – be sure to check the DNR website for seasonal regulations in your area of the Bay.

Read more…

Maryland Dedicates Trail Area to Conservationist Jim Gracie

Stretch of Gunpowder Falls State Park Adjacent to Fishing Spots

Photo of sign on Jim Gracie Trail next to a river

Photos by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has dedicated a portion of the Gunpowder North Trail in memory of Jim Gracie, trout fisherman and stream restoration advocate who died in 2020. A ceremony at Gunpowder Falls State Park was attended by his wife, Jane Gracie, numerous current and former state officials, and others in the fishing and conservation communities.

A plaque on the trail reads a list of Gracie’s accomplishments: “An avid conservationist and leader of the Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Jim was instrumental in working together with the Department of Natural Resources to negotiate an agreement with the City of Baltimore establishing a minimum flow of cold water from the Prettyboy Reservoir, thereby securing the healthy and ideal habitat necessary for the proliferation of wild trout, and establishing the Gunpowder River as a world-renowned Blue-Ribbon trout stream.” Read more…

Maryland to Dedicate This Year’s Sunflower Planting for Ukraine

Annual Planting for Wildlife Takes on Special Meaning

Photo of sunflowers in bloom

Photo: “Sunflowers After Storm at McKee Beshers” by Bob Julia, submitted to the 2018 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces that it will dedicate its sunflower plantings to the people of Ukraine this spring. Each year, the department plants about 130 acres of sunflowers on 15 wildlife management areas across 18 Maryland counties. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine, which remains besieged by the Russian military. Read more…

Lt. Governor Rutherford and Department of Natural Resources Open Two New State Parks on the Upper Shore

State Park Week Ends with Celebration of Park Openings in in Kent and Cecil Counties

Photo of three people planting a tree

Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, and Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina plant a tree for Earth Day at Bohemia River State Park. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

In celebration of Earth Day and Maryland State Park Week, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford joined the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to open two new state parks to the public: Bohemia River State Park in Cecil County, and Cypress Branch State Park in Kent County.

“I want to thank the Maryland Park Service and the Department of Natural Resources for continuously searching for new opportunities of growth, access and preservation throughout our state parks,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Bohemia River and Cypress Branch are two great examples of how our state parks provide not only great resources for outdoor recreation, but opportunities to learn about our state’s rich history and develop our local communities.”

“As we celebrate Earth Day, it is the perfect time to open these lands to the public as part of our tremendous system of parks,” said Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “We are honored that the Lt. Governor, special guests, and visitors joined us today for this celebration.” Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – April 20

Photo of girl with large fish on a line

Amelia Wike had fun trout fishing with her dad recently. Photo by Christopher J. Wike

Chillier weather descended upon Maryland this past week, and areas of Western Maryland even received a significant amount of snow. Warmer weather is in the forecast ahead, just in time for a weekend of fishing together with family and friends. This month offers special opportunities for our younger anglers to enjoy fishing in the put-and-take trout fishing waters, which are being stocked each week.

Read more…

Black Bears Emerging from Winter Dens

Marylanders Urged to Keep Bears Wild

Photo of DNR staffer with tranquilized bear

Maryland Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists tranquilize and relocate a nuisance bear in Westernport in 2017. Photo by Nancy Doran, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Maryland’s black bears are leaving their winter dens and as they emerge, they are hungry. Bears will be searching for natural food sources such as acorns, plants, berries, and insects. With natural food sources in short supply until later in the spring, bears can be attracted to anything that smells like food.

Homeowners who leave human-generated food sources out in the open may unintentionally draw bears to residential areas. Residents of Maryland’s bear country are urged to be proactive and exercise good judgment to avoid creating man-made attractions for bears.  Read more…

Lt. Governor Rutherford Kicks off Maryland State Park Week With Sandy Point Nature Center Dedication Ceremony

Announced Two New State Parks Will Open During State Park Week, April 15-22

Maryland State Park Week Kick Off 2022

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Secretary Jeannie Haddaway Riccio Kick Off State Parks Week 2022

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today joined the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to announce the second Maryland State Park Week, with a ribbon-cutting at the Sandy Point State Park Nature Center. The new center features a Chesapeake Bay themed playground and a redeveloped plaza. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – April 13

Photo of boy in a stream holding up a string of trout

This little guy was lucky enough to get out fishing with his dad, Photo by Vince Gray

Maryland appears to be taking a big leap into spring weather this weekend, so be sure to find yourself outdoors fishing with family and friends. Trout fishing is on the top of the list for many freshwater anglers, especially our youngsters.

Be sure to check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for the Chesapeake Bay striped bass regulations for 2022.

Read more…

DNR Tagging Program Studies Walleye at Deep Creek Lake

Anglers Asked to Report Tagged Fish They Catch; Prizes Offered

Photo of man holding tagged walleye at lake

Department of Natural Resources biologist Matt Sell holds a walleye with a yellow tag. Photo by John Mullican, Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  announces a new survey to track and understand the walleye fishery at Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County. To help better understand the fishery, staff biologists have tagged 450 walleyes throughout the lake.  

These yellow tags are located along the soft dorsal fin on the left side of the fish. Anglers who catch a tagged fish are asked to report it to DNR by calling the number on the tag – 301-334-8218 – and reporting the date and location of the catch, the tag number, and whether the walleye was kept or released  If a fish is to be released, the department asks the angler to report the tag information but to not remove the tag from the walleye.   Read more…

Secretary’s Message – April 2022

Planting Seeds for Future Growth

Photo of three women in front of poster about trees

First Lady Yumi Hogan and Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, with long-time Maryland Forest Service employee Romcesa Estep, helped judge the 2022 Maryland Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

Recent cold weather aside, spring is in full swing, and this year is definitely one to celebrate. As flowers begin to bloom and birds begin to nest, we are pleased to return to many of our favorite warm-weather traditions — including burning socks and planting trees! In fact, I recently burned my socks with Governor and First Lady Hogan, and other special guests at the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s annual Sock Burning Party. Now that spring feels official, we at DNR are gearing up to lead tree plantings at locations statewide, including at the schools of our Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winners.  Read more…

Maryland Spring Turkey Season 2022 Set to Open

Junior Hunt Starts April 16; All Hunters Begin April 18

Photo of turkey in a field

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces that the statewide spring turkey season will kick off April 16 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can try to bag a bird during the regular statewide spring turkey season, April 18 through May 23. Read more…

Governor Larry Hogan Proclaims April 6 Maryland Arbor Day

Maryland Honors Forest Service, Forest Products Industry

Photo of group of people in the governor's conference room, surrounded by potted seedlings

Governor Hogan proclaims Maryland Arbor Day for 2022. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed April 6, 2022 to be Maryland Arbor Day, marking the 150th anniversary of National Arbor Day, celebrated the last Friday of April each year, and the 139th Maryland Arbor Day, celebrated the first Wednesday of April. 

“Arbor Day is a great reminder of the importance of Maryland’s forest lands and the importance of planting trees,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state is proud of the small businesses that support our economy by engaging in natural resources-based industries. We also recognize the important role the hard work and dedication of the Maryland Forest Service in ensuring Maryland’s forests remain a point of pride.”

Resuming an annual tradition that was on hold during the pandemic, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio honored Maryland Arbor Day by presenting tree seedlings grown at the state nursery in Caroline County to the members of the Board of Public Works – Governor Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and state Treasurer Dereck E. Davis.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – April 6

Photo of man in a stream holding a fish

Brent Fletcher took his opportunity to fish the upper Patapsco River and catch this beautiful rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Brent Fletcher

March finished with some cold and blustery conditions for anglers, and April promises milder temperatures. Trout fishing in the put-and-take areas has been getting the premier attention of many anglers enjoying the daily and generous stocking of trout, which will last through the month of April. Don’t miss it!  

As a reminder, Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries except the Potomac River remain closed to all striped bass catch-and-release fishing until May 1. Anglers should become familiar with areas that will open May 1 and later season change dates using the Maryland Department of Natural Resources online striped bass regulation map

In the meantime, fishing in Maryland for multiple species abounds in April.

Read more…

Regulations Issued for 2022 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Fishing

Summer-Fall Season Limits Remain Same

Photo of scientist returning a striped bass to the water

Fisheries biologists survey and tag striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay as part of an annual survey of the population. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that recreational striped bass regulations for the 2022 Chesapeake Bay summer-fall season will remain the same as last year.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, except the Potomac River, will be closed to striped bass targeting from April 1 to May 1.

The 2022 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, All areas will be closed to any targeting of striped bass from July 16 through July 31, and reopen August 1 through December 10. Anglers may keep one striped bass per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate would not be permitted to land or possess striped bass for personal consumption. Read more…

Fishing Rodeos Kick off for 2022 Season

Young Angler Events Return Across Maryland

Photo of young girl with her father showing off a fish she caught

Among the fishing rodeo locations is Fort Frederick State Park’s Beaver Pond, held this year 8 a.m. to noon on April 2. Photo by Cpl. Chris Warden, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Youth anglers of all ages are encouraged to hone their fishing skills at any of Maryland’s nearly 50 youth fishing rodeos spread out across the state this year. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with dozens of organizations in 14 counties crisscrossing the state to offer free and engaging fishing opportunities for thousands of youth. Many of the events are held on Maryland State Parks and other public lands.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – March 30

Photo of boy holding a trout

The proud and happy face of Jason Punsalon says it all. Photo by Rodney Punsalon

Trout anglers had their big day last Saturday for what most call the opening day of trout season, although trout have been generously stocked for months. It is a time for our younger anglers to enjoy some success in pursuing trout in local waters with moms and dads.

All Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries except the Potomac River will be closed to all striped bass catch-and-release fishing starting Friday, April 1 until May 1. Anglers are urged to become familiar with areas that will open May 1 and later season change dates at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources online striped bass regulation map

Read more…

Maryland’s Recreational Crabbing Season Begins April 1

Traditional Opening Day for State’s Iconic Crustacean

Photo of reflection of four boys crabbing with a dip net

Photo by Christine Edwards, entry in the 2018 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces the recreational crabbing season in Maryland officially opens on April 1 for the Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays, and their tributaries. Read more…

Pumpout Operations and Maintenance Grants Available for 2022 Season

Funding for Marinas to Support Clean Waterways

Photo of small marina with pumping station on pier

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications from marinas for grants up to $2,500 for operations and maintenance of marine sewage pumpout stations. Applications are available online and are accepted now through April 15. 

This program assists marinas in offering reliable pumpout service to area boaters. Pumpout stations give boaters a proper method of disposing of their sewage and thus prevent it from entering Maryland’s waters. The department supports their installation and operation as part of the overall strategy of reducing nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – March 23

Photo of two girls holding trout

Photo by Steve Peperak

Put-and-take trout anglers will have their day this Saturday, March 26, as the traditional opening day kicks off at 5:30 a.m. throughout Maryland. This is a wonderful time for our younger anglers to achieve success in catching some trout, and for adults to share it with them. Maryland Department of Natural Resources hatchery crews and biologists have been working hard to get all of the trout out this week, and we hope you have a wonderful time!

Anyone who needs to register a boat at a DNR regional service center, be advised that you need to make an appointment, which is easy to do online or by calling the service center directly. The same is true at Motor Vehicle Administration offices, if you need to register a trailer. 

Remember you can buy licenses and other services online through the DNR COMPASS portal.

Read more…

Washington County Angler Catches Record Muskellunge

At 33 Pounds, Muskie Beats 2017 Record

Photo of man holding large muskellunge

Photo courtesy Kyle Mullenix, submitted to Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a Washington County man has set a new nontidal state record for muskellunge. Kyle Mullenix of Hagerstown caught the 33-pound, 49-inch long record muskie on March 2 along the banks of the upper Potomac River.

Regarded as the “fish of ten thousand casts,” muskies are the largest freshwater fish in Maryland and among the most difficult to catch. Read more…

Maryland Offers Grants for Aquatic Invasive Species Removal

Department Providing up to $10,000 to Community Based Programs

Photo of zebra mussels

Zebra mussels that were intercepted by the Deep Creek Lake Launch Steward Program. Photo by Julie Bortz, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces a new grant program to aid in the removal of aquatic invasive species in Maryland waters. 

The Invasive Species Control Proposal Solicitation is searching for community-based programs or individuals to help the department engage with the public and organizational partners in the control and removal efforts of invasive aquatic species in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Read more…

Maryland Natural Resources Police Report — February 2022

Photo of police truck in a fieldThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) issued citations for illegal hunting and fishing activities in February. Read more…

Offshore Blind and Shoreline Licensing Open for 2022

Applications Must Be Postmarked by May 31

Photo of hunter in a waterfowl blind

Photo by Jake McPherson, Ducks Unlimited

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service is now accepting offshore waterfowl blind and shoreline license applications for riparian (waterfront) property owners.

Riparian property owners, or anyone who has been granted permission from the riparian property owner, may license their shoreline. A license will establish offshore stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl, and/or will prevent others from licensing and hunting the shoreline at a later date. Read more…

2022 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants Total $320,000

Grants Supports Communities, Projects, and Schools

Photo of people planting trees on an urban sidewalk

“Trees Not Trash” a community initiative funded by the 2021 Keep Maryland Beautiful Clean Up and Green Up Grant, focuses on beautifying city neighborhoods by planting street trees and removing litter within Sustainable Community Development areas, while engaging the residents on the benefits of urban trees. Photo courtesy Forever Maryland.

Forever Maryland is proud to announce that 85 grants totaling $320,000 have been awarded toward environmental education, community cleanup and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.

These annual grants are funded by the Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever Maryland, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Read more…

Secretary’s Message – March 2022

Maryland is Invested in Our Natural Resources

Photo of Governor Hogan, Lieutenant Governor Rutherford, and Secretary Riccio at Maryland Park Service podium

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford hands his trail-hiking stick to Governor Larry Hogan during an announcement Greenbrier State Park. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House.

Spring is around the corner, and as usual, many of us have spring fever. The good news is that our amazing DNR staff have readied our parks and public lands to greet the millions of visitors we receive each year.

It is essential that we balance increased visitation with our responsibility to protect and care for the lands that have been entrusted to us. That is why I was so pleased to join Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford a few weeks ago for a special announcement regarding funding for our public lands.  Read more…

Wildfire Danger in Maryland Increases in Spring

DNR Stresses Preparedness, Prevention

Photo of wildland firefighter putting out a brush fireSpring wildfire season has begun in Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges residents across the state to prepare and help prevent wildfires.

Wildfire occurrence is highest in the spring and fall when forest fuels are the driest and weather conditions — warm, dry, and windy — are most conducive for the spread of fire. On days when this threat is most likely, the department will issue a “red flag” status. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – March 16

Photo of girl on a dock holding up two yellow perch

Lucy Perez proudly holds up her stringer of yellow perch. Photo by Nick Perez.

Despite winter’s heavy hand last weekend, the harbingers of spring are all around us. The geese, swans, and most migratory ducks have headed north and are replaced by the arrival of the ospreys. Crocus and daffodils are blooming, and fishing opportunities abound. Anglers are enjoying the trout management waters that are open, all species of fish are awakening from their winter’s sleep, and spawning runs of yellow and white perch are underway.

Read more…

Controlled Burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area Starts March 17

Smoke May Be Visible from Nearby Highways

Photo of crew conducting a controlled burn in a brush area

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a controlled burn on Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area this week. Residents or drivers who see smoke in the area southwest of Rawlings should be aware that it may appear to be a forest fire, but is deliberate and controlled, and there is no need to report it to authorities. Originally planned for late fall, the burn was rescheduled due to weather. 

The fire will create smoke, but it will be a controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris. Pre-burning is planned March 17 with the larger burn scheduled to take place March 18, and resume March 21 (weather permitting, rain may delay the burn). Read more…

Governor Hogan Announces Annapolis Waterfront Park Funding to Preserve Legacy of Historic Carr’s Beach

State and Local Partnership Will Preserve Open Space on Significant Historic Property
on Chesapeake Bay

Photo of wooded beachfront area taken from the water

Photo by Jody Couser, Chesapeake Conservancy

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the State of Maryland will provide more than $4.8 million toward the purchase of a historically significant waterfront property for the development of a new Annapolis public park. 

The land has been identified as part of the property once owned by the Carr Family and is close to Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, popular resorts on the Chesapeake Bay that served the Black community at a time when they were prohibited from using other beaches. Known as “the Beach,” Carr’s Beach hosted many prominent Black performing artists during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, The Shirelles, Little Richard, and Billie Holiday. Read more…

Maryland DNR 2022 Photo Contest Now Open

Entries for Annual Contest Taken Until August 1, 2022

Photo of owl landing in marshy area

Photo “Short-eared Owl Hovering” by Mitch Adolph, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting entries for its annual photo contest.

Photographers, novice or professional, can enter for the chance to win cash, park passes, and other great prizes. Read more…

Muskrat Trapping Season Extended in Select Maryland Counties

Weather Conditions Lead to Additional Week for Trapping

Photo of a muskrat den in the marsh

A muskrat den at Taylors Island Wildlife Management ARea. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has added a one-week extension to the muskrat trapping season in all counties except Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington. The revised season will now close March 22, 2022, to make up for unfavorable weather conditions.

An extremely cold winter and more recent tide fluctuations have limited trapper access to many waterways and wetlands, reducing the ability and opportunity to harvest this valuable furbearer. Read more…

New DNR Vessel Christened the M/V Eddie Somers

Boat Named After Long-Time Captain of Its Predecessor

Photo of boat on drydock

Photo courtesy Blount Boats Inc.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has christened the newest boat in its Hydrographic Operations fleet, naming it after a long-time captain of the Crisfield-Smith Island route the boat will serve. The M/V Eddie Somers was christened this week by DNR officials and its namesake at shipbuilder Blount Boats Inc. in Warren, Rhode Island.

The boat is named after former DNR Capt. Eddie Somers, who retired in 2018 after 25 years as captain of the M/V J. Millard Tawes, the boat the new vessel is replacing.  Read more…

Maryland DNR App Available to Locate Key Oyster Sites

Development of iShellfish Follows Legislation Signed in 2021

Photo of DNR boat approaching commercial oyster boats

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the development of a new mobile app, iShellfish, to provide interactive maps for commercial watermen and other users to locate areas they need to find or avoid while on Maryland’s waterways.  Read more…

Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2022 Results Released

Annual Survey Estimates Number of Winter Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Photo of airplane ready to take off for waterfowl survey

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

In early January, aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made visual estimates of the ducks, geese and swans along most of the state’s Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River. and Atlantic Ocean coastal shorelines. This year, the teams counted about 563,800 waterfowl, lower than the 627,000 birds observed in 2020, and below the most recent five-year average of 718,600 birds. The 2021 Mid-Winter Survey was not flown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…

Free Trees Available for Maryland’s ‘Backyard Buffers’

Waterfront and Streamside Landowners can Reserve Seedlings

Photo of a surrounded by trees and other vegetationThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners statewide who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream, or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program, now available in 23 counties.  Read more…

Maple Syrup Festival Returns Live to Cunningham Falls State Park

Event Takes Place March 12-13 and March 19-20

Photo of several bottles of pure maple syrup

Photo by Ranger Melissa Acuti

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites the public to celebrate the Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park this March. This popular event takes place during two weekends, March 12-13 and March 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at the park’s William Houck Area. The event returns live after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Read more…

Natural Resources Police Report — January 2022

Photo of Natural Resources Police truck on patrol in snowy landscapeThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) issued citations for deer poaching and other hunting violations in January.

Read more…

Governor Hogan Encourages Marylanders to Celebrate Harriet Tubman’s 200th Birthday

Weekend of Events Planned Next Month at Underground Railroad State Park

Photo of sculpture of Infant Harriet Tubman, located at Harriet Tubman State Park

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Harriet Tubman and the 5th anniversary of its opening, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center will host a series of free, family-friendly programs during the weekend of March 12 to 13.

“Harriet Tubman dedicated her life in selfless service to others and the cause of freedom,” said Governor Hogan. “This year, as we celebrate her 200th birthday, we hope that even more Marylanders and visitors from across the country will take time to learn about the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad and her years-long struggle to lead countless slaves to their freedom.” Read more…

Maryland Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

First Lady Yumi Hogan Participates as Judge; Top Entries’ Schools Receive Free Tree Plantings

Photo of group standing with artwork on easels

Judges of the 2022 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest stand with the top three prize winners. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Marlyland State House.

Fifth-grade students who submitted Arbor Day posters to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources had their work judged today by a panel of forestry experts and a special guest judge, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, who is an accomplished artist and adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art.

The posters were created using varied artistic techniques, including colored pencils, crayons, markers and paint, all illustrating this year’s contest theme, “Trees are Terrific…and Maryland Forests are Too.”

Original artwork focused on trees cleaning the air, creating shade and generally contributing to healthy outdoor living. Read more…

Board of Public Works Approves Program Open Space Funding for Baltimore City

More than $20 Million For Baltimore City Outdoor Recreation This Year

Photo of people biking on a park trail in the city

Maryland DNR photo

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved 11 Program Open Space projects totaling $6.3 million in grants for Baltimore City. These projects include new and upgrades to existing park facilities across the city. In January, the board approved about $4 million in Program Open Space grant funding provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for Baltimore City. 

In total, Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget included $4.2 million through the Program Open Space Local program, and $6 million in direct grants to Baltimore City for its park projects. Additionally, Baltimore City is receiving $10 million through the Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure program. Read more…

Maryland Hunters Report Taking 70,845 Deer in 2021-2022 Season

Frederick County Leads State in Harvest Totals

Photo of buck in green brush

Photo by Patricia Neal, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that deer hunters harvested 70,845 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 10, 2021 through Feb. 3, 2022.

The statewide harvest included 27,947 antlered and 39,498 antlerless white-tailed deer, plus 1,541 antlered and 1,859 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 13% lower than the 2020-2021 total of 81,729 deer. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – Winter 2022

Photo of young man and dog holding a fish next to some iced-over water

Tommy O’Connell spent some time ice-fishing on Cunningham Reservoir with his buddy Oakley. Photo by Tommy O’Connell

While some retreat when winter temperatures drop and snow and icy conditions prevail, there are anglers who just cannot sit out the winter months. The reservoirs of Western Maryland are providing wonderful ice fishing opportunities for a variety of fish species, and the open waters of fast-moving streams and rivers are providing excellent trout fishing thanks to the pre-season stocking program.

Read more…

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