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Update Regarding Maryland’s Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation

UPDATED June 19

COVID-19 logo

Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Hogan has announced the state is now moving into an enhanced phase of Stage Two of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery effective June 12, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The state has expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation and on Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties, following established safety protocols and guidelines to continue protecting the public.

These are the latest guidelines:

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 8

Photo of man holding a large blue crab.

Todd Clark went crabbing near Kent Island  and is all smiles with this large blue crab. Photo by Rich Watts

This is a marvelous time of year to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors, and recreational crabbing is just one way to get onto the quiet tidal creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Fishing the Chesapeake Bay is a time-honored tradition. While anglers often set their sights on striped bass there are several other species which provide just as much if not more excitement. Join the Maryland Department of Natural Resources July 9 at noon for a virtual discussion on summertime fishing — including alternative fish species, how to plan fishing trips at the most appropriate times, how to properly catch and release, and how to fish with circle hooks.

Our Maryland Fishing Report team – recreational fisheries staff Keith Lockwood and Erik Zlokovitz, with Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment Director Tom Parham — will discuss how to reduce striped bass mortality during the summer.

You can join the discussion through Google meets or by phone at  1-443-671-4706, and use the PIN: 674 636 739.

Don’t forget that throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped bass fishing advisory forecast showing yellow days Wednesday and Saturday through Tuesday, green days on Thursday and Friday

 

Read more…


Maryland’s Underwater Grasses Resilient Against Severe Rainfall

Annual Report Shows Improvement in Several Areas and Tributaries

Photo of underwater grasses just under the surface

Photo by Brooke Landry

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports a second consecutive year of underwater grass loss in certain portions of the Chesapeake Bay in 2019 due to record high rainfall and stream flows into the bay. Some areas of Maryland’s portion of the bay, however, have shown improvements. During the annual survey, 39,151 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in Maryland, representing 49% of the state’s 2025 restoration target and 34% of its ultimate restoration goal of 114,065 acres. Read more…


Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund Awards $13.5 Million

Projects Funded Statewide for Improved Boating Access, Navigation, and Safety

Photo of bayside boat ramp in Ocean CityThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is providing $13.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants in Fiscal Year 2021 to enhance and improve public boating access facilities, water safety, and navigation throughout the state.

This funding will go toward 43 projects in 17 counties, along with grants for statewide projects and emergency needs. Funded projects include renovations to public boating access infrastructure such as boat ramps, piers, pilings, bulkheads; dredging of navigable waterways; icebreaking and emergency water rescue vessels and equipment for emergency and first responders. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Enforcing ‘Operation Dry Water’

National Campaign Aims to Curb Impaired Boating

Photo of Maryland Natural Resources Police Everglades boats riding in formationThe Independence Day holiday weekend means more boaters on the water, which can also bring an increase in boating incidents and fatalities. From July 3-5, the Maryland Natural Resources Police partners with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard in the Operation Dry Water campaign of awareness and enforcement to reduce boating under the influence.

During Operation Dry Water, Maryland boaters will notice an overall increase in police patrols on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints. The combined efforts of the participating law enforcement agencies will result in the removal of impaired operators from our waterways, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for boaters. Read more…


Maryland’s Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Program is Operational

Public Should Report Stranded Marine Animals to 24-hour Hotline

Photo of dolphin swimming in water not far from a boat

Photo by Mark Odell

During the summer months, marine mammals and sea turtles are making their seasonal return to the Atlantic coast, the Chesapeake Bay, and its tributaries. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources requests people report any distressed or deceased marine mammals or sea turtles in Maryland waters to the Natural Resources Police hotline anytime at 1-800-628-9944.

Maryland’s most common visitors are bottlenose dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles, although more than 25 other marine mammals and four species of sea turtles have been recorded in state waters. While these ocean-dwelling creatures often enter our waterways and can survive in brackish water for several days to weeks, they may be at risk Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 1

Photo of girl holding a large blue crab she caught

Elizabeth Lee went crabbing with her parents and is contributing to the crab feast with this catch. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lee

The Fourth of July holiday weekend means outdoor adventure seekers will be out in droves. Be safe and use common sense — if you’re boating, use a personal flotation device and never boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For all anglers, remember also to keep a social distance and avoid crowded areas.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a final license-free fishing day for 2020 on July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

Biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.

As we enter Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – June 24

Photo of man with two young sons showing a fish they caught.

Bryan Brainer spent a fun day with his two young sons fishing for blue catfish in the Chester River. Photo courtesy of Bryan Brainer

Many dads, daughters, sons, and moms spent a special Father’s Day enjoying time together in that special setting that fishing provides.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a license-free fishing day July 4 — an opportunity to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

As we enter Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped Bass forecast chart showing green fishing days Wednesday through Friday, yellow days Saturday and Sunday, and green days Monday and Tuesday.

 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – June 17

Photo of man and two boys catching with a flathead catfish they caught

Angler Brett Poffenberger took his nephews Eli and Dakota fishing in the upper Potomac and pulled an invasive flathead catfish out of the water. Photo courtesy Brett Poffenberger

A recent trip to the fishing tackle section of a large discount store showed a lot of empty space on the shelves. Everyone is excited about getting out and enjoying the outdoors safely and fishing seems to be at the top of the list. Children are perhaps the most anxious to get outside, and taking them fishing is a wonderful thing to share together.

Check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for the latest updates on expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation in Maryland.

DNR is now offering appointments at most licensing and registration centers. Appointments can be scheduled online.

Also, our striped bass fishing advisory forecast begins this week, providing a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Read more…


Maryland Conservation Corps Fall Class Now Recruiting

Program Provides Experience and Skills Training for Young Adults

Photo of Maryland Conservation Corps flagThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now recruiting members for the Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults aged 17-25 in extensive conservation, environmental and natural resources management projects across the state.

The department seeks to hire 35 full-time members who will work on seven teams for an 11-month period, beginning in late September 2020. Read more…


Maryland DNR Service Centers Begin Opening by Appointment

Safety Protocols Allow Access at Most Locations

Photo of DNR Solomons Service Center building exterior

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Solomons Service Center 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will begin offering appointments at select licensing and registration centers in a phased reopening of in-person services for customers.

Appointments will be available starting June 15 at the following locations (unless otherwise noted):

  • Bel Air – 501 W. MacPhail Road #2
  • Centreville, 120 Broadway Ave.
  • Cumberland – 13300 Winchester Road (open Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Essex – 1338 Eastern Blvd. A (open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
  • Frederick – 1601A Bowmans Farm Road
  • Salisbury – 251 Tilghman Road #2
  • Solomons – 14175 Solomons Island Road S., opens June 12

UPDATE: Annapolis Service Center will open by appointment only starting June 29.

Additional locations and start dates will be posted on the department’s website as they become available. 

Customers will be able to schedule appointments online at the link for each service center location or by calling the center for assistance. Read more…


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