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Maryland Fishing Report – December 1

Photo of man holding a large chain pickerel at the water's edge

Gary Budny holds up a beautiful chain pickerel he caught and released at Loch Raven Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Gary Budny

Everywhere in Maryland, colder weather is setting in as we enter December. Some species of fish will begin to hunker down for the winter months while others relish the colder water temperatures. Fishing for blue catfish, trout, and chain pickerel often excels during the winter months, and saltwater fishing for sea bass and tautog provide plenty of action along the coasts.

Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves $26 Million in Rural Legacy Program Grants

Funding Will Protect 6,000 Acres Statewide

Photo of rural areaThe Board of Public Works today unanimously approved more than $26.2 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements in 17 counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect about 6,000 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state. 

Additionally, the board approved designation of a new Rural Legacy Area in Charles County, the 64,000-acre Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Forest Rural Legacy Area. Designation will provide the opportunity to protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and historic properties within the Nanjemoy and Mattawoman watersheds.  Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves Community Parks and Playgrounds Funding

Program Provides $5 Million for Outdoor Recreation Statewide in Fiscal 2022

Photo of playground in wooded areaThe Board of Public Works today approved the last of 31 Community Parks and Playground projects for this fiscal year, totaling $5 million in grants for new and upgraded outdoor facilities in communities across Maryland.

Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget included funding for these projects, through which the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides flexible grants to municipalities to rehabilitate, expand, or improve existing parks, create new parks, or purchase and install playground equipment. Read more…


Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report – Year-End 2021

Divided Season Results in Near Average 2021 Hypoxia

Graph of Chesapeake Bay hypoxic water volumes in 2021Monitoring of dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia showed a tale of two different halves for the 2021 season. The Bay experienced below average hypoxia — areas with less than 2 mg/l of dissolved oxygen — from May through July, followed by above average hypoxic volumes August through October. When averaged over the full 2021 season, hypoxic volume was slightly below the historical seasonal average, consistent with forecasts made in the spring. Read more…


Maryland Fifth Graders Invited to Submit Arbor Day Posters for 2022

Annual Contest Taking Submissions until January 21, 2022

Image of poster with tree highlighting forest products

Luke Etter of Carroll County won first place honors in the 2021 Arbor Day Poster Contest, with a prize of 15 trees to his school for planting.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest.

The theme for 2022 is: “Trees Are Terrific…and Maryland Forests Are Too!” Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 24

Photo of man with two kids in a yard, holding ducks and a fish that they harvested

There are many outdoor opportunities to be thankful for in Maryland. Bryant Smith and his children show off a mixed bag of wood ducks and a large northern snakehead.

Marylanders are beginning to hear Old Man Winter knocking on the door this week, with repeated temperatures below 30 degrees in some areas. Water temperatures are declining in all areas, changing the fishing conditions. Dress appropriately and enjoy the exciting fishing opportunities. All of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wish everyone a happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.

Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 24, 2021

Map of Maryland showing past peak foliage in most of the state

The meteorological fall season comes to a close on December 1, and we are beginning to experience consistently cooler temperatures and brisk winds across Maryland. Fall foliage enthusiasts who bundle up and head east will be rewarded with leaves of crimson, amber, and gold adorning the Eastern Shore’s beautiful waterfront landscapes. A few pops of color remain in the central part of our state, and our citizen reporters spotted gorgeous burgundy-red leaves in Frederick and mellower tones of yellow and orange at Seneca Creek State Park. We’d like to thank all of the Marylanders that submitted photos capturing the fall season this year. We were thrilled with the response, and your photos helped us with our foliage forecasting. 

Read more…


Maryland Offers ‘Gift of Trees’ for Holiday Shopping List

Native Tree Planting with Certificate Available for Purchase

Photo of tree nursseryThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers holiday shoppers the opportunity to buy one gift for a loved one, for future generations, and for the environment.. The Gift of Trees is a program where Marylanders purchase native trees — either a single tree or a grove of 10 trees — for planting in honor of a celebration, commemoration, or observation.

A Gift of Trees certificate suitable for framing will be issued and mailed out within a week or two of an order. All trees will be planted in the next growing season – either spring or fall – to promote optimal growth and survival. Orders must be placed by Dec. 17 to ensure certificate delivery in time for Christmas. Holiday discounts are available for early shoppers.

Read more…


Maryland’s Deer Firearms Hunting Season Set to Open Nov. 27

Another Chance for Hunters to Put Venison in Their Freezers 

Photo of deer in the woods during late fall

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the two-week firearms hunting season for sika and white-tailed deer opens Saturday, Nov. 27 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 11.  Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 18, 2021

Map of Maryland showing peak foliage on the Eastern Shore

GO EAST! Western portions of the state have passed peak conditions and even had a little snow. Although there are still patches of fall scenery in the central part of the state, the fall color has shifted east of I-95 in Maryland. Based on our reports, the last of fall’s glory can be seen in bright reds, oranges, and yellows; even driving around the neighborhood can provide some beautiful views. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore there are also plenty of conifers, and the pops of green mixed in with traditional fall colors make for great scenic landscapes in vast open spaces. 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 17

Photo of man on a boat holding two black sea bass

Photo by Monty Hawkins

As we move through November there are plenty of excellent fishing opportunities to be had. The western mountain streams and rivers hold trout, smallmouth bass, and muskellunge. The small lakes and ponds that dot Maryland are providing a variety of fish that are feeding aggressively. The striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay are also feeling the urge to build up body stores. In the waters of the Atlantic, fishing for black sea bass does not get any better, with limit catches the norm.

Read more…


Secretary’s Message: November 2021

Make Maryland’s Outdoors Part of Your Gatherings

Photo of Secretary Riccio holding a plate of assorted seafood

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

As we enter the final two months of the year, our thoughts turn to the holiday season and gatherings with family and friends. To supplement those traditional dishes we often serve, I am pleased to share with you the Maryland Department of Natural Resources online cookbook Wild Maryland. The cookbook includes recipes with ingredients that can be hunted, trapped, caught, or foraged in Maryland’s outdoors – just in time for Maryland’s fall hunting and fishing seasons.

Wild Maryland also showcases our heritage and our way of life, through recipes that can be shared and passed down for generations to come. Feel free to try our recipes or submit one of your own by sending an email to Recipes.DNR@maryland.gov! Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — October 2021

Photo of police truck in a fieldThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) filed charges in October for a variety of conservation law violations including illegal bear hunting, striped bass violations, and deer poaching.  Read more…


‘Boatload of Toys’ Underway for 2021 Holiday Season

Natural Resources Police Toy Drive Returns

Photo of boat on a trailer covered with donated toysThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police (NRP) is renewing its commitment to helping the state’s children have a joyful holiday season with its annual “Boatload of Toys” drive. In November and December, staff will be collecting donations of new and unopened toys, for local children up to 18 years of age.

Officers and civilian staff manage this program each year as part of the national Marine Toys for Tots program to collect and distribute toys to children in need during the holiday season. After suspending the program last year due to the pandemic, NRP is eager to resume collecting hundreds of gifts to distribute. Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 11, 2021

Map of Maryland showing peak foliage in southern and eastern Maryland

The corn mazes are wrapping up, farmers markets are shifting to their winter offerings, and the trees across Maryland are preparing for their winter break. But there are still opportunities to see fall color, especially in the central and eastern parts of the state. A good way to enjoy the remaining fall days is with a drive along one of Maryland’s Scenic byways. At this point, the Roots and Tides, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, Chesapeake Country, Religious Freedom, and John Wilkes Booth trails are your best bets for capturing fall’s final curtain call. Colors are still muted compared to previous years but there are plenty of beautiful spots that make it worth the trip.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 10

Photo of girl holding a striped bass

Lucy Perez went fishing with her dad and holds up her prize, one keeper-sized striped bass. Photo by Nick Perez

Many of Maryland’s fishing opportunities are at their zenith as cool water temperatures have fish feeling the urge to build up body stores for the coming winter months. This is good news for anglers.
Read more…


Maryland Reports Early Deer Hunting Season 2021 Results

Muzzleloader Season Sees Increase; Slow Start for Archery

Photo of deer next to tree with fall colors

Photo by Terri Abramovitz

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports that hunters harvested 16,281 deer during the early portion of the archery and muzzleloader seasons. The harvest was a 17% decrease from last year’s official harvest of 19,616 deer for the same period. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Officer Prevents a Suicide in Cecil County River

Five-Year Veteran Dives into Cold Water to Rescue Woman

Photo of police officer next to Maryland Natural Resources Police truck

Officer First Class Jacob Gerczak. Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

A Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer rescued a suicidal woman who jumped into the Bohemia River in Cecil County.

Officer First Class Jacob Gerczak was on patrol in the Chesapeake City area at about 5:20 p.m. on October 31 when he observed a woman standing on the end of a pier overlooking the Bohemia River. The five-year veteran officer knew something was suspicious. Moments later, the woman jumped from the pier into the river.  Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 4, 2021

Map showing foliage past peak to the west and peaking or nearing peak in the rest of the state

The fall foliage this year has been a moving target, and we find ourselves entering November with some lackluster conditions. We are generally seeing a pattern from western Garrett County in the past peak stage to lots of green with pockets of color in far eastern Maryland. With the recent wind and rain, we’re seeing an end to prime foliage colors in most of the state mainly because of leaf drop. Generally speaking, fall foliage seekers should go far north where there has been more change and your best bet will be along the Blue Ridge mountain range (Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties).  It’s still a great time to enjoy the cooler weather outside as the leaves fall! We had lots of photo submissions this week from citizen forest watchers across our state so look to see what’s happening on the ground through their lenses.

Read more…


Controlled Burn Planned for Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Smoke May Be Visible from Nearby Highways

Photo of wooded area

Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Allegany County. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a controlled burn on Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area on a date to be set in December as weather and other conditions allow. 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.

The fire will create smoke but it will be a controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris. Access to the wildlife management area at its primitive camping area and at Middle Ridge Road will be limited during the burn, due to potential for low visibility, but will reopen as soon as the burn is completed. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 3

Photo of boy holding a fish at creekside

Jacob Baczeski went trout fishing with his dad on Deer Creek and proudly holds up a rainbow trout he caught. Photo by Stanley Baczeski

November is upon us and many areas of central, southern, and eastern Maryland have experienced their first frost. The waters are cooling and providing excellent fishing opportunities as many species of fish are feeding aggressively. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources trout program made an all-out effort to stock waters last week, providing exciting fishing. Read more…


Maryland 2021 Black Bear Hunt Harvest Results Released

Weather and Abundant Food Prove Challenging for Hunters

Photo of bear in the woods

Photo by Bob Geary

Hunters harvested 54 black bears during Maryland’s 18th annual black bear hunt. Official results have been compiled and reported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources following the five-day hunt held Oct. 25-29 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.

Abundant natural food in the mountains of Western Maryland slowed bear movements, and warm and sometimes wet weather conditions made hunting difficult. Hunters harvested 34 female and 20 male bears under these less-than-ideal conditions. Read more…


Maryland Sport Fishing Achievement Awards Presented for 2021

Second Annual Awards from Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission

Photo of group of people in outside area

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (center) presents the 2021 Sport Fisheries Achievement Award to Robert Wall, joined by his wife Vicky, at right. Also picture from left are Maryland DNR biologist Letha Grimes and Mary Helen Sprecher, who nominated Wall for the award. Photo by Anthony Burrows, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Maryland Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) presented annual awards for recreational fisheries lifetime achievement to Robert Wall and the late Joseph W. Brooks. The presentations were made in a ceremony held October 20 at Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden in Annapolis. 

The Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award was established by the commission to honor individuals who have provided sustained efforts in habitat management, conservation, education, research, or other meaningful contributions that benefit recreational fishing in Maryland. The inaugural 2020 award recipients were the late fishing legend Bernand “Lefty” Kreh, and Baltimore County resident Dr. Kenneth Lewis. Read more…


Maryland’s Junior Deer Hunt Held Second Weekend of November

Opportunity for Youngsters to Learn Traditions of Deer Hunting

Photo of girl with bagged deer

Ava H. took a 170-pound, seven-point white-tailed buck during the November 2019 Junior Deer Hunt in Caroline County.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages experienced deer hunters to take advantage of the upcoming Junior Deer Hunting Days to introduce youth to this time-honored cultural and sporting tradition. 

The Junior Deer Hunt is open on private and designated public land in all counties on November 13. The is also open on Sunday, November 14 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s. Also on November 14, junior hunters in Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties, may hunt on designated public lands. Read more…


Fall Foliage Report for October 28, 2021

Map of Maryland showing peak fall foliage in western Maryland

Halloween week is here and this year’s fall foliage has been full of tricks and treats. We’re seeing a wide range of conditions based on location, elevation, and tree types. The wild weather has been throwing things off kilter too, making it difficult to predict what will happen next. Regardless, with the uptick in wind and rain, it looks like things will be wrapping up within a few weeks. As in past weeks, you’ll find varying conditions within individual regions. A thirty-minute drive in one direction or another can make a difference. 

Read more…


DNR Introduces ‘Wild Maryland’ Cookbook Online

Recipes Feature Foods Fished, Foraged, and Hunted

Photo of fish, rice and tomatoes on a plate

Snakehead Etouffee by Peter Turcik

For anyone who likes their food on the wild side, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has published a new online cookbook. Wild Maryland includes recipes submitted by Maryland residents and featuring the state’s waterfowl, seafood, deer, and other wild game that can be hunted, trapped, or caught. The book also includes a section of recipes that features ingredients found while foraging in the wild.  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – October 27

Photo of a man in boat holding a large fish

October offshore fishing opportunities include fish such as this beautiful golden tilefish. Photo by Monty Hawkins

Maryland offers a wide variety of fishing adventures this time of year. Many anglers are enjoying the excellent trout fishing or other freshwater species. Fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay remains at the top of the list for many anglers.

Read more…


Youth, Veteran, and Military Waterfowl Hunt Set for 2021-22

First Opportunity November 6

Photo of man and youth in camo hunting garb

Photo by Brandon Kessler

Maryland’s youth hunters, veterans, and military personnel are once again afforded the opportunity to experience the thrill of waterfowl hunting on two special hunt days: Nov. 6, 2021 and Feb. 5, 2022.  Read more…


Managed Goose Hunts Scheduled in Garrett County Nov. 22-24

Permits, Reservations Taken for Deep Creek, Broadford Lake Sites

Photo of two Canadian geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources presents an annual Canada goose hunting opportunity on Deep Creek Lake and waterfowl hunting at Broadford Lake in Garrett County in November. These hunts are done by permit and reservation only on November 22, 23, and 24, 2021. Permits can be obtained online now, and registration for blinds sites can be done within four days of the hunt date. Read more…


Fall Foliage Report for October 21, 2021

Map showing peak color in the west and foliage just turning to the east

It’s mid-October here in Maryland and we have something to offer every fall foliage enthusiast. Crossing our state from west to east, you will experience it all — glorious autumn jewel tones decorating the skyline in the west —breathtaking sunrises and local critters basking in the last warm days of fall in the east. We cover it all this week, and we’ve received some of the best photos yet from our park managers, forestry staff, and loyal readers to beautifully illustrate this magical time of year.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – October 20

Boy on a lakeside dock holding a large northern pike

Bergen Kline certainly was thrilled to catch this 41-inch northern pike at Deep Creek Lake recently while fishing with his dad. Photo by Sean Kline

This week is an exciting time for family and friends to be out fishing and enjoying the outdoors, as daytime temperatures become more moderate and a wide variety of fish become more active as waters cool. 

 

Read more…


Fall Hunting for Small Game and Turkey Offers Abundant Opportunities

Maryland’s ‘Other’ Hunts Provide Active Enjoyment

Photo of squirrel in the woods

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources remind hunters that squirrel, rabbit, fall turkey, and other seasons are either underway or set to open in the coming weeks. These species offer generous seasons and bag limits and a chance to make some great memories this fall and winter. Read more…


State Nursery Has Trees Available for Spring 2022

Time is Now to Plan Spring Planting

Photo of saplings growing in rows

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Orders are being accepted for the spring 2022 planting season for shrubs and trees from the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery, managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Read more…


Secretary’s Message: October 2021

Positive Change for Maryland’s Outdoors

Photo of people walking on a bridge in a wooded area during fall

Cunningham Falls State Park in fall. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland DNR

Maryland’s landscape is starting to showcase the vibrant colors of fall. Along with cooler, more pleasant weather, it is a spectacular and inviting backdrop that signifies the changing of the seasons. Governor Larry Hogan has also given us a reason to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors by proclaiming October as “Walktober” month in recognition of Maryland’s official exercise—walking. We are pleased to join the Governor, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Department of Health, and the Maryland Department of Planning in encouraging Marylanders to enjoy the benefits of walking. Whether it is a leisurely stroll through your community, wandering through a local orchard or pumpkin patch, or hiking on Maryland’s world-class trail system, it is a great time to get outside.

Read more…


Chesapeake Bay 2021 Young-of-Year Survey Results Announced

Striped Bass Reproduction Below Average, Other Species Strong in Rivers

Photo of man and woman in the water holding scientific instruments

The Department of Natural Resources has monitored the annual reproductive success of striped bass in Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay since 1954. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced results of this year’s juvenile striped bass survey, which tracks the reproductive success of the iconic fish in the Chesapeake Bay. The 2021 young-of-year index is 3.2 which is slightly higher than last year but still below the long-term average of 11.4.

The coastal striped bass population has decreased in size, but is still capable of strong reproduction with the right environmental conditions. Variable spawning success is a well-known characteristic of the species. The index is slightly higher than 2020 but consecutive below average indices are a concern, and biologists continue to examine factors that might limit spawning success.  Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — September 2021

Photo of police boatThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) filed charges in September for a variety of conservation law violations including boating while intoxicated, possessing live snakeheads, illegal fishing and hunting, and selling potentially unsanitary crabs and oysters.  Read more…


Fall Foliage Report for October 14, 2021

Map showing peak foliage in far Western Maryland and most of the state changing

Here we are, mid-October, and reports indicate that the leaves are dropping quickly. With wet conditions the past few days and some wind in the forecast for the weekend we may see significant leaf loss through the next week. Fall seems to have taken hold across the state with the west near or at peak foliage and areas east slowly following suit. Most of the Eastern Shore has yet to substantially change, but we see signs that will change soon. 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – October 13

Photo of boy on a boat wearing a lifejacket and holding a blue crab

Carson Hoffmaster seems to be all tied up with this large crab while sorting the catch with his dad. Photo by Brad Hoffmaster

Children always offer a different window into our world, certainly a simpler type of fun and excitement. This could not be truer when they accompany us on our fishing and crabbing adventures.

Right now blue crabs are heavy and laden with meat so do not put that crabbing gear away just yet.

Read more…


Deer Muzzleloader Season Set to Open Oct. 21

Popular Season is Great Way to Enjoy Maryland’s Outdoors 

Photo of woman at an outdoor clinic learning to load a muzzeloader

Instructors teach how to load and fire a muzzleloader at a 2018 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop. Photo by James Mackey, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the first segment of Maryland’s muzzleloader deer season runs from Oct. 21-23 statewide. 

Hunters in Region B — the state’s central, southern, and eastern regions — can also use muzzleloaders from Oct. 25-30 for antlerless deer only.

The popular season typically coincides with pleasant fall weather and is one of many deer hunting opportunities offered in the state. Read more…


Fall Foliage Report for October 7, 2021

Map of Maryland showing far western counties at midpoint foliage

Here we go folks, we’re seeing more color out west and the rest of the state is being blanketed in subtle yellows and reds. In the far western portions of the state our reports are indicating we’re at the mid-point, especially in the higher elevations. Through central and southern Maryland, we have a mixed bag mainly because summer weather has been slow to depart. The eastern portion of the state is still mainly green with a few hints of fall color; this landscape remains perfect for pollinators, spending autumnal hours collecting nectar and pollen.

Read more…


Natural Resources Police Awards Officers for Exceptional Service

Conservation Officers Cited for Going Beyond the Call of Duty

Photo of three police officers and a dog

Col. Adrian Baker (left) and Lt. Col. Robert Kersey (right) presented a Superintendent’s Commendation to Sgt. Benjamin Lillard, along with his partner K-9 Rider. Lillard also received the Award of Merit and was named Maryland Park Service Officer of the Year.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police held its annual award ceremony at Sandy Point State Park Oct. 2 to recognize contributions to conservation law enforcement made by officers in the year 2020. During a year that presented many challenges and difficulties, NRP officers remained steadfast and more committed than ever to protect their community, wildlife, and natural resources.  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – October 6

Photo of young girl with her father, and a dog, holding a striped bass on a boat.

Lyla Jones went fishing last weekend with her dad and grandfather (along with a a furry friend) and they all had a wonderful time together. Photo by Joe Garrett

Early fall offers a wonderful opportunity to spend time outdoors with family and friends, especially our younger anglers. The fall trout stocking program has begun, offering excellent trout fishing at waters in most areas of Maryland. The Atlantic waters near Ocean City and Assateague Island, along with the Coastal Bays and the Chesapeake Bay all offer wonderful fishing opportunities before colder weather begins to move in next month.

Read more…


Maryland Black Bear Activity Increasing in Fall Months

Residents Reminded to Take Common-Sense Precautions

Photo of a bear in a tree

Photo by Ryan Van Nosdeln

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds residents that black bears are beginning a period of increased feeding activity in preparation for winter hibernation. During this time, bears may become more attracted to human-provided food sources and lose their natural fear of people, which can be dangerous for both people and bears.

Black bears in Maryland are concentrated in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties, collectively known as Maryland’s black bear country.  Read more…


Applications Open for 2022 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

$320,000 Available for Community Beautification, Greening, and Environmental Initiatives

Photo of people planting greenery in an urban neighborhood

Living Classrooms Foundation was a recipient of a 2021 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grant. Maryland DNR photo

Forever Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, is now accepting applications for the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program.

Four different grants are being offered to help volunteer and nonprofit groups, communities, and land trusts support environmental education projects, litter removal, citizen stewardship, and solve natural resource issues in urban and rural areas. The deadline to apply for funding is Nov. 15, 2021. Awards will be announced in spring 2022.
Read more…


Intentional Balloon Releases Banned in Maryland

New State Law will Reduce Plastic Pollution that Degrades Waterways and Threatens Animal Life

Photo of beach at state park

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remind Marylanders that a new state law that prohibits intentional balloon releases is now in effect.

The new Maryland law bans the releasing of balloons that, upon landing, create litter and threaten the health and safety of animals on the land in the water, effective Oct. 1. MDE is responsible for enforcing the law, and DNR is joining in raising public awareness through participation in a regional campaign funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read more…


Fall Wildlife Activity Increases Drivers’ Collision Risk

Maryland Motorists Should Remain Alert for Deer

Photo of deer running from a wooded area during fall

Photo by Chauntell Hawkins

Deer mating season is right around the corner, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds motorists to be vigilant. During this time deer travel across roads in often unpredictable patterns at all times of the day in search of a mate. Most wildlife species are also more active this time of year, as they search for food to prepare them for the coming winter.  Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – September 30, 2021

Cooler evenings and crisp mornings bring a change in the air, and the leaves are responding. Thanks to submissions from our readers, it looks like fall colors have finally spread across Maryland. Keep checking back each Thursday for the latest information. 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – September 29

Photo of man on a boat holding a Spanish Mackerel

Angler Alex Morgan caught a 28-inch Spanish mackerel in the Chesapeake Bay on September 18. Photo courtesy of Alex Morgan.

As September fades into October, cooling temperatures will bring on more true fall-like fishing conditions. Anglers in the upper Chesapeake Bay are putting more focus on the fall striped bass run, while lower Bay anglers are also trying to get their last shots at Spanish mackerel, red drum, bluefish, and spotted sea trout. Fishing for invasives such as northern snakehead, blue catfish, and flathead catfish should be steady for the rest of the fall season. 

Read more…


Hispanic Heritage Environmental Festival at Sandy Point Oct. 2

Event Continues Outreach to Grow Stewardship and Involvement

Photo of ranger with youths holdling fishing rods at Sandy Point State Park

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sandy Point State Park will host a Hispanic Heritage Environmental Festival on Oct. 2. Presented by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Conservancy, Corazón Latino, the National Park Service, and Defensores De La Cuenca, the event runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features boat rides, Zumba classes, fishing demonstrations, food trucks, and more. Read more…


Governor Hogan Announces Office of Outdoor Recreation

Proclaims Sept. 25 for National Public Lands, Fishing and Hunting Day

Photo of two men in the woods

J. Daryl Anthony (left) and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford attending the 2019 First Day Hike at Patapsco Valley State Park. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House.

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the hiring of J. Daryl Anthony to serve as its first executive director. 

“One of our state’s hallmarks is the stewardship of our lands and waters by the Marylanders who love them,” said Governor Hogan. “Our sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support efforts to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Today we are honoring this partnership for the outdoors while assuring that it continues to grow with the establishment of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation.”

Anthony will work with DNR, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other agencies and stakeholders to support and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and the economic benefits they produce. This includes implementation of the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC), which the governor established by executive order in 2017. 

Read more…


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