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Update Regarding Maryland’s Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation

UPDATED Sept. 4

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Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Hogan announced the state has entered Stage Three of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery effective 5 p.m. on Sept. 4. Previous guidance on facial coverings and social distancing remain in effect. Masks on, Maryland!  

Here are the latest guidelines for outdoor exercise, recreation, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties:

Read more…


2020-21 Eastern Shore Trapping Bid Packets Available

Bids for Annual Trapping Privileges Accepted Until Oct. 14

Photo of Taylor's Island Wildlife Management Area

Taylor’s Island Wildlife Management Area is among more than 20 Maryland DNR properties open for bids for trapping privileges.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting bids for the 2020-2021 trapping season within public lands on the Eastern Shore. The individual with the highest bid will be awarded annual trapping privileges at several properties. Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: September 24, 2020

Map of Maryland showing fall foliage starting to turn in Western Maryland

Maple tree in Deep Creek Lake State Park, photo by Roy Musselwhite

Maple tree in Deep Creek Lake State Park, photo by Roy Musselwhite

It is now officially fall with a chill in the air and the welcomed return of the Canada geese. The most obvious indicator of autumn’s arrival, the changing of the foliage, is still a few weeks away for most of the state. However, in Western Maryland, pockets here and there are starting to show splotches of brilliant color. Traditionally it’s the region where leaf color changes are seen first, with the foliage in Garrett and Allegany counties beginning to turn beginning in late September and peaking toward the middle of October. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – September 23

Boy holding a large carp he caught

Young Fhinn Zeender-Lawrence joined family for fishing in the upper Choptank River, and shows off a 20-pound carp he caught before releasing it. Photo by Nathan Zeender

Welcome to the first week of fall! The cooler transitional days ahead are a delight for anyone who loves the outdoors. The leaves are beginning to show a hint of color in the western region of the state, so make sure to get outside and enjoy this special time of the year.

Read more…


Early Teal Season Runs Through Sept. 30

Special Season Provides Additional Waterfowl Opportunity

Image of Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp featuring hen and drake teal

A hen and drake teal are featured in the 2020-21 Migratory Game Bird Stamp, painted by Jeffrey Klinefelter.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that the September teal-only hunting season is open from Sept. 16 through Sept. 30. Shooting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise until sunset, the daily bag limit is six teal (blue or green-winged), and the possession limit for teal is three times the daily bag limit. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Escort Sea Turtles Back to the Wild

Department, National Aquarium Release Three Rehabilitated Reptiles

Photo of Natural Resources Police officer releasing sea turtle into the water

Photo by Lauren Moses

The Maryland Natural Resources Police in Ocean City recently teamed up with the National Aquarium to release three rehabilitated sea turtles. 

On Sept. 9, officers met with aquarium representatives along with two Kemp’s ridley turtles and one green sea turtle. The turtles, Mozzarella, Stilton, and Halloumi, were rescued last year with symptoms related to cold stunning — a condition caused by a dramatic decline in water temperatures affecting the cold-blooded turtles — including pneumonia, respiratory distress, dehydration, infection, and emaciation.

After being successfully rehabilitated by the Baltimore aquarium, the turtles were ready for release back into the ocean. To provide a proper and safe send-off, NRP offered to use their patrol boats for the release.  Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report Preview: September 18, 2020

Map showing color just starting in Garrett County

Welcome to the 2020 Maryland Fall Foliage Report, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Although we will mention a festival or event occasionally, that will not be a major focus this year due to numerous cancellations of many seasonal events.  However, the men and women working for Maryland’s Park Service and Forest Service will provide eyewitness accounts, as well as photographs, as the fall season unfolds. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – September 16

Photo of young boy holding a blue crab in a trap

Photo by Jim Livingston

CLICK HERE FOR THE SEPT. 23 MARYLAND FISHING REPORT

September always holds promise for the outdoor enthusiast, as the cooler nights and days are like a sweet whisper in the ear about wonderful things to come. Recreational crabbing is at the season’s peak as blue crabs are plentiful, large, and heavy. Do not miss venturing out to enjoy the bounty of the Chesapeake.

Read more…


Volunteer Angler Surveys Reel in Scientific Data

Any Fishing Trip Provides Valuable Information

Photo of man fishing in a creekThis fall, Maryland anglers can turn their fishing experience into important scientific data. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has developed several volunteer angler surveys designed to encourage anglers to submit basic data directly from their smartphone or computer.  Read more…


Dorchester County Angler Catches Record Florida Pompano

Species Added to Maryland Record Books in 2019

Photo of angler David Schrock holding his Maryland state record Florida pompano

Photo courtesy David Schrock

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has officially recognized 26-year-old David Schrock of Woolford as the second official state record holder for the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) in the Chesapeake Division. Schrock caught the record-breaking 5.05-pound fish on Tilghman Island during the Labor Day weekend. The pompano had a fork length — measured from the tip of the snout or jaw to the end of the middle caudal fin rays, or “fork” — of 18.5 inches.  Read more…


Late August 2020 Hypoxia Report

Oxygen Conditions Better than Average

Map of Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen results for late August 2020Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were better than average in late August 2020. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.79 cubic miles compared to a historical late August average (1985-2019) of 1 cubic mile. Oxygen conditions continued to be better than average in 2020, with only late July results exceeding the long-term average.

Late August conditions ranked 12th best out of the 36-year monitoring record for the period. No hypoxia was observed in Virginia Chesapeake Bay mainstem waters. No anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed in the Maryland or Virginia mainstem. Read more…


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