Secretary’s Message — March 2020
Each March I look forward to the return of the osprey. While this generally happens before spring’s official arrival on the equinox, it makes me feel that spring – and fishing season – have arrived.
March is also when the Department of Natural Resources resumes our weekly Maryland Fishing Report, available on our website, through our email newsletter, and also via your Amazon Echo device by saying “Alexa: open the Maryland Fishing Report.”
Regularly scheduled stocking of trout in Maryland’s streams, rivers, and ponds occurs across the state. And anglers are awaiting the beginning of the yellow perch run which will start as soon as water temperatures start rising in Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland creeks and rivers.
Given the recent declines in striped bass, Maryland made season adjustments to protect spawning striped bass in the spring and is proposing additional changes to reduce mortality during warmer times of the year. As we head into warmer weather, we would like to remind everyone to utilize circle hooks and check for red flag days using our striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the best — and the worst — times to fish.
Fishing in Maryland is fun, but it is also an essential component of the conservation and effective management of our aquatic species. For these reasons, DNR works hard to keep Marylanders of all ages engaged. Again this year, the state will host 41 youth fishing rodeos in 14 counties. Through these events, more than 4,000 children and young adults will have the opportunity to try their hand at fishing – many for the first time.
By enacting strong conservation measures, utilizing best practices, and teaching the next generation of young anglers, we can ensure that Marylanders enjoy the tradition of fishing for years to come.
Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.