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Secretary’s Message – June 2022

By Land and Water, Maryland is Ready for the Summer

Photo of two people fly fishing in a stream

Fly-fishing at Morgan Run Natural Environment Area, Carroll County. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

June is Great Outdoors Month and we hope to see you out enjoying Maryland’s natural spaces, including our vast system of state parks and forests, and of course the state’s world-renowned waterways

This is peak season for one of Maryland’s favorite pastimes, fishing, from the cold streams and rivers of Western Maryland to the Atlantic surf. If you want to try your hand at fishing in Maryland before deciding on getting your license, you can enjoy one of our license-free fishing days in June and July; and if you already know the joys of fishing in our waters, bring a friend! 

And while you are out there, you can help fight the northern snakehead, an invasive predator threatening to destroy the ecosystems of our waters. In the Chesapeake Bay and Blackwater River, DNR is conducting a new tagging program in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in which tagged northern snakehead caught and harvested from now until 2024 could be rewarded with a gift card of $10 or $200 depending on the tag. You can help protect our waters and be rewarded for it! 

With warmer weather, Maryland’s boating season is also in full swing. We experienced fewer boating accidents last year than the year before. Unfortunately this year, there have already been several tragic incidents on our waterways since Memorial Day weekend. 

Photo of Secretary RiccioWith that in mind, we want to remind all residents and visitors to safely enjoy Maryland’s unique destinations and summer activities while putting safety first. Please remember to click it – your seat belt and your life jacket – and never drive impaired whether you are behind the wheel of a car or a boat. Let’s all do our part to ensure the safety of our friends, families, and loved ones.

Last but certainly not least, I offer my personal thanks to the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) for their incredible work protecting our lands, our waterways, and our citizens. NRP recently held their annual award ceremony to recognize the many achievements of our conservation law enforcement officers in 2021. Each recognition was well-deserved and exemplified service above and beyond the call of duty. Please join me in congratulating our officers for their public service!

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.