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June 2022 Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report

Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen Conditions Better than Average

Image of graph comparing hypoxia volumes by monthData collected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Old Dominion University show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia were better than average in June 2022. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.51 and 0.98 cubic miles during early and late June monitoring cruises, compared to historical early and late June averages (1985-2021) of 0.87 and 1.31 cubic miles. 

During their respective time periods, the early June volume ranks as the 8th best on record and late June was 12th best. Additionally, a small volume of less than 0.1 cubic miles of anoxia – waters with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen – was observed during the late June cruise. Hypoxia was essentially zero (0.0002 cubic miles) in May. Read more…


Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report – Year-End 2021

Divided Season Results in Near Average 2021 Hypoxia

Graph of Chesapeake Bay hypoxic water volumes in 2021Monitoring of dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia showed a tale of two different halves for the 2021 season. The Bay experienced below average hypoxia — areas with less than 2 mg/l of dissolved oxygen — from May through July, followed by above average hypoxic volumes August through October. When averaged over the full 2021 season, hypoxic volume was slightly below the historical seasonal average, consistent with forecasts made in the spring. Read more…


Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report – August 2021

Hypoxic Volumes Increased, Heat and Rain Likely Contributors

Graph of hypoxic water volumes in Chesapeake Bay during summer 2021Data collected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Old Dominion University show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia worsened in August following two better-than average months. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 1.88 and 1.61 cubic miles during early and late August monitoring cruises, compared to historical early and late August averages (1985-2020) of 1.35 and 1.06 cubic miles. 

Additionally, in early and late August, within the mainstem Bay’s hypoxic waters, 0.76 and 0.51 cubic miles were anoxic — zones with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen.  Read more…


Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report — July 2021

Dissolved Oxygen Conditions Remain Better than Average Through July

Graph of percentage of water in the mainstem Chesapeake Bay, Maryland and Virginia, below 2 mg/l oxygen, showing 2021 numbers are below average hypoxiaData collected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Old Dominion University show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia continued to be better than average in July. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 1.02 and 1.20 cubic miles during early and late July monitoring cruises, compared to historical early and late July averages (1985-2020) of 1.64 and 1.63 cubic miles. The early and late July reports rank as the 7th and 8th best in their respective time periods, out of a total of 37 years of monitoring. The effects of Tropical Storm Elsa were not captured in July’s monitoring, as early July sampling occurred just prior to the storm passing through the Bay watershed. Read more…


June 2021 Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Report

Dissolved Oxygen Best on Record for Early June

Image of comparative graph of historic hypoxic volumesData collected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Old Dominion University show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay mainstem of Maryland and Virginia were better than average in June 2021. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.21 and 1.28 cubic miles during early and late June monitoring cruises, compared to historical early and late June averages (1985-2020) of 0.89 and 1.31 cubic miles. The early June report ranks as the best on record, and late June was slightly better than average.  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…


Late August 2020 Hypoxia Report

Oxygen Conditions Better than Average

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

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


Early August 2020 Hypoxia Report

Conditions Show Improvement Following Tropical Storm Isaias

Map showing Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen, Early August 2020Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were better than average in early August 2020. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.92 cubic miles compared to a historical early August average (1985-2019) of 1.2 cubic miles.  Oxygen conditions improved from late July to early August, with the early August hypoxic volume being nearly half the volume observed in late July. Early August conditions ranked 10th best out of the 36-year monitoring record for the period. An additional 0.24 cubic miles of hypoxia was observed in Virginia Chesapeake Bay mainstem waters. No anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed in the Maryland or Virginia mainstem.eyes Read more…


Late July 2020 Hypoxia Report

Record July temperatures drive worse than average Bay oxygen conditions

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were worse than average in late July 2020. The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.75 cubic miles compared to a historical late July average (1985-2019) of 1.36 cubic miles. Virginia did not conduct late July Chesapeake Bay mainstem sampling. No anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were observed in the Maryland mainstem.

Oxygen map

Based on historical data, bay hypoxia volumes normally peak during the early portion of July, but with Maryland experiencing its warmest July on record (NOAA,  https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/statewide/mapping/18/tavg/202007/1/rank), conditions were ideal for promoting hypoxia throughout the month. Warmer waters hold less oxygen, and warmer surface waters can create a barrier to oxygen mixing into deep waters of the bay.

Maryland’s water quality data can be further explored with a variety of online tools at the Department’s Eyes on the Bay website (eyesonthebay.dnr.maryland.gov).

In mid-June, the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, United States Geological Survey, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and University of Michigan scientists released their prediction for slightly smaller than average 2020 hypoxic conditions based on slightly less than average water and nitrogen flows into the bay from January – May 2020.

Crabs, fish, oysters and other creatures in the Chesapeake Bay require oxygen to survive. Scientists and natural resource managers study the volume and duration of bay hypoxia to determine possible impacts to bay life. Each year (June-September), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources computes these volumes from data collected by Maryland and Virginia monitoring teams during twice-monthly monitoring cruises. Data collection is funded by these states and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program. Bay hypoxia monitoring and reporting will continue through the summer.


Early July 2020 Hypoxia Report

July HypoxiaMaryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were average in early July 2020. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 1.35 cubic miles compared to a historical early July average (1985-2019) of 1.38 cubic miles. Low dissolved oxygen extended into the Virginia Chesapeake Bay mainstem for an additional 0.35 cubic miles of hypoxia, for a total baywide estimate of 1.7 cubic miles. Based on historical data, bay hypoxia volumes historically peak during the early portion of July. No anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed in the Maryland or Virginia bay mainstem.

Maryland’s water quality data can be further explored with a variety of online tools at the Department’s Eyes on the Bay website. Read more…


June 2020 Hypoxia Report

Graph of Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen as recorded late June 2020Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem continued to be better than average in June 2020. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.56 and 0.90 cubic miles, respectively, during early and late June monitoring cruises, compared to historical (1985-2019) early and late June averages of 0.93 and 1.13 cubic miles, respectively. Both hypoxic volumes rank within the top third of best results observed in the historical record within their respective time frames. Read more…


May 2020 Hypoxia Report

Map of Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen for May 3030Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were better than expected in May 2020. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.027 cubic miles, which is well below the May 1985-2019 average of 0.25 cubic miles, and an improvement from the 1.12 cubic miles of hypoxia observed in May 2019. No anoxic zones— waters with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed. Read more…


September Hypoxia Report

Map of Chesapeake Bay dissolved oxygen results from September 2019Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were higher than average in September. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.73 cubic miles in September, down from the 1.06 cubic miles seen in late August, but greater than the historical 0.41 cubic mile average for September. No anoxia — waters with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — was detected. This ranked as the fifth-largest Maryland September hypoxia volume since monitoring began in 1985.  Read more…


Late August 2019 Hypoxia Report

Image of Late August 2019 Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen monitoring mapMaryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were near average in late August. This is a significant improvement from hypoxia results observed earlier this summer. The hypoxic water volume (waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.06 cubic miles in late August, down from the 1.77 cubic miles seen in early August. A small volume (0.006 cubic miles) of anoxia (waters with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) was detected. Read more…


Early August 2019 Hypoxia Report

Photo of Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring vessel in the Chesapeake BayMaryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were larger than average in early August. The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.77 cubic miles in early August, down from the 2.01 cubic miles seen in late July, but significantly higher than the 1985-2018 early August average of 1.19 cubic miles. The hypoxic volumes ranked third-largest since 1985 for the early August time period. Read more…


July 2019 Hypoxia Report

Photo of DNR crew on a Chesapeake Bay monitoring cruiseMaryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data show that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were larger than average in July, as the result of many factors. The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.92 cubic miles in early July and 2.01 cubic miles in late July. The early July 1985-2018 average hypoxic volume is 1.36 cubic miles, and late July is 1.34 cubic miles. The most recent hypoxic volumes were respectively the fourth-largest for early July and second-largest for late July since 1985.

Larger than average hypoxia was predicted for this summer in part due to massive rainfall causing high flows into the Chesapeake Bay the past year, which delivered higher nutrient loads. Those nutrients fuel algal blooms, which die and are consumed by bacteria, which then deplete oxygen in bottom waters. Also, average winds were generally low in July, which prevented oxygen from mixing into deeper waters. Read more…


Late June 2019 Hypoxia Report

Photo of staff monitoring water data on a monthly hypoxia cruiseMaryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring shows that dissolved oxygen conditions in the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were better than expected in late June. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.69 cubic miles, which is well below the late June 1985-2018 average of 1.15 cubic miles, and an improvement from the 1.13 cubic miles of hypoxia observed in early June. No anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were observed. Read more…


Early June 2019 Hypoxia Report

Photo of Research Vessel Kehrin during hypoxia cruise

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Research Vessel Kehrin is used for summer hypoxia monitoring.

Dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were slightly above the long-term average in early June. The hypoxic water volume — areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 1.14 cubic miles, which is slightly above the early June 1985-2018 average of 0.93 cubic miles and similar to levels in 2017 and 2018. 

A significant amount of hypoxia was also observed during May. Hypoxia was not observed in Virginia’s portion of the bay, and no anoxic zones — areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — were detected in the mainstem bay in either Maryland or Virginia. 

The observed early June and May hypoxia conditions are likely attributable to near record high flows in 2018 that continued into the spring of 2019.

Read more…


Summer 2018 Hypoxia Report

Average Year for Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen

Photo of Terrapin Park by Mark Dignen

Terrapin Park Driftwood Sunset by Mark Dignen

Dissolved oxygen conditions for the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay for the summer of 2018 were average compared to the long-term average from 1985-2017, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Low dissolved oxygen volume averaged 0.97 cubic miles from June through September.

Crabs, fish, oysters and other creatures require oxygen to survive. Scientists and natural resource managers study the volume and duration of bay hypoxia to determine possible impacts to bay life. Each year from June through September, the department computes these volumes from data collected by Maryland and Virginia monitoring teams. Read more…


August 2018 Hypoxia Report

Photo of sailboat on Chesapeake Bay by Toni Quigley

Sunset Sailing on the Chesapeake Bay by Toni Quigley

Dissolved oxygen conditions for Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay returned to near average for the month of August, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The department tracks hypoxia throughout the summer during twice monthly monitoring cruises.

Low dissolved oxygen volume was at a record low (0.26 cubic miles) in late July, due to sustained winds and high flows from torrential rainfalls in mid-to-late July. As stormy weather subsided, and warmer days returned, hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/L oxygen) rose to 1.08 cubic miles in early August, and 1.26 cubic miles in late August. Warmer waters hold less oxygen, and as freshwater flows subsided, water column stratification increased, making it more difficult for oxygen to mix into lower depths.

The hypoxic zone appeared to recede northward from early-to-late August, but it should be noted that the station at the Maryland/Virginia line was not sampled in late August due to high winds, which could result in a lower estimate of hypoxic volume for bay waters. Read more…


Late July 2018 Hypoxia Report

Heavy Rainfall and Sustained Winds Helped Produce Best Recorded Results Ever

Photo of the Research Vessel KerhinDue to extreme summer weather, dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were the best ever observed in late July, reports the Maryland Department to Natural Resources. The department tracks hypoxia throughout the summer during twice monthly monitoring cruises.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/L oxygen) was 0.26 cubic miles.*

Read more…


Early July 2018 Hypoxia Report

Photo of Chesapeake Bay

Dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem improved in early July, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The department tracks hypoxia throughout the summer during twice monthly monitoring cruises.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.05 cubic miles, nearly 0.6 cubic miles less than in late June, and 0.33 cubic miles less than the early July average. No additional hypoxic volume was observed in Virginia’s portion of Chesapeake Bay, and no anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were detected in the mainstem. Read more…


Late June 2018 Hypoxia Report

Photo of wake at sunrise by Peter Zitta

by Peter Zitta

As anticipated, dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem worsened in late June.

During its twice monthly monitoring cruises, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources found that hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/L oxygen) was 1.63 cubic miles, which is 42 percent greater than the late June average of 1.15 cubic miles, and an increase of 0.63 cubic miles from early June. Read more…


Early June 2018 Hypoxia Report

Photo of research vessel on water at sunset

Maryland Research Vessel Kehrin


Maryland and Virginia scientists have begun regularly collecting oxygen data as they monitor the health of Chesapeake Bay waters, and track the states’ progress toward restoring the treasured Chesapeake. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will track bay oxygen levels throughout the summer during twice-monthly monitoring cruises.

Read more…


Summer 2017 Hypoxia Report

Maryland’s Water Quality Monitoring Data Indicates Second Best Year on Record

Photo of Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay mainstem were much better than average this summer, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The results show that 2017 had the second-smallest Chesapeake Bay hypoxic volume (dissolved oxygen concentrations below two milligrams per liter) since 1985, for the regions and times where water quality monitoring data could be collected. This summer had an average of 13.6 percent of sampled waters with hypoxia. The best year on record was 2012 with 13.3 percent. The average for 1985-2017 is 18.9 percent.

For September 2017, the Chesapeake Bay hypoxic water volume was 0.06 cubic miles, which is much smaller than the September 1985-2016 average of 0.35 cubic miles. Read more…


Late August 2017 Hypoxia Report

Photo of: Vibrant sunrise behind a dock

photo by Anne Weathersby

Dissolved oxygen conditions in a portion of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay mainstem were better than average for late August, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) in the study area was 0.33 cubic miles, which is much smaller than the late August 1985-2016 average of 0.80 cubic miles for that reduced area. Crabs, fish, oysters and other creatures require oxygen to survive with levels above 5 mg/l considered optimal to support aquatic health.

Read more…


Early August 2017 Hypoxia Report

Photo of: Orange sunset over Bay Bridge

photo by by Krystle Chick

Dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were much better than average for early August, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 0.91 cubic miles, which is much smaller than the early August 1985-2016 average of 1.31 cubic miles. No anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were detected.

Read more…


Late July 2017 Hypoxia Report

Photo of: Orange sunset over Bay Bridge

photo by by Krystle Chick

Due to weather and other factors that influenced sampling, there will be no official late-July Maryland Chesapeake Bay hypoxia volume estimation.

Read more…


Early July 2017 Hypoxia Report

photo by by Krystle Chick

Dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were much better than average for early July, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 0.78 cubic miles, which is much smaller than the early July 1985-2016 average of 1.3 cubic miles. No anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were detected. Crabs, fish, oysters and other creatures require oxygen to survive with levels above 5 mg/l considered optimal to support aquatic health. Read more…


Late June 2017 Hypoxia Report

photo by by Krystle Chick

Dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem continued to be near average in late June, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 1.05 cubic miles, which is slightly below the late June 1985-2016 average of 1.09 cubic miles. No anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were detected.

Hypoxia in the bay extended from south of the Patapsco River to north of the York River, in waters about 25 feet below the surface to the bottom. Read more…


Early June 2017 Hypoxia Report

photo by Elizabeth Davis

Dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were near average in early June. Read more…


Secretary’s Message – July 2022

Better Days Ahead in Maryland’s Waters

Photo of four women on the gangway leading to a boat

Upgrades at Chestertown Marina were funded by the Waterway Improvement Fund. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Fifty-six years ago, Maryland’s Waterway Improvement Fund was established to fund waterway improvements, promote recreational and commercial boating, and improve the safety and navigation of Maryland’s waterways for the benefit of the general boating public. 

Since its inception this important program has provided more than $300 million in funding for 4,500 projects at public boating access sites across Maryland. If you use a publicly owned boat ramp or marina in our state, there is a good chance that it was funded and is maintained with funding from this program. 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 Fishing Report – September 16

Photo of young boy holding a blue crab in a trap

Photo by Jim Livingston

CLICK HERE FOR THE SEPT. 23 MARYLAND FISHING REPORT

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

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 9

Photo of man holding a blue catfish in the early morning hours

Bruce Strickland caught this blue catfish in the Chaptico Bay’s Bankhead Cove. It was 26.25 inches long and weighed about 10 pounds. Photo by Bruce Strickland.

With warm and dry summer weather through the Labor Day weekend, some anglers targeted the bay’s summer species such as Spanish mackerel and red drum, while others have gone back to targeting striped bass. All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers have reopened for striped bass fishing until Dec. 10 with a size limit of 19 inches and a daily bag limit of one fish per angler.

Targeting invasive species such as blue catfish and northern snakehead remains popular. 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 2

Photo of man holding a large Spanish mackeral.

Angler Tim Campbell qualified for the FishMaryland expert angler award when he caught this 24-inch Spanish mackerel, his fifth unique trophy species, in the Chesapeake Bay on Aug. 25. Photo courtesy of Tim Campbell

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers have reopened for striped bass fishing until Dec. 10 with a size limit of 19 inches and a daily bag limit of one fish per angler. 

Many summer species should continue to be available for anglers the next few weeks. 

On Sept. 3 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts its final weekly Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Biologist Chuck Stence will speak about his team’s efforts in both hickory and shad restoration. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 26

Photo of woman holding a dolphin fish

Melissa Schworm is all smiles with this beautiful dolphin caught on an Ocean City party boat. Photo by Monty Hawkins

Fishing opportunities abound in Maryland waters from the far western region to the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you are vacationing at Deep Creek Lake or Ocean City, be sure to make fishing part of your vacation plans — you will not regret it.

On Aug. 27 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts its weekly Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission member and recreational angler Eric Packard will discuss his fishing adventures throughout southern Maryland and all points in between. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers are closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31. This closure is done to lessen catch-and-release mortality that can be caused by high water temperatures and low oxygen values.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 19

Photo of boy holding an eel

Anyone who has encountered an American eel knows there is hardly anything harder to hold onto. Young Fhinn was fishing with his dad for northern snakeheads when he caught this American eel and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of hanging onto it. Photo by Nathan Zeender

Summer fishing trips with the kids are always filled with fun — one never knows what will occur.

On Aug. 20 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Biologist Matt Sell will discuss the unique and world-class fishing that can be found from Deep Creek Lake to some of western Maryland ‘s rivers and streams. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

For anglers who also enjoy catching Maryland’s natural beauty on camera, the Department of Natural Resources 17th Annual Photo Contest is taking entries through Aug. 31. Instructions, rules, and other details are available on the DNR website.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers are closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31. This closure is done to lessen catch-and-release mortality that can be caused by high water temperatures and low oxygen values.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 12

Travis Lewis spent some time fishing in lower Dorchester County and caught this large northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Travis Lewis.

Travis Lewis spent some time fishing in lower Dorchester County and caught this large northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Travis Lewis.

Fishing opportunities are being found throughout Maryland during these warm days of August. From the smallest freshwater ponds to the Atlantic Ocean, all promise adventure and fun for those who take the time to seek them out.  

On Aug. 13 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. This week, DNR biologist Josh Henesy discusses Upper Potomac River fishing opportunities in Maryland. You can join the discussion through a link on the department’s online calendar.

Remember that all areas of the bay and tidal rivers will be closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31.

Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

 

 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 5

Photo of young girl next to her father and holding a fishing rod with a white perch

Mia Spiker traveled to lower Trappe with her family to enjoy some fishing for white perch – and was delighted with the first fish she has ever caught. Photo by Herb Floyd

August seems to have arrived in the blink of an eye, and families are doing their best to fit in some outdoor summer recreation time. Be sure to stay safe and follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor recreation

On Aug. 6 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. This week, DNR biologist Mary Groves discusses blue catfish populations in Maryland, and you can learn how to fish for this invasive species from our recreational fishing experts. You can join the discussion through a link on the department’s online calendar.

Remember that all Maryland areas of the bay and tidal rivers will be closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31.

Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped Bass Fishing Advisory Forecast showing green flag days Wednesday through Sunday, yellow flag days on Monday and Tuesday

 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 15

Photo of girl holding a northern snakehead

Lucy Perez holds up her first northern snakehead and it is a whopper! Photo by Nick Perez

Taking kids fishing during the summer is a rewarding pastime — whether helping them fish for bluegills with a worm and a bobber at a local pond, or as they become more skilled, watching them cast their own lures and land their own fish.

Don’t forget that throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Image of Striped Bass 7-day Fishing Advisory, with one green flag day on Thursday; yellow days on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and red flag days on Sunday through Tuesday.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – June 17

Photo of man and two boys catching with a flathead catfish they caught

Angler Brett Poffenberger took his nephews Eli and Dakota fishing in the upper Potomac and pulled an invasive flathead catfish out of the water. Photo courtesy Brett Poffenberger

A recent trip to the fishing tackle section of a large discount store showed a lot of empty space on the shelves. Everyone is excited about getting out and enjoying the outdoors safely and fishing seems to be at the top of the list. Children are perhaps the most anxious to get outside, and taking them fishing is a wonderful thing to share together.

Check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for the latest updates on expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation in Maryland.

DNR is now offering appointments at most licensing and registration centers. Appointments can be scheduled online.

Also, our striped bass fishing advisory forecast begins this week, providing a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – June 10

Young Ian Brainer admires his mom Sarah’s snakehead catch

Young Ian Brainer admires his mom Sarah’s catch, and we’re sure it will not be long before he has a fishing rod of his own in his hands. Photo courtesy of Sarah Jane Brainer

The summer-like weather is bringing families out to enjoy the outdoors. What could be better than being out on a fishing adventure with mom, especially if you catch a strange-looking fish like a northern snakehead!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers two more license-free fishing days on June 13 and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

As we all start spending more time on the water, a reminder that our biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: August 22

Fishing Rods at sunset

Photo by Andrew Ashby

This past weekend, I happened to pull up behind a pickup truck at a traffic light and I could not help but notice something about the license plate that impressed me.

First off, there was a bumper sticker that said “Stress is caused by a lack of fishing” and there were several years’ worth of ramp passes stuck one on top of each other, but what impressed me most was the license plate.

It was an older Maryland plate and it looked like it had been attacked by a gorilla with a 5-pound ball peen hammer. That relayed to me that this guy had spent a lot of time hooking up a boat trailer by himself and the trailer tongue hit the license plate now and then signaling “far enough.” The plate showed years of this and that this guy spends a lot of time fishing out of his boat.

As he pulled away, I gave him a mental salute. Here was a guy who knows how to handle stress.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 15

Photo of Man holding large red drum

Travis Long was enjoying catch-and-release fishing for large red drum in the Chesapeake Bay recently and holds up a prize caught while jigging, before slipping this big girl back into the bay waters. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

One of the fun and exciting things about fishing is you just never know what surprises await when you cast your fishing line into the water. Some have been surprised with a record-breaking catch, a novelty catch or just a fun encounter with a fish to help round out a peaceful day. Enjoying the outdoors tends to be that way; you never can be sure what is around the next bend in a trail, or what a day out on the water has in store for you.

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Department Actively Monitoring Situation at Conowingo Dam

Record Water Flow to Impact Chesapeake Bay Health and Marine Life

Photo of Conowingo Dam from Susquehanna State Park

Photo of Conowingo Dam from Susquehanna State Park

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is advising commercial and recreational anglers, boaters and watermen to avoid the Susquehanna River and Upper Chesapeake Bay over the next few days due to the heavy water flows and swells downstream of Conowingo Dam.

Recent summer rain storms in the mid-Atlantic region have dumped record amounts of rain in the watershed producing historic flows at the dam ( over 300,000 cubic feet per second) not seen since Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

“It is vitally important that anglers and boaters avoid the area downstream of the dam as heavy flows and accompanying marine debris – both submerged and superficial – can pose a serious threat to people and vessels,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “We expect the issue to continue through the weekend and ask that people steer clear of the Upper Bay until it is safe to navigate and recreate.” Read more…


Secretary’s Message: December 2017

A Watershed Year for the Chesapeake Bay

Photo of Secretary Mark Belton with the crew on board the department's Research Vessel Kehrin

Secretary Mark Belton observes Chesapeake Bay water quality monitoring on board the department’s Research Vessel Kehrin.

When this year began, I knew it held great promise for the future of our most precious natural resource and treasure, the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland is committed to protecting and restoring the nation’s largest estuary, and I’m pleased to say this year we’ve seen strong signs of progress.

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The Chesapeake Clarity Comeback: Monitoring progress in bay health

Healthy grasses and clear water off Poplar Island; by Peter McGowan

Healthy grasses and clear water off Poplar Island; by Peter McGowan

A tide of good news on Chesapeake Bay health has been rolling in over the past couple of years. Anecdotal accounts, backed-up by scientific monitoring programs of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and its partners, have observed promising improvements in water quality, aquatic habitats and the abundance of crabs and oysters.

The question on many minds remains: how? Read more…


   

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