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Preseason Trout Stocking Begins

Winter Fishing Tradition in Maryland

Photo of trout at state hatcheryThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering anglers an early start to the spring trout season before winter even begins. 

Starting the week of Dec. 17, 2018, the department will conduct preseason trout stocking at several popular fishing locations. Early trout stocking will include several impoundments that will receive their annual allotments in a single stocking. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: Dec. 12

Photo of Santa Claus holding a fishThis will be our last fishing report for 2018, but we will return in mid-January with a report on winter fishing activities and some news about upcoming outdoor shows.

The 2018 striped bass season closes Dec. 15. The season ends a few days earlier than last year, as part of the conservation-minded regulations that included reducing the minimum length for Chesapeake Bay rockfish to 19 inches. The Potomac River below the Woodrow Wilson Bridge will be open to striped bass fishing until Dec. 31. Our readers should also keep in mind that there are other species that will still be in season for die hard cold-weather anglers.

Happy holidays from everyone at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources!

Read more…


Step into 2019 with a First Day Hike

Popular New Year’s Tradition Returns Across Maryland

Photo of hikers at Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center's 2018 First Day Hike

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center will host a First Day Hike on New New Year’s Day.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to kick off the New Year with one of Maryland’s fastest-growing traditions – a First Day Hike.

On Jan. 1, 2019, the Maryland Park Service will offer more than three dozen hikes on more than 30 state lands and parks, as part of a nationwide event sponsored by America’s State Parks.

These hikes will provide a wide array of outdoor adventures and experiences for every level of hiker and walker, providing unique access to Maryland’s cultural, historical and natural resources and treasures, along with opportunities for education and stewardship. Many hikes are even pet-friendly.

Read more…


Survey Shows Marylanders Support Deer Hunting

Public Input Helps Inform Deer Management Plan

Photo of herd of deerThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the results of a public opinion survey, done in cooperation with the University of Delaware and Responsive Management on white-tailed deer. The telephone survey covered a range of topics and will be used to support revision of the department’s deer management plan.

The survey, taken by more than 2,200 individuals representing the general population, landowners and hunters, found that a majority like deer, but a significant proportion of the population are concerned with the negative impacts deer cause.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed think that deer should be hunted to help manage for a healthy population and over half of those surveyed think the department does a good job conserving and managing the deer population. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: Dec. 5

Photo of A catch of hand-tonged oysters on the deck

Daniel Irons tried his hand at recreational oystering, hand-tonging a nice pile of large oysters that may wind up stewed or fried. Photo by Mike Irons

We are approaching the end of the 2018 striped bass season, which closes Dec. 15. The season ends a few days earlier than last year, as part of the conservation-minded regulations that included reducing the minimum length for Chesapeake Bay rockfish to 19 inches. Of course there are other species that will still be in season for cold-weather anglers.

Expanding your outdoor experiences is a new, learning adventure. It may involve trying a new sport such as bow hunting for a traditional firearm hunter or perhaps fly fishing when you’ve always used spinning gear. There is always something new to explore.

Read more…


Brook Trout Population Restored in Western Maryland Watershed

Effort Finds Native Species in Casselman River System

Photo of native brook trout by Michael Eversmier

Native Brook Trout by Michael Eversmier

After years of stream restoration, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently discovered native brook trout returning to once uninhabitable streams.

Partnering with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Youghiogheny River Watershed Association, crews have been working diligently over the past few decades to restore the Casselman River watershed in Garrett County.

Read more…


Muzzleloader Season for Deer Reopens Dec. 15

Second Half of Season Runs Until Dec. 29

Photo of buck by Stacey Steinberg

Battle scars by Stacey Steinberg

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that the second segment of the muzzleloader deer hunting season opens Dec. 15 and runs through Dec. 29, 2018. Hunters may use muzzleloading firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

“The late muzzleloader season is a great time for hunters to enjoy some colder weather while hunting with friends and family during the holidays,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The added harvest during this season helps the department manage the state’s deer population.” Read more…


Opening Day of Firearms Season Impacted by Weather

Sunday Hunting Salvages Opening Weekend

Photo of buck standing in clearing by Steve Edwards

Photo by Steve Edwards

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that deer hunters reported harvesting 10,008 deer on the opening weekend of the 2018 Maryland firearm season, a decline from last year’s official total of 13,622 deer for the same period. Significant rain across the state Saturday was largely responsible for the decrease.

The total includes 5,501 antlered and 4,507 antlerless deer, with sika deer comprising 205 of the antlered and 203 of the antlerless totals. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 8. Read more…


Secretary’s Message: December 2018

Increased Public Access Is Coming Your Way

Photo of hikers, including Secretary Mark Belton

Secretary Mark Belton participating in a First Day Hike.

One of my top priorities is to make sure all Marylanders have access to the enjoyment of nature and the great outdoors. To that end, I’m pleased to say that 2018 has been a banner year for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

A proud accomplishment of this past year was the opening of a new floating fishing pier and gangway at the Unicorn Lake Fisheries Management Area that meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Thanks to the assistance of our partners, the new floating pier will provide more accessibility and opportunity for anglers at this popular fishing spot in Queen Anne’s County. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: Nov. 28

Photo of Man holding up a beautiful fall striped bass

Travis Long holds up a beautiful fall striped bass to prove there is still good times to be had out on the water. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

Cold winds are blowing and minds are beginning to drift from fishing, but there will still be days where the outdoors call us away from the holiday rush. For those times, there are plenty of good fishing opportunities to be found from the streams and lakes of western Maryland to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more…


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AccessDNR December 2018

The December 2018 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Gregg Bortz.

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