Skip to Main Content

Natural Resources News

Chester River ‘No Discharge Zone’ Takes Effect May 17

Waters Protected by Limits on Waste Discharge from Boats 

Photo of sailboat on the river in a misty morning

Photo: “Sunrise on the Chester River” by Bill Reichhardt, submitted to the 2018 annual Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the Chester River and its tributaries are now a No Discharge Zone, an area of water where the discharge of all boat sewage — even when treated by a sanitation device — is prohibited. The U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed and approved the No Discharge Zone, which is enforceable by state law enforcement as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

Chester River is the third No Discharge Zone in Maryland waters, following Herring Bay and the Northern Coastal Bays. A fourth in Anne Arundel County is expected to become effective later in 2021. The precise locations of Maryland’s No Discharge Zones are detailed in the Code of Maryland Regulations on the department website. Read more…


Invasive Fish from Conowingo Dam Donated to Food Banks, Science

Maryland Public-Private Partnership Puts Invasive Fish to Good Use

Photo of bin full of snakeheads

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Conowingo Dam employs fish lifts to help migrating fish species navigate the Susquehanna River to their spawning grounds, but the lifts also catch unwelcomed fish – invasive catfish and snakehead. Through a public-private partnership between the Maryland Department of Resources (DNR), dam owner Exelon Corp., the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), and local seafood wholesaler, JJ McDonnell and Co., the invasive fish pulled from the Conowingo are going to local food banks and scientific research, while reducing the number of destructive species in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“This initiative serves multiple goals, including controlling invasive fish species by harvesting them to minimize their impacts on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and providing protein-rich meals to those in need,” DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “We will also improve our collection of scientific data, which will help us better manage these invasives in the future.” Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – May 12

Photo of brook trout

Ryan Cooper takes a look at a brook trout before gently returning this beauty to the water. Photo by Ryan Cooper

The Maryland outdoors has many beautiful treasures to behold for those who look. It can be a quiet time sitting on a river bank watching nature, gazing upon the Chesapeake Bay, or hiking up a mountain stream and soaking up all that nature can share. Few fish in Maryland are as beautiful and treasured as our native brook trout and if you find one, you are well rewarded with a spectacle of color.

This Saturday, May 15, will be the last day of trophy striped bass season in the main stem Chesapeake Bay, The 2021 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, and resume Aug. 1 through Dec. 10. Further information on areas and dates for striped bass fishing can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Please join us May 27 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest Jake Shaner of the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Program. As part of the busy fishing season, anglers and boaters may see sightings of marine animals and sea turtles. Join us to learn more about our program and what you should do in the event you find a stranded marine animal in Maryland waters. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Read more…


Maryland Offshore Blind and Shoreline Licensing is Open

Applications Must Be Submitted or Postmarked by May 31

Photo of offshore hunting blind in a creek

Photo by Richard Miller, submitted to the 2019 annual Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting offshore waterfowl blind and shoreline license applications for riparian (waterfront) properties.

Anyone who owns such property, or someone granted permission by the owner, may license their shoreline to establish offshore stationary blind sites for hunting waterfowl, and/or will prevent others from licensing and hunting the shoreline at a later date.  Read more…


Secretary’s Message – May 2021

May in Maryland – Time for Boats, Birds, and Cicadas! 

Photo of Spring weather means boating season — and I am among the thousands of Marylanders eager to get out on the water. Heavy traffic is expected again on our waterways as outdoor recreation continues to increase. Keep an eye out for our boater safety reminders this month and throughout the boating season.

May also marks the return of another beloved Maryland tradition — Park Quest. More than 25 Maryland State Parks will offer do-it-yourself outdoor activities now through Oct. 31 for families to experience the vast cultural, historical, and natural resources on our public lands and parks.  The theme for this popular program in 2021 will be “Spread Your Wings to Explore Maryland’s State Parks,” with a focus on Maryland’s birds. Read more…


BOEM, Army Corps, and State of Maryland Enter Agreement for Sand Resources

Photo of equipment blasting sand onto a beach

Sand is brought from offshore in for beach replenishment at Ocean City in this 2017 photo. Photo by Joe Andrucyk/Maryland State House

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District (Corps) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources have entered into an agreement allowing the Corps to use sand from the Outer Continental Shelf for scheduled beach nourishment as part of its Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project.

The agreement gives the state, working in partnership with the Corps, access to 1.3 million cubic yards of sand for the nourishment of 8.3 miles of beach including 7 miles of sand dunes in Ocean City, Maryland. The beach is a significant economic driver for Ocean City, which boasts more than 8 million visitors annually. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – May 5

Photo of woman with striped bass on a boat

Nicole Anderson is a very happy angler with her impressive catch of a post-spawn striped bass. Photo courtesy of Nicole Anderson

This week holds the promise of fishing for a variety of species. The trout put-and-take areas have been generously stocked and blue catfish and northern snakeheads are very active. Chesapeake Bay anglers are excited to be able to fish for the large post-spawn striped bass as they exit the spawning rivers and head out of the bay for the northern waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Chesapeake Bay is now open for striped bass fishing from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line, excluding all bays (other than the main stem), sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound, is open to striped bass fishing for fish 35 inches or larger, with a one fish per person per day creel limit. Further information on areas and dates for striped bass fishing can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Read more…


New Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors Named

Four Baltimore Organizations Help Promote Outdoor Recreation

Two nonprofit organizations and two private businesses have been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors, recognized for their efforts to promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio named the ambassadors during site visits to their facilities. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will continue working to enhance the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor recreation. Read more…


May is Boating Safety Month

Maryland’s Waterway Users Get Ready

Photo of father helping young daughter put on a personal flotation deviceMaryland’s boating season is on the horizon, and the Maryland Natural Resources Police is encouraging Marylanders to take proper precautions to ensure waterway safety and slow the spread of COVID-19.

In 2020, Maryland had 155 reportable boating accidents; 64 of those accidents caused injuries and six were fatal, resulting in a total seven deaths. These numbers are down from the previous year, where Maryland saw 144 reportable boating accidents, 65 injury accidents and 16 fatal accidents resulting in 20 deaths.  Read more…


Chesapeake Bay and Environmental Progress at the Conowingo Dam

Exelon Makes Initial Payments of More than $5.7 Million to Maryland under $200 Million Agreement Incorporated into Dam Relicensing

Aerial photo of Conowingo Dam

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland has received the first payments, totaling more than $5.7 million, under an agreement that requires the owner of the Conowingo Dam to invest in environmental projects and operational enhancements to improve water quality in the Lower Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Conowingo Dam owner Exelon Generation Company LLC made payments to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow for the start of a series of projects that will play a key role in Maryland’s holistic strategy to improve water quality and accelerate the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. The agreement requires a total of more than $200 million in investments by Exelon, including nearly $107 million in payments to Maryland, over the 50-year term of its recently renewed federal license. Read more…


Update Regarding Maryland’s Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation

UPDATED May 14, 2021

COVID-19 logo

Maryland is taking decisive action to address COVID-19. The Hogan administration’s highest priority is keeping Marylanders safe. Find the latest information on Maryland’s covidLINK website

For all outdoor activities, continue to follow CDC guidance

Read more…


Maryland Forest Action Plan and Strategy Finalized

Focus on Growing Forests, Habitats, Markets, and Jobs

Photo of a path leading into a forest

Photo by Patricia Klein, submission to 2016 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest,

The Maryland Forest Service has released its Maryland Forest Action Plan, which contains an assessment of statewide forest conditions and a strategy that identifies major goals and actions to reach them.

Working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders, the Maryland Forest Service developed a Forest Action Plan Strategy, which is based on the seven principles of sustainable forestry: biodiversity, forest productivity, ecosystem health, soil and water health, global carbon, socioeconomic support, and legal and institutional frameworks. Read more…


Marylanders Reminded to Leave Deer Wild

Handling Fawns is Dangerous and Illegal

Photo of young fawn in a meadow

Photo by John Ruffa, 2019 submission to the Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources cautions anyone who encounters a fawn to avoid disturbing it and resist the urge to feed or handle the animal. Removing deer from the wild and keeping them in captivity is against the law in Maryland, for both animal welfare and public safety.

Deer are born with specialized adaptations, which have helped their species survive for ages – born in the spring, fawns instinctively lie motionless when approached by potential predators, relying on their adaptations to help them hide. Their virtual lack of odor, natural camouflage provided by their spots, and freezing behavior help them avoid danger. These adaptations serve them well, as evidenced by the abundance of deer across Maryland’s varied landscapes. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – April 28

Photo of boy holding largemouth bass

Sulley and Oli Francis went fishing with their dad at Loch Raven Reservoir recently and each caught their largest largemouth bass to date – pictured is Sulley with his catch. Photo by Steve Francis

This promises to be an exciting week for fishing, no matter what species of fish you hope to catch. The trout stocking program is finishing up an intensive stocking program this week, warm summer-like temperatures beckon all to the outdoors, and the trophy striped bass season begins in portions of the Chesapeake Bay May 1. 

Starting Saturday, the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line, excluding all bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound, opens up to striped bass fishing for fish 35 inches or larger, with a one fish per person per day creel limit. 

Please join us on April 29 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest biologist Jim Thompson of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources fish passage program. We will discuss the efforts to encourage anadromous fish populations to reach their spawning grounds via fish ladders and dam removals. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

DNR has recognized a new state record fallfish that was caught by 13-year-old angler Maxwell Diegel in Harford County. More information about this great catch is available on the department’s website.  

Read more…


Maryland DNR to Stock Channel Catfish into Local Ponds

Effort to Expand Recreational Fishing Opportunities

Photo of young angler fishing at a pond

Channel catfish will soon be available for fishing in select Maryland ponds.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources plans to stock about 1,000 channel catfish into 11 ponds in central, eastern, and southern Maryland beginning in May. This is a wonderful opportunity for Maryland anglers to catch fish in areas that are not suitable aquatic habitats for traditional recreational species stocking.  Read more…


Harford County Youth Angler Catches Record Fallfish

Fish Caught in Broad Creek Breaks Record Held since 2019

Photo of youth holding state record fallfish

Photo courtesy Maxwell Diegel

A Harford County youth angler has officially been recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a new state record holder for fallfish in the nontidal division. Maxwell Diegel caught the 2.14-pound fallfish — Semotilus corporalis — on April 19 while fishing in Broad Creek, his local stream. Read more…


Maryland Park Quest Takes Flight for 2021 Season

Annual Adventure Runs May 1 through Oct. 31

Photo of boy with binoculars

Photo by by K Michael Lathroum, submitted to the 2019 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the annual Maryland Park Quest returns for 2021, running from May 1 through Oct. 31. In this beloved annual tradition, more than 25 Maryland State Parks, will offer opportunities to engage families in outdoor activities to experience Maryland’s vast cultural, historical, and natural resources on public lands and parks.

The 2021 Park Quest theme is “Spread Your Wings to Explore Maryland’s State Parks,” and many of the quests will help participants learn more about Maryland’s birds. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Target Turkey Poaching

Six Individuals Nabbed for Baiting Birds

Photo of Natural Resources Police vehicle in a fieldWith the opening of spring turkey hunting season, Maryland Natural Resources Police charged six people with poaching this week for the illegal use of bait for hunting. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – April 21

Photo of man holding a northern snakehad

Joshua A. Campbell was fishing near the Conowingo Dam when he caught this whopper of a northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Joshua A. Campbell

There are a lot of exciting fishing opportunities in Maryland right now — the trout stocking crews are busy stocking trout in the put and take areas, hickory shad runs are underway, and warming waters have many fish species active.

A reminder to anglers that all fishing for striped bass, including catch-and-release, is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tidal rivers — except the main stem of the Potomac River — for the month of April. The main stem of the bay will open to striped bass fishing on May 1 south of the Brewerton Channel.

Please join us on April 29 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest biologist Jim Thompson of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources fish passage program. We will discuss the efforts to encourage anadromous fish populations to reach their spawning grounds via fish ladders and dam removals. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Read more…


Maryland Native Wildlife: Brood X Periodical Cicadas

Photo of cicada

Teneral Periodical Cicada by Alex Andes-Gascon, DNR Photo Contest

They’re coming! Are you ready?!

This year, an exciting phenomena is going to occur in the eastern United States: the emergence of Brood X periodical cicadas. Brood X is also known as the Great Eastern Brood and is one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States. This brood has the largest range and concentration of any of the periodical cicadas. It is made up of three different species of Magicicada Read more…


Native Plant Profile: Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)

Golden ragwort (Packera aurea) brings forth a burst of yellow color in spring gardens. It is part of the aster family (Asteraceae). This semi-evergreen wildflower can aggressively spread and can function as a natural groundcover for woodland gardens. It can also assist with some erosion control. Read more…


Habitat Tips: Owl-Friendly Backyards

Owls are captivating creatures, and it is no surprise that many people would love to have them visit their backyard landscapes! As predators, owls depend on having healthy food webs, so it is important to think about the big picture to properly support owls in your home habitats.  Read more…


Backyard Books for 2021

Did you know? Maryland is home to over 1,200 species of wasps! Not all of those species are aggressive like yellowjackets and hornets, and even the aggressive species have their place in our landscapes. Read more…


Backyard Blurbs

Image of fox with words think twice before rescuing wildlifeAs spring continues, young wildlife are going to venture out from their dens and nests. It’s important to remember that wildlife don’t have the same parenting procedures as we do, and they often ‘free range’ their young. Check out our page on Think Twice Before Rescuing Young Wildlife to learn about normal behaviors of young animals during this time of year.  Read more…


Natural Resources Police Save Osprey Nest from Abandoned Boat

Conservation Officers Build New Home for Nesting Birds

Photo of officers moving osprey nest from abandoned boatTwo ospreys have a new and secure nest thanks to three Maryland Natural Resources Police officers.

A 1975 Marinette vessel docked at Goodhands Creek Landing in Chester has been partially sinking and resting on the natural bottom since October of 2020. Because officers were unable to locate the owners, the boat was declared abandoned and scheduled to be removed at the end of April. 

As part of a routine check, NRP Cpl. Kim Austin noticed that it was now home to two ospreys building a nest.  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – April 14

Photo of girl holding a trout on a fishing line

Emma Ka enjoyed catching a rainbow trout at Halcyon Pond near Gaithersburg recently. Photo courtesy of Emma Ka

Warm spring temperatures are inviting anglers of all ages to step into the outdoors and enjoy wonderful fishing opportunities. Many of the community ponds near suburban areas hold excellent populations of stocked trout and other species, and provide a perfect fishing environment for our younger anglers. 

A reminder to all anglers that striped bass fishing and targeting is closed throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, and will reopen on May 1. For more information on striped bass seasons and closure areas, please visit the department’s striped bass maps page.

Read more…


Department Seeks Members for Fishing Advisory Commissions

Current Vacancies on Recreational and Commercial Boards

Photo of fishing boats in harbor

Photo by Carol Ward, submitted to 2019 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for membership to two advisory commissions, the Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission

The Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission represents the interests of Maryland’s recreational fisheries, and the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission represents commercial fisheries across the state. Each consists of Maryland residents who represent diverse fisheries-related constituencies and stakeholders.   Read more…


DNR Applauds Resolution to Ease Restrictions on Blue Catfish Industry

Maryland Legislature Urges Change to Federal Rules to Spur Harvest of Invasives

Photo of waterman casting from boat in early morning hours

Waterman David Confair fishing for invasive blue catfish on Marshyhope Creek. Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to report that the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation aimed at helping the state control the invasive blue catfish population by reducing burdensome regulatory roadblocks that have disincentivized markets. 

Senate Joint Resolution 4, sponsored by Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Dana Stein, urges the United States Congress to oppose certain burdensome inspection rules promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has drastically impeded the harvest and sale of blue catfish as a form of reducing the destructive species’ booming population. Read more…


Black Bears Emerging from Winter Dens

Marylanders Urged to Keep Bears Wild

Photo of black bear

Black bear at Savage River Reservoir, Garrett County. Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

Maryland’s black bears are leaving their winter dens. As they emerge, they are hungry and searching for food. Natural food sources for bears — such as acorns, plants, berries, and insects — are in short supply until later in the spring, so the bears are 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…


Maryland Climate Leadership Academy Offers Day and Evening Courses

Registration for Spring and Early Summer Cohorts Now Open

Photo of lecture on shoreline protectionThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces open enrollment for two upcoming cohorts of the Maryland Climate Leadership Academy, free courses offered virtually over the course of eight weeks. This series is designed to prepare anyone interested in seeking Certified Climate Change Professional credentials or increasing competencies in climate change related topic areas.

The daytime cohort runs from April 26 – June 23. The evening cohort runs May 18 – July 13. Registration is open until April 23 for the daytime cohort and May 14 for the evening cohort.  Read more…


‘Welcome to Boating’ Clinics to be Held in May

Reservations Available for Free Basic Instruction

Photo of people on a boatThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM), Annapolis School of Seamanship, and the Boat U.S. Foundation for Safety and Clean Water are sponsoring free “Welcome to Boating” clinics at Sandy Point State Park. The clinics — held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 4, May 5, and May 6 — will provide instruction for new and experienced boaters on how to properly launch, load, retrieve, and dock a trailerable boat. Read more…


Statewide Spring Turkey Season Set to Open

Junior Hunt Precedes Full Season in April and May

Photo of wild turkey in a field during sprintime

Photo by Doug Wolfe

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the statewide spring turkey season will kick off April 17 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can try to bag a bird during the regular statewide spring turkey season, April 19-May 24. Read more…


Secretary’s Message – April 2021

Celebrating Our Earth this Spring

Photo of red and yellow tulips in bloom

Photo: “Full Bloom” by Jennifer Fry, submitted to the 2019 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest

As we continue to recover from the pandemic, I am more enthused than ever to welcome back spring and get outside. April in particular is a month full of events and opportunities to highlight our state’s amazing natural resources. In fact, it is becoming known as “Earth Month” for its many commemorative days including Maryland Arbor Day on April 7, Earth Day on April 22, and National Arbor Day on April 30. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – April 7

Angler Kate Morrison holds an invasive blue catfish she caught on the Nanticoke River -- and destined for the dinner table. Photo by Sean Morrison

Angler Kate Morrison holds an invasive blue catfish she caught on the Nanticoke River — and destined for the dinner table. Photo by Sean Morrison

April offers many fishing opportunities to anglers, ranging from trout to invasive species such as northern snakeheads and blue catfish.

A reminder to anglers that all fishing for striped bass, including catch-and-release, is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tidal rivers — except the main stem of the Potomac River — for the month of April. The main stem of the bay will open to striped bass fishing on May 1 south of the Brewerton Channel.

Read more…


Maryland Names First Group of ‘Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors’

Public, Private Sector Partners will Promote State’s Status as Recreation Destination

Photo of man on a paddleboard with two dogs

Photo by Norma Broadwater, submitted for 2018 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Commerce and Maryland Department of Natural Resources have announced that 18 Marylanders from the public and private sectors have been named as the state’s first Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will work to enhance the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor recreation.

The ambassadors all served as members of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission, which was established by Governor Larry Hogan in 2017 to develop strategies and make recommendations to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources.  Read more…


Eyes on the Bay: Looking Back at Winter (February) 2021

Eyes on the Bay Resumes for 2021

Oscar the Osprey Lands a Perfect Splashy 10 by J. Sal Icaza

Oscar the Osprey by J. Sal Icaza (2020 Natural Resource Photo Contest entry)

Whether you like to boat, fish, swim or just enjoy Maryland’s amazing seafood, we know there are many folks out there who have bay waters running through their veins and like to keep their finger on the pulse of bay conditions. Read more…


Maryland’s Recreational Crabbing Season Now Open

Photo of reflection of four young crabbers with a dip net

Photo by by Christine Edwards, First Place winner in the Summer category, 2018 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The recreational crabbing season in Maryland officially opens April 1 for the Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays and their tributaries. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – March 31

Photo of woman holding a rainbow trout

Gracie Ray is all smiles as she holds up one of the larger rainbow trout that are stocked. Photo courtesy of Gracie Ray

Put-and-take trout anglers had a wonderful opening day, the weather cooperated, and there was plenty of room for anglers to spread out and enjoy a day of fishing with family and friends.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has issued the 2021 regulations for recreational striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, available on the DNR website. Striped bass regulation maps — showing the bay’s regions and their open and close dates — can also be found on the department website.

Read more…


Regulations Issued for 2021 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Fishing

Conservation Measures Include Two-Week Midseason Closure in July

Photo of striped bass in shallow water

Photo courtesy of David Redden

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces new regulations for the Chesapeake Bay summer-fall striped bass season. 

The 2021 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, and resume August 1 through Dec. 10. Anglers would be able to 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.

During the closure period from July 16 through July 31, anglers will be prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release and charter boats. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – March 24

Photo of two brothers with trout they caught

Photo by Tom Marble

To anglers and hunters, a traditional opening day can be described as Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. This Saturday, March 27, marks what many consider the opening of the spring trout season in Maryland. The trout hatchery and stocking program has worked hard under some tough conditions to bring the public the best trout possible so don’t miss the fun this weekend and for the next couple of months. This is a wonderful way for families and our younger anglers to enjoy fishing.

Read more…


2021 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants Total $312,500

Grants Supports Communities, Projects and Schools

Photo of young people planting flowers in urban area

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

The State of Maryland and the Forever Maryland Foundation are proud to announce that 91 Keep Maryland Beautiful grants totaling $312,500 have been awarded toward environmental education, community cleanup, and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.

These annual grants are funded by Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR); the Forever Maryland Foundation; the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD); and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Read more…


Hiring Licensed Tree Experts Helps Avoid Scams

DNR Advises Homeowners Check Tree Contractors

Photo of tree expert working on trees from bucket truck

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources cautions homeowners to be alert for non-licensed tree contractors who take money for work that never gets done. The Maryland Forest Service and Natural Resources Police have been made aware of one such individual operating in Baltimore and Harford counties, specifically targeting senior citizens. 

For anyone looking to have tree work done, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a few important suggestions that homeowners should follow before hiring a contractor.     Read more…


Pumpout Operations and Maintenance Grant Program Now Open

Applications Accepted from Marinas Through April 15

Aerial photo of Somers Cove Marina

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

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

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 17

Photo of brook trout in the water

The picture reveals why the brook trout is one of the most beautiful trout species. Photo by Ryan Cooper

The brook trout is Maryland’s only native trout and because it demands cool, clear water its range has been greatly impacted by environmental changes, natural and manmade. It is now mostly found in the most pristine waters of western Maryland. Fishing for brook trout is restricted to catch and release only and fishing tackle is often limited.

Read more…


Maryland Joins Cooperative Largemouth Bass Management for the Potomac River

Tagging Program to Help Regional Effort for Popular Fishery

Photo of fish being studied in the river

Photo by Karin Dodge/Maryland DNR

Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia have agreed to a cooperative management plan for Potomac River largemouth bass, one of the most popular sport fisheries in the mid-Atlantic region. 

To help seek a unified assessment of the fishery, state agencies and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission —  who share authority to manage the river system for largemouth bass — are jointly collaborating on monitoring and assessing the fishery with an update produced every three years. Work begins in March 2021, though planning for the project has been underway for more than a year. Read more…


Wildfire Danger Increases in Spring

Marylanders Urged to Take Precautions

Photo of firefighter at a brush fire

Maryland DNR photo

Spring wildfire season has begun in Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 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 10

Photo of young girl holding a white perch

Photo by Montana Grant

Warmer weather has everyone thinking about getting outdoors, and fishing is often at the top of the list. The yellow perch spawning runs are starting in the upper sections of a number of tidal rivers, and this weekend is a wonderful time for everyone to get in on the action.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – March 3

Maria Ricasa is all smiles with her first rainbow trout. Photo by Czarlite Ricasa

 

Welcome to March! In a couple of weeks spring will be here, and the warmer periods will become longer than the cold stretches. There is plenty of good fishing out there now; the yellow perch runs will start soon and the trout program is stocking generous numbers of fish at a location near you. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is recruiting participants for the shad volunteer angler survey. This brief online survey is smartphone compatible and provides valuable information for the restoration of these prized fish. Anglers are invited to log their shad fishing trips, even if you don’t catch any shad.   

Also, please join us on March 11 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, known as MARI. Coordinator Mike Malpezzi will discuss Maryland’s artificial reef program and its importance for the angling community. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Read more…


Maryland DNR 2021 Photo Contest Now Open

Entries for Annual Contest Taken Until August 5

Photo of kiteboarder on the water at sunset

This photo of a kiteboarder at Assateague by Kevin Moore earned second place in the Fall category of the 2020 Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources 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…


Acquisition Complete for 212-Acre Addition to Pocomoke River State Park

Two Parcels Add Conservation and Recreational Opportunities

Photo of Pocomoke River

Photo by Ranger Curtis Dale

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has completed its acquisition of 212 acres in Worcester County for an addition to Pocomoke River State Park. This property includes the former Nassawango Golf Course with 1,400 linear feet of shoreline on the Pocomoke River.  Read more…


Savage River State Forest Rolls Out Online Reservations

Customers Can Now Book Several Campsites at Big Run

Photo of Creek in Savage River State Forest

Savage River State Forest

Campers looking to reserve a campsite on Maryland’s public lands can now use the Department of Natural Resources online reservation system to book one of 18 primitive sites at Savage River State Forest’s Big Run campground in Garrett County. Read more…


Maryland Wildland Firefighters Honored for Exemplary Efforts in 2020

Governor Hogan Addresses DNR Crews That Battled Fires in 11 States

Photo of two firefighters against backdrop of a forest fire

Maryland’s wildland firefighter crews were deployed to Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California in October 2020. Maryland DNR photo.

Maryland’s wildland firefighters who served on interagency crews nationwide through the busy and challenging 2020 wildfire season were honored recently in a virtual recognition event. Governor Larry Hogan addressed the firefighters with a recorded greeting and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio presented the firefighters with a departmental citation.

Last year, 65 Maryland fire crew members participated in 103 assignments, working on 28 different incidents in 11 states. The 2020 Interagency Wildfire Season began early in the year, with new protocols developed to  mobilize firefighters in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crews also served an exceptionally long season, serving in deployments as late as November. 

“You worked long hours, spent weeks away from your loved ones, braved extremely dangerous conditions, and truly risked life and limb to save lives, homes, and precious natural resources,” Governor Hogan said. “When our fellow Americans face unthinkable natural disasters, Maryland stands ready to come to their aid … thanks to your bravery and dedication.” Read more…


Manokin River Oyster Restoration Public Comment Accepted

Input on Potential Sites Taken Through March 9

Photo of oyster shells prepared for seeding restoration areaThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is soliciting feedback on potential sites to receive substrate and seed restoration of oyster habitat in the Manokin River Sanctuary in Somerset County. Information about the sites proposed, including a video presentation, is available now on the department’s website.  Public comment will be taken through March 9. 

A virtual public meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23; access information is available on the department’s website Read more…


2021 Maryland Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

Carroll County Youth Awarded Grand Prize

Image of painting

Illustration by Luke Etter, winner of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2021 Arbor Day Poster Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced winners of the annual fifth-grade Arbor Day poster contest. Three schools in Maryland that are home to the top winners will benefit with tree plantings this spring. The poster contest is judged annually by a panel of forestry experts and special guest judge, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan.

Luke Etter of Hampstead, Carroll County was awarded First Place, and his school will receive 15 trees for planting. Read more…


Maryland Hunters Harvest 81,000 Deer during 2020-2021 Season

Frederick County Leads State in Harvest Totals

Photo of buck near the woods on a fall day

Photo by Matthew Doged

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that deer hunters harvested 81,729 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 11, 2020 through Feb. 3, 2021.

The statewide harvest included 29,242 antlered and 49,033 antlerless white-tailed deer, plus 1,500 antlered and 1,954 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 3% higher than the 2019-2020 total of 79,457 deer. Read more…


Free Trees Available for Maryland’s ‘Backyard Buffers’

Waterfront and Streamside Landowners can Reserve Seedlings

Photo of trees planted along a streamside in a residential neighborhoodThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners in several counties who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream, or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program. Read more…


Public Input Sought on Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons

DNR Soliciting Comment Now through Feb. 26

Photo of Canada geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has posted the proposed 2021-2022 Migratory Game Bird Seasons for public review and comment through Feb. 26.  Read more…


State Forest Work Plans Available for Public Comment

Maryland Forest Service Seeks Input on 2022 Proposals

Photo of mountain vista in state forest

Photo by Melissa Nash/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the proposed fiscal year 2022 annual work plans for the following state forests: Chesapeake/Pocomoke, Green Ridge, Potomac-Garrett, and Savage River. The comment period concludes March 5.  Read more…


Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announce 45 Percent Increase in Maryland State Parks Attendance in 2020

Record Visitation Reflects Growing Interest in Outdoor Recreation Amid Pandemic

Photo of hikers on a trail

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford joined a hike at Patuxent River State Park on Jan. 1, 2020, kicking off a record year for state park attendance. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced a 45 percent increase in final attendance for Maryland State Parks in 2020 compared to the previous record-setting visitation attendance in 2019. In 2020, Maryland State Parks welcomed 21.5 million visitors, compared to 14.9 million in 2019.  In addition, State Parks reported a record 292 capacity closures across 11 parks statewide last year. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Feb. 3, 2021

Photo of woman holding a perch she caught.

Photo by Monty Hawkins

Despite cold mid-winter weather, anglers across Maryland are enjoying fun fishing experiences ranging from the preseason stockings of trout, to chain pickerel and blue catfish, to tautog in the offshore waters off our coast.

Read more…


Youth, Veteran, and Military Waterfowl Hunting Day Feb. 6

Special Day to Share Maryland’s Time-Honored Traditions

Photo of geese in water and hunters with a dog hidden in a blind

Photo by Larry Hindman/Maryland DNR

Maryland’s youth hunters, veterans, and military personnel can experience the thrills of hunting fields and wetlands on a special waterfowl hunting day Feb. 6. Read more…


Winter Turkey Season Harvest Increases

Maryland Hunters Bag 89 Birds in January

Photo of wild turkey in a field

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 89 wild turkeys during the 2021 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 21-23. This year’s harvest was slightly higher than the 2020 total of 82 turkeys. Read more…


Maryland Park Service Superintendent Recognized for Distinguished Service

Ranger Nita Settina Honored by National Association of State Park Directors

Photo of officials standing at Wolf Den Run State Park entrance sign

Superintendent Nita Settina (center) stands with (from left) Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, and Maryland State Park Rangers Donnie Oates, Johnny Stemple, and Christy Bright, celebrating the grand opening of Wolf Den Run State Park in 2019.

Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by a premiere national association of state park professionals. The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting state parks, presented the award at its annual conference last month. Maryland Department of Natural Resources leadership and Maryland Park Service staff were able to join Superintendent Settina via a virtual “viewing party.”

Superintendent Settina has led the Maryland Park Service since 2008, when she became the first woman to lead the state’s park system since its establishment in 1906. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a state park director who has demonstrated a long-term, sustained record of professional accomplishment in the field of park and recreation management. Read more…


Maryland’s First Primitive Deer Hunt Runs Feb. 1 – 3

Photo of deer bounding over snowy ground

Photo by Brendan Wolf

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the state’s first Primitive Deer Hunt will be open Feb. 1-3, 2021 statewide. Hunters with a valid hunting license, or those exempt from the hunting license requirement, may use primitive bows or muzzleloaders to hunt sika and white-tailed deer during these days.

Primitive hunting devices are defined as long bows, recurve bows, flintlock, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders. Hunters may not use compound bows, crossbows, drawlocks, and telescopic or other electronic aiming devices. However, fiber optic sights are permitted on otherwise legal primitive bows or muzzleloaders. Read more…


Maryland Gears Up for Winter and Spring Trout Fishing

DNR Plans Stocking, Announces New Brook Trout Regulations

Photo of DNR crew member putting trout in a stream

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources plans to stock about 300,000 trout, which includes rainbow, golden, and brown trout, for statewide distribution between now and April 30. Read more…


Maryland’s Winter Turkey Season Opens Jan. 21

Opportunity for Hunters to Bag a Bird This Season

Photo of group of wild turkeys in the snow

Photo by Isaac Bonneville

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the opening of the winter turkey season, which runs statewide from January 21-23 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2020 fall season. Read more…


Maryland Welcomes 16,000 Hikers to First Weekend of 2021

Annual First Day Hike Tradition Adapts and Grows

Photo of group of hikers next to a creek in the woods

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio take a First Day Hike at Patapsco Valley State Park. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources estimates that 16,237 visitors took part in First Day Hikes in Maryland State Parks during the three-day period from January 1-3, 2021. Following safety provisions to prevent spread of COVID-19, and taking advantage of the long New Year’s weekend, hikers engaged in self-guided hikes over three days. Read more…


Elk Neck Rifle and Shotgun Range Upgrades Completed

Shooting Facilities Reopen Jan. 7 after One Month of Work

Photo of Elk Neck State Forest entrance signThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the reopening of the Elk Neck State Forest rifle and shotgun ranges starting Jan. 7, after completing substantial upgrades and repairs at the complex.  Read more…


Cecil County Angler Catches Record Flathead Catfish

Invasive Fish Weighed 57 Pounds

Photo of man holding large flathead catfish

Photo courtesy Joshua Dixon

A Cecil County resident has officially been recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as the first-ever state record holder for the invasive flathead catfish. Joshua Dixon caught the 57-pound, 50-inch long flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) on Dec. 27, 2020 fishing near the Lapidum Boat Ramp on the Susquehanna River. 

Read more…


High-tech Tools Map Out Green Space Equity

More than ever, local parks have become an essential part of everyday life for many people and critical space for communities. They provide a place to unwind after a long day, an alternative classroom for kids, a place to safely gather with family and friends, or just that special place to recharge one’s mental and physical energy. Parks and green infrastructure also play a key role in protecting communities from the harmful effects of climate change and enhancing community resilience. Read more…


Rutherford’s Travels: Taking a Boyd’s Eye View of Maryland’s State Parks

Photo of Lieutenant Governor walking along a pier with a ranger

Lieutenant Governor Rutherford tours Smallwood State Park. Photo by Patrick Siebert.

Since beginning my bucket list quest to visit all 75 of Maryland’s state parks, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the most remote corners of our state, witnessing its magnificent beauty far off the beaten path. Other times, I’ve encountered natural oases a mere stone’s throw from a busy highway, quietly hidden in plain view. Read more…


Leave It to Beavers: Keystone Species Provides Nature-based Restoration

Photo of beaver gnawing on downed tree

Photo by Angela Genito

The North American beaver (Castor canadensis) was once ubiquitous throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Mostly trapped out by the close of the 19th century, beavers have been making somewhat of a comeback, and that is great news for the Chesapeake Bay. Read more…


Tools of the Trade: Marine Law Enforcement Information Network

Graphic showing how RADAR and cameras work together to track vesselsIs it possible for police officers to be in two places at the same time? Although the Maryland Natural Resources Police is at a near-record size force and operates more than 100 patrol boats, it can be challenging to keep an eye on a large body of water such as the Chesapeake Bay. In inclement weather and low visibility areas, officers may have trouble pinpointing boating activity. However, there is a tool that gives patrol officers a clear view of boat traffic from the Port of Baltimore to the Potomac River. Read more…


Outside Perspective

Photo of Jeannie Haddaway-RiccioIf we have ever looked forward to a new year, it has to be this one! 2020 was difficult, but Maryland’s amazing natural resources provided us with the safe recreation, solace, and quality time together that many of us needed to stay “Maryland Strong.” Read more…


Get a Taste of Wild Maryland

Photo of snakehead etouffee

Snakehead etouffee by Peter Turcik

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proud to offer a sneak peak of its new cookbook, which will soon be available online. Wild Maryland includes recipes submitted by Maryland residents, featuring Maryland species. Recipes include waterfowl, seafood, deer, and other wild game. A section of recipes also features ingredients found while foraging in the wild. Read more…


Governor Hogan Announces COVID-19 Relief for Agriculture and Seafood Producers

State Has Now Provided More Than $9 Million For Farmers, Watermen, and Producers;
Part of More Than $600 Million In Emergency Economic Relief

Photo of oyster boat on the water at sunrise

Photo by Pete Worch

At the direction of Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland Departments of Agriculture (MDA) and Natural Resources (DNR) have now provided more than $9 million in COVID-19 relief funding to farmers, watermen, and producers. Read more…


Deer Firearm Season Reopens Jan. 8 in Maryland

Last Opportunity of the Season for Most Firearms Hunters

Photo of herd of deer on snow ground

Photo by Jan Branscome

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the January firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 8, 2021, in Deer Management Region B, which includes all of the state except the westernmost counties. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

The season is open Jan. 8-9 in all of Region B. The season is open Sunday, Jan. 10 on private and designated public lands in Cecil and St. Mary’s counties, and on private lands only in Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Washington (Zone 1), and Worcester counties. Shooting hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Montgomery counties. Read more…


Maryland Environmental Trust Offers Land Steward Training Classes

Volunteer Opportunity to Protect Natural Areas and Landscapes

Photo of homestead and pond in conservation easement

Volunteer Land Stewards visit and monitor conservation easements like this one in Harford County.

Maryland Environmental Trust (MET), a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, is looking for volunteers who are passionate about land conservation to work in the field as Volunteer Land Stewards. Two virtual training classes are being offered in January and February.  Read more…


First Day Hikes to Ring in the New Year for 2021

Weekend Of Self-Guided Walks on Maryland Public Lands

Photo of small group of hikers on a wooden boardwalk

Merkle Natural Resources Management Area in Prince George’s County

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to take a First Day Hike, Maryland’s annual tradition for a fun, healthy way to welcome the New Year.

This year, the Maryland Park Service will offer self-guided hike opportunities across the state from January 1-3, 2021. As always, Maryland’s state parks, state forests, and wildlife management areas will be open for trekking hundreds of miles of trails. However, due to the pandemic and physical distancing guidance, hikes will be self-guided and park staff will not be leading the hikes this year. Read more…


Maryland Natural Resources Police Cite for Deer Poaching

Charges Filed During Two-Week Deer Firearms Season

Photo of Natural Resources Police truck in a fieldMaryland Natural Resources Police charged several individuals throughout the state for illegal hunting practices during the two-week deer firearm season, Nov. 28- Dec. 12. Read more…


Deer Harvest up 16% during Maryland Firearms Season

Hunters Harvest Over 31,000 Deer during the Two-Week Season

Photo by Lori BrambleThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters harvested 31,571 deer during the two-week firearms season from Nov. 28 – Dec. 12. The harvest was 16% higher than last year’s official count of 27,121. Hunters enjoyed good weather compared to the 2019 season, which was hampered by rain, wind, and fog on key days.

Read more…


Wolf Den Run State Park Opens Additional 1,375 Acres

Expanded Recreation Includes Off-Road Vehicle Trails

Photo of off-road vehicle on a trail.The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that Wolf Den Run State Park has now opened two additional areas, adding 1,375 acres of land and 25 miles of multi-use trails, including off-road vehicle (ORV) use. Read more…


Maryland Fifth-Graders Invited to Submit Arbor Day Posters for 2021

Annual Contest Taking Submissions until Jan. 15, 2021

Image of winning Arbor Day contest poster for 2020, titled

Lola Lugard of Carroll County won first place honors for the 2020 Arbor Day Poster Contest.

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 2021 is: “Trees Are Terrific…and Forest Products are Too!”

All entries must be delivered to a local Maryland Forest Service office by noon, Jan. 15, 2021. Read more…


Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest Winner Announced

Hen and Drake Redhead to Adorn 2021-2022 Hunting Stamps

Illustration of hen and drake redhead

Scott Calpino’s rendering of a hen and a drake redhead will adorn Maryland’s 2021-2022 migratory game bird hunting stamps.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce Scott Calpino has won the 47th Annual Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest with his lifelike rendering of a hen and a drake redhead, complete with a beautiful reflection in the water Read more…


Trio Charged with Illegal Deer Hunting in Garrett County

Photo of Natural Resources Police officer and truck in mountainous areaFollowing an extensive investigation, Maryland Natural Resources Police charged three men with illegally hunting multiple deer in Garrett County.

In November and December, Natural Resources Police investigated reports of deer illegally killed near the Blakeslee community. On December 3, officers learned of an additional incident where an antlerless albino deer was illegally hunted, and received information from concerned citizens. After investigating, police identified three suspects: Jeremy Hoalcraft, 18, of Oakland; David Georg, 29, of Swanton; and Jordan Dawson, 22, of Deer Park. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 9

Photo of man holding a largemouth bass

David Shaw shows us some of the rewards that can be found when fishing this time of the year as he caught and released this largemouth bass in the Sassafras River recently Photo by David Shaw

This week concludes our Maryland Fishing Report for 2020 — look for our winter update in early February, and for our weekly reports to resume in March 2021.

Despite colder temperatures there is still plenty of good fishing ahead in the winter months. Many will now shift their focus to freshwater and ocean fishing — with freshwater providing the easiest opportunities and definitely the more comfortable.

Read more…


Muzzleloader Deer Season Reopens Dec. 19

Season Runs Through Jan. 2

Photo of bounding deer

Photo by Brendan Wolf

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the muzzleloader deer hunting season will reopen Dec. 19 and run through Jan. 2, 2021. This is the second half of Maryland’s split deer muzzleloader season; the first half was held in October. Hunters may use muzzleloading firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during these dates. Read more…


Deer Hunters Enjoy Successful Firearms Opening Weekend

Excellent Weather Contributed to Strong Harvest

Photo of deer in the woods

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported 11,054 deer taken on the opening weekend of the 2020 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 28-29. The harvest was 19% higher than last year’s official first weekend harvest of 9,272 deer. 

The harvest total included 4,932 antlered and 5,799 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 163 antlered and 160 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 12. Read more…


Department Offers Online Licensing Services in Spanish

COMPASS Portal Expands Outreach

Photo of man driving a boat with fishing rods on the back

Photo by Stephen Badger

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces its online COMPASS portal is now available in Spanish.  

The new COMPASS portal will provide Spanish speakers access to the department’s catalog of recreational licenses, permits and stamps, and other products and services. 

A button at the top of each page within COMPASS allows visitors to toggle between the “English version” and the “versión en español.” Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 2

Photo of father and daughter holding a pair of yellow perch

Chloe Campbell and her dad got to enjoy some fun fishing for yellow perch at Deep Creek Lake recently. Photo by Gary Campbell

With December’s arrival it is getting chillier outside, but there is still plenty of wonderful fishing to be had from offshore of Ocean City to Deep Creek Lake.

Read more…


Individuals Honored for Lifetime Support of Maryland Sport Fishing

Nominations for Next Year’s Award Now Being Accepted

Photo of angler fly fishing on a riverbank

Photo: “Flyfishing on the Susquehanna” by Mark Rutt

The Maryland Sport Fishery Advisory Commission presented its inaugural award for lifetime achievement to two individuals: the late fishing legend Bernand “Lefty” Kreh, and Baltimore County resident Kenneth Lewis.

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. Read more…


Maryland Reports Early Deer Season 2020 Results

Archery Totals See Increase; Muzzeloaders Offset by Weather

Photo of two bucks in the autumn woods

Photo by Reinhardt Sahmel

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that hunters harvested 19,571 deer during the early portion of the archery and muzzleloader seasons. The harvest was a 7% decrease from last year’s official harvest of 21,098 deer for the same period. Read more…


Elk Neck Rifle and Shotgun Ranges Scheduled for Maintenance

State Forest Facility Begins Temporary Closure Dec. 7 

Photo of entrance sign at Elk Neck State ForestThe rifle and shotgun ranges at Elk Neck State Forest will be closed to the public beginning Dec. 7 for critical maintenance projects. The closure, announced by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, is scheduled for 60 calendar days. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 25

Photo of girl holding string of crappie

Young angler Lucy Perez holds a string of crappie caught in the Susquehanna River. Photo by Nick Perez

From all of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Many will take advantage of some time off to go fishing or enjoy other outdoor activities. There are so many fishing options from the mountain streams of western Maryland to the waters off Ocean City.  

Read more…


Survey of Maryland Hunters Results Released

Respondents Share Views on Hunting Issues

Photo of hunter, dog and good decoys silhouette against the water

Photo by Larry Hindman

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today released results of a survey of Maryland hunters’ attitudes towards a variety of topics related to hunting in Maryland. The survey was conducted on behalf of the department by Responsive Management, a leading survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. 

The survey focused on the characteristics of Maryland’s hunters and the type of hunting they do, their use and satisfaction with hunting on Maryland’s Wildlife Management Areas, and their opinions on hunting-related issues.  Read more…


Marylanders Reminded to Hire Licensed Tree Experts

Make Sure Work is Legal, Safe, and Insured

Photo of worker climbing a treeNow that leaves are fallen, many Marylanders will prepare for winter by trimming live trees or removing dead trees. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has a few important suggestions that homeowners should follow before hiring a contractor to do the work.    

Only Maryland Licensed Tree Experts should be hired to trim branches and remove trees – they are the only tree care professionals who lawfully can perform this work in Maryland.  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 18

Photo of man with a nice largemouth bass

Photo by Eric Packard

The recent cold front that has descended on Maryland seems like a knock on the door for what is coming. There are still plenty of wonderful fishing opportunities to be had — always be safe and make sure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while out on the water.

Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: November 12, 2020

Image of Maryland showing peak fall foliage in Southern Maryland and the lower Eastern ShoreWelcome to the Fall Foliage Report for November 12, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Fall colors have finally reached their peak in Southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore. Plan a drive or hike to get out and see the foliage this weekend! Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 11

Photo of boy holding a chain pickerel

Young Fhinn Zeender-Lawrence holds up a beautiful chain pickerel caught on the lower Eastern Shore last weekend while fishing with his dad. Photo by Nathan Zeender

On this Veterans Day, let us all take a pause to thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice — to them we owe gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. 

Marylanders have been treated to some beautiful weather recently and many enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the outdoors.

Read more…


Natural Resources Police Issue Citations in Bear Hunt

Photo of NRP officer at truck while on patrol in wooded areaMaryland Natural Resources Police worked tirelessly to combat illegal hunting during the state’s annual black bear hunt, held Oct. 26-30 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. Officers cited several hunters who, though legally permitted to participate in the hunt, were unlawfully using bait to attract and lure bears.  Read more…


Harriet Tubman State Park Reopens to the Public

Tubman Experience Available by Reservation

Photo of Harriet Tubman bust inside visitors centerThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce that the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park is once again welcoming guests with a new reservation-only process. The park and visitor center has reopened after a six-month closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, and new protocols, developed by the Maryland Park Service and Dorchester County Health Department, ensure a healthy visit for guests and staff. 

Safety features now in place include admittance by reservation and timed entry. In order to keep everyone safe, all visitors over the age of five are required to wear face masks that cover the mouth and nose, use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the center, and remain with their own party, socially distanced from others. The capacity of the visitor center has been reduced and the flow of visitor traffic inside the building has been altered to limit interaction between groups. Signs are in place to remind visitors of these precautions. Read more…


Maryland Deer Firearms Hunting Season Opens Nov. 28

Hunters Can Use Straight-Walled Cartridge Rifles, Handguns Statewide

Photo of two bucks in a field during the fall

Photo by Reinhardt Sahmel

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that the two-week firearms hunting season for sika and white-tailed deer opens Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 12. 

New this year, deer hunters may use rifles and handguns that employ straight-walled cartridges in all counties. Rifles and handguns that use bottleneck cartridges remain limited to those counties that permitted them previously. More information on this change, along with season bag limits and other deer hunting regulations, are available in the 2020-2021 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

Sunday deer hunting is available in all but three counties for the deer firearms season and remains a critical component to deer population management, in addition to providing recreational opportunities for all resident and visiting hunters. Read more…


Fall Foliage Report: November 5, 2020

 

Map of Maryland showing peak foliage in central and southern Maryland

Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for November 5, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Although recent wind and rain have sent much of Maryland past peak foliage, the southern part of the state is looking very colorful. Read more…


Waterfowl Hunting Days Set for Youth, Veterans, and Active Military

Photo of adult teaching young hunter in a fieldThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces two special waterfowl hunting days on Nov. 7, 2020 and Feb. 6, 2021 for Maryland’s youth hunters, and for the first time, for active military personnel and veterans as well.  Read more…


Input Sought for Third Year of State Lakes Fund

Virtual Public Meeting Scheduled Nov. 12

Photo of Deep Creek LakeThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources will host a webinar Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. to provide an update and solicit public input for year three of the State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund. The fund is providing $1 million annually for three years to protect and restore state-owned lakes. 

During the webinar, the department will report on projects underway and accept input toward developing a budget for best use of funds for the coming year, in coordination with local governments, organizations, and citizens. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 4

Photo of woman holding a blue crab

Laura Sullivan is comfortably bundled up for a fun day crabbing on the water.

As we enter November there is plenty of fun to be had in the outdoors, we just have to dress a little warmer as the month progresses. Those wishing for some fresh blue crabs are enjoying good recreational crabbing this week.

Read more…


Black Bear Hunt 2020 Concludes in Western Maryland

117 Bears Harvested in Four Counties

Photo of bear in woods

Photo by Bob Geary

Hunters harvested 117 black bears despite challenging conditions during Maryland’s 17th 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. 26-30 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. Read more…


Fall Turkey Season Open in Western Maryland

Three-County Hunt Runs Through Nov. 8

Photo of wild turkey

Photo by Andrew Gue

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that the fall turkey hunting season will open Oct. 31 and continue through Nov. 8 in Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties, with a bag limit of one turkey per hunter. Read more…


Commercial Blue Crab Catch Limits Extended Through Nov. 7

Department Extends October Regulations

Photo of crabs caught in a basket

Photo by Maria Swanenburg

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is extending the October bushel limits on Chesapeake Bay mature female hard crabs that can be harvested by commercial watermen by one week, through Nov. 7. These bushel limits were originally issued by public notice effective July 1, 2020.  Read more…


Maryland Boaters Encouraged to ‘Think Before You Shrink’

Photo of powerboat in dry dock with a canvas coverThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is encouraging owners of small boats to “Think Before You Shrink” this year, and convert to reusable materials for their winter covering. The goal is to reduce plastic waste and alleviate disposal issues caused by removing shrink wrap every spring. 

Semi-custom, reusable covers are readily available for most small boats at about the same cost as two years of shrink wrap. The reusable covers last five to ten years and can be repaired or cleaned to extend their life. Read more…


Maryland State Nursery Has Trees Available for Spring Planting

The Time is Now to Think Spring

Photo of young trees growing at state nurseryOrders are now being accepted for the spring 2021 planting season for shrubs and trees from the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery, managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Trees benefit the environment as well as enhance natural habitat for birds, squirrels and other wildlife. Almost all trees and shrubs available for sale are native, and many are also pollinator-friendly. Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: October 29, 2020

Map of Maryland foliage showing Western Maryland past peak and central Maryland at peak

Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for October 29, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. We are looking forward to a full moon Hallo-weekend with peaking foliage in parts of central Maryland! Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 28

Photo of young boy with a bluegill on the end of his fishing rod

Rory Zeender-Lawrence gives a “thumbs up” with this bluegill he caught recently. Photo by Nathan Zeender

We have some rain in the forecast, but pleasant weather is just around the corner so try not to miss a single day of it. Taking youngsters out for a little fishing fun is often at the top of the to-do list.

Read more…


Input Sought on Maryland White-tailed Deer Management Plan

Public Comments Taken on Draft Plan through Nov. 27

Photo of bucks by Tim Ray

Bucks by Tim Ray

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has produced a draft 2020-2034 White-tailed Deer Management Plan. The plan establishes long-term goals for white-tailed deer management in Maryland, and identifies specific objectives and strategies for achieving those goals.  Read more…


September 2020 Hypoxia Report

Maryland Summer Oxygen Conditions Second-best on Record

Chart of percentage of hypoxic water volume in Maryland's Chesapeake BayMaryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) monitoring data show that summer average dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were the second best on record since 1985. The average hypoxic volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — of the eight 2020 summer cruises was 0.63 cubic miles, compared to a historical summer average from 1985-2019 of 0.84 cubic miles.  Before this year, 2012 was the only year that had a lower average hypoxic volume of 0.62 cubic miles.  

During 2020, every cruise except  late July had better than average oxygen conditions for its time period.  No anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed in the mainstem bay in either Maryland or Virginia for the year. Read more…


Maryland Natural Resources Police Academy Graduates 27 New Officers

Governor Hogan Addresses 62nd Basic Class; Force at Near-Record 268

Photo of Natural Resources Police Academy Graduates at Sandy Point State Park

Photo by Stephen Badger/Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police is proud to welcome 27 new officers to our agency. In front of supporting family, friends, and officers, the former recruits raised their right hand and took an oath to protect Maryland’s citizens and natural resources. Read more…


Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers Accepts $7,000 Donation

Conservation Nonprofit Provides Funding

Photo of people with an oversized check

Pictured left to right: Col. Adrian Baker, Maryland Natural Resources Police; state Sen. Jack Bailey, president of Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers; Barbara Allen, secretary treasurer of Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers; Maj. Dave Larsen, NRP; Stanley Samorajczyk, vice president, Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers; Lt. Col. Ernest Leatherbury Jr., NRP

Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) announced a nearly $7,000 donation from the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Enforcement Fund Inc. (WCEF) to support the Maryland Wildlife Crime Stoppers in its mission to enforce conservation laws in Maryland.   Read more…


Seeding the Bay’s Future: Planting Initiative Vital to Maryland’s Underwater Grass Restoration

Photo of underwater vegetationSubmerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is increasingly recognized as vital to aquatic ecosystems. Its importance is extolled during retellings of extreme weather events, e.g. how the widespread destruction of SAV following Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972 affected the Chesapeake Bay. The benefits of healthy underwater grass populations are easily observed: lately, anglers and boaters have experienced firsthand how the resurgence of SAV beds on the Susquehanna Flats has led to water so clear that the bottom of the bay is often visible 10 feet deep in midsummer. Read more…


Pitch a Tent, Cast a Line: Fall into Fishing at Maryland State Parks

Photo of Deep Creek Lake in autumn

Deep Creek Lake in autumn glory

This fall, fishing adventures await at Maryland state parks! It’s a perfect time of year to plan a day trip or a weekend getaway at any of our state parks for unforgettable fishing, with a wide choice of tranquil freshwater streams, fully stocked lakes, or brackish Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Between casts, anglers can check out all that our state parks offer—amazing views, awesome history, and plenty of outdoor adventure from sunrise hikes to sunset campfires. Read more…


From the Field: Teri Batchelor

Teri BatchelorEditor’s note: As this article was being prepared for publication, Margaret Teresa “Teri” Batchelor passed away in July following a battle with cancer. Acting State Forester Kenneth Jolly completed this profile in her honor.

Forty-one years ago, none of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Foresters were women. That all changed on June 13, 1979, when the Maryland Forest Service hired Margaret Teresa “Teri” Batchelor. Read more…


‘When Everyone Locked Their Doors, We Opened Our Gates’: The Maryland Park Service Answers the Call During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo of ranger wearing mask collecting park entrance fees

Ranger Erik Ledbetter collects entrance fees at Seneca Creek State Park

We often hear we are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and do our jobs. For the many park rangers, maintenance staff, and administrative staff who manage and operate state parks in Maryland, it created a new challenge to our mission of providing access for Marylanders to our state’s natural spaces. Read more…


A Hunter’s Story: My First Shot

Photo of woman with deer hunted using bow

Photo courtesy of Sara Rutledge

I’ve heard that certain languages have more than 50 words to describe snow. Looking back on my first hunt, I feel like I need a whole new vocabulary to convey my thanks for the entire experience of my first crossbow hunt. Every moment was profound and life changing. Read more…


Open Water: Kayak Fishing Offers Pursuit of Sport and Serenity

Photo of kayak angler

Kayak Angler Bruce Kellman

It’s 5 a.m. The sun hasn’t yet ventured above the horizon. Just minutes ago, the last bits of waning moonlight flickered sparingly along the shoreline and gently lit the glassy calm waters that now await me. The rhythm of the waves pairs with a cooling sea breeze and my thoughts steady. Until this moment, my mind has been aflutter—intensely focused on pre-launch routines and equipment checklists.

I’m not even in the water yet—my fish box is empty—but I know already it’s going to be a spectacular day. Without question, kayak fishing has changed my life. Read more…


Restored: Sang Run Election House Gets Historic Revival

Photo of Sang Run Election House after restoration

Sang Run Election House after restoration

The community of Sang Run, Maryland has long stood as a close-knit gathering of neighbors located along the banks of Ginseng Run in western Garrett County. For more than 100 years, the Friends Store and the Sang Run Election House were at the heart of this small community. Read more…


Bird Search: Third Breeding Bird Atlas Effort is Underway

Photo of northern bobwhite

Northern bobwhite by Sharon Sexton

At some point, you’ve probably found evidence of a breeding bird. Maybe you were doing some yard work and came across a robin’s nest, or maybe you spooked a turkey and her chicks while scouting for whitetails, or maybe you were fishing and found a heron colony. Finds like these make each excursion outdoors an adventure with unpredictable rewards, but these experiences can also yield valuable data that will help manage and conserve Maryland’s ecosystems. Read more…


Tools of the Trade: Maryland’s Wildland Firefighters

Photo of back of fire truck

View of the back of the fire engine

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service has mobilized wildland firefighters for dispatch throughout the United States since 1974. Participation in this national effort is possible because the agency is able to provide fully trained, certified, and equipped personnel on short notice to any location in the country to assist with protecting lives, property, and natural resources. By participating in this program, state and fire service personnel meet an immediate national need and also gain valuable experience to advance firefighting skills used to suppress wildfires here in Maryland. Read more…


Outside Perspective

Photo of Jeannie Haddaway-RiccioAutumn is a time marked by cooling weather, falling leaves, and, of course, elections.

While the pandemic has initiated an important discussion on how to hold elections, historically, Marylanders gathered in election houses to cast their votes. Election houses were small, purpose-built structures constructed specifically for voting. Today only a handful of them survive. One of oldest still standing in Maryland, and perhaps even in the country, is at Sang Run State Park, in Garrett County, Maryland – a site the Lt. Governor and I visited this past winter. In this edition of Natural Resource Magazine we highlight the story of the DNR team that worked to bring this dilapidated but historically significant structure back to its original, circa-1872 appearance. Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: October 22, 2020

Map of Maryland showing fall foliage reaching peak in Washington and Frederick counties

Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for October 22, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This season continues to bring on the best fall color Maryland has seen in years, as Washington and Frederick counties reach peak foliage. Read more…


Nearly $20M in Rural Legacy Program Grants Approved

Expansions and New Easements Benefit 17 Maryland Counties

Aerial photo of Piney Run Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County

Piney Run Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved recommendations of nearly $20 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements and expansion in 17 Maryland counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect more than 4,500 acres of working farms, forests, marshes, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state.

The recommendations also include five Rural Legacy Area expansions, which provide the opportunity to protect more than 43,897 additional acres. Included in that amount is 30,591 acres that essentially doubles the size of the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area in Charles County, and 12,413 acres in Washington County that includes properties significant to Maryland history and to the viewshed from the C&O Canal and the Appalachian Trail. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 21

Photo of man holding up a large striped bass

Photo courtesy of Herb Floyd

The month of October is offering Maryland anglers some of the best fishing opportunities to be found at any time of the year. The fall trout stocking program is in full swing, other freshwater fish are feeding aggressively, and fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay is at its zenith.

As we all know, Maryland has taken numerous conservation measures to protect the Chesapeake Bay striped bass population. Anglers now have an opportunity to comment on striped bass closure period options for summer 2021. Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020. Read about the options and comment online at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Read more…


CARES Act Funding Available for Maryland Fishing Industry

State Approved to Provide $3 Million in Direct Assistance

Photo of fleet of commercial fishing boats in harbor

Photo by Angel Willey

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces applications will be available Nov. 4 are available through Feb. 28 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021.

In May 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that Maryland would be receiving about $4 million. Maryland has dedicated $3 million of that for direct payments to commercial, for hire, aquaculture, and seafood processing operations whose 2020 revenue has suffered a loss of greater than 35% due to COVID-19. The remaining $1 million will fund seafood marketing and business support for individuals in the seafood industry. Maryland worked with NOAA to develop this spending plan based on the provisions of the CARES Act and federal guidance. Funds will be distributed through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: October 15, 2020

Map of Maryland showing Western Maryland passing through peak color
Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for October 15, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 14

Photo of boy and father holding a yellow perch

Bergan Kline spent a day fishing with his dad on Deep Creek Lake when he caught this 14-inch yellow perch. Photo by Sean Kline

One of the most spectacular times of the year is upon us, but it will not last long — daylight hours become shorter as leaves burst in color before falling to the ground. All kinds of fishing awaits those that take the time to pursue it — the fall trout stocking program is in full swing, and other species of freshwater and saltwater fish await.

Please join us for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar Oct. 15 at noon. We will discuss the ongoing fall trout stocking season with Coldwater Program Manager Marshall Brown. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced results of the most recent juvenile striped bass survey, which showed a below-average spawning rate in the bay this year. Striped bass are known for highly variable annual reproduction that is often influenced by environmental factors. Maryland has implemented sound conservation measures to enhance the striped bass population in recent years, and it’s up to all of us to protect this important and iconic resource.

Read more…


Public Input for Pocomoke River Wildlands Expansion Proposal

Comments Taken Through Nov. 27; Public Meeting Oct. 28

The Maryland DeparPhoto of entrance sign for Pocomoke State Forest recreational areatment of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on a proposal for an expansion of the Pocomoke River Wildlands within Pocomoke State Forest in Worcester County. The plan would expand the wildlands by about 80 acres and adjust the Wildlands boundary to create a public access passageway. Comments can be provided in person at a public meeting Oct. 28, or online or by mail by Nov. 27. 

The proposal and survey are posted on the department website and will be online through the deadline. Read more…


Chesapeake Bay Young-of-Year Survey Results Released

Striped Bass Among Species Below Average, Others Flourish

Photo of juvenile striped bass in a survey net

Maryland DNR scientists examine juvenile striped bass for the annual index, before carefully releasing them back to the water.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced results of the most recent juvenile striped bass survey, which tracks the reproductive success of the state fish in Chesapeake Bay. The 2020 young-of-year striped bass index is 2.5, below the long-term average of 11.5.

Although the size of the striped bass population has decreased recently, the number of mature fish is not believed to be a limiting factor in reproduction. Striped bass are known for highly variable annual reproduction that is often influenced by environmental factors. Other species with spawning strategies similar to striped bass such as white perch, yellow perch, and river herring also experienced lower reproductive success.  Read more…


Eyes on the Bay: Wrapping Up Summer 2020

Photo of sailboat on bayHow did Tropical Storm Isaias impact the bay?

Hurricane Isaias was a destructive Category 1 hurricane that impacted the Caribbean and the United States’ east coast. How did this storm impact the Chesapeake Bay? See the dissolved oxygen section of this newsletter to find out.

In addition, be sure to check out the “Neighborhood Watch” section below to see how bay fish, crabs, oysters, and grasses responded to the late summer temperatures and patchy rain.

Climb aboard the Eyes on the Bay, toss off the dock lines, and let’s go for a virtual cruise on Maryland’s waters! Read more…


Maryland Fall Foliage Report: October 8, 2020

Map of Maryland showing western Maryland reaching peak fall foliage

Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for October 8, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The western corner of Maryland is seeing peak foliage setting in, headlined by the vivid yellows, reds, and oranges of maple leaves. Elsewhere, Maryland forests are exhibiting scattered spots of color, with the real fall showing yet to come! Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – October 7

Photo of man in a boat holding a huge blue catfish

George Monk Jr. managed to enjoy a great day of fishing for blue catfish and is all smiles as he holds up a whopper. Photo courtesy of George Monk Jr.

There is a lot of exciting news this week for put-and-take trout anglers as the fall trout stocking program has begun. In the Chesapeake Bay, striped bass along with many other species of fish are providing wonderful fishing opportunities — don’t miss it.

Please join us for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar Oct. 15 at noon. We will discuss the ongoing fall trout stocking season with Coldwater Program Manager Marshall Brown. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Green Infrastructure Projects

Funding for Resiliency in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, and St. Mary’s Counties

Photo of waves crashing onto shore at Piney Point, St. Mary's County

Photo courtesy St. Mary’s County

The Board of Public Works today approved funding for two Resiliency through Restoration projects and one Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund grant, to help Maryland’s communities enhance their ability to withstand the impacts of climate change, erosion, flooding and extreme weather.  Read more…


Maryland Black Bear Activity Rises as Leaves Fall

Residents Reminded to Take Common-Sense Precautions

Photo of black bear in the woods

Photo by Bob Geary

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds residents and visitors that black bears are beginning a period of increased feeding activity in preparation for winter hibernation. Black bears in Maryland are concentrated in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. Read more…


Deer Muzzleloader Season Opens Oct. 22

Season Offers Opportunity to Enjoy Fall Woods

Photo of deer in the woods

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy, Maryland Park Service

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the first segment of Maryland’s muzzleloader deer season runs from Oct. 22-24 statewide.  Read more…


    Older Entries »

Featured Video



Maryland DNR Virtual Ranger

Join our Maryland State Park Rangers on a video virtual ranger experience

Archives




ae1a-ewspw-web2