Natural Resources News
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.
Department Initiative Connects Novices with Experienced Hunters
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to introduce the Maryland Mentored Hunt Program, a statewide program aimed to pair new, novice, or lapsed hunters of any age with skilled veteran hunters. The mentors will help guide new hunters throughout the process of building their skills, culminating in a hunt.
Both mentors and mentees can now submit applications for agency review and applicants will be paired based on geographic proximity, interests, and several other criteria. Once the pairing has been made, the mentor and mentee will work together at their own pace to schedule all aspects of the hunt.
“Many individuals throughout the state want to get into hunting for a variety of reasons, but just don’t know where to get started,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Hunting Specialist Chris Markin said. “We understand that people are very busy, so this opportunity allows individuals to pursue hunting with those who can share their passion and knowledge without any event constraints.”
All participants are required to follow the state guidance on preventing spread of COVID-19. The program encourages using video meetings, email, texts, and phone calls as much as possible. For in-person meetings, individuals must practice social distancing and wear masks when in close proximity. .
Department Accepting FY22 Grant Applications from Governments, Nonprofits
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the Grants Gateway application is open for local governments and organizations for Fiscal Year 2022. Through this process, funding is available for projects that restore local waterways, increase communities’ resilience to climate and storm impacts, strengthen local economies, develop the next generation of environmental stewards, and foster sustainable development and use of Maryland waterways with projects that benefit the general boating public. Read more…
‘MCC Strong’ Members Completed 1,700 Service Hours
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources honored 31 members of the 2019-2020 Maryland Conservation Corps during their virtual graduation program on August 5. The virtual ceremony commemorated the students’ completion of 10 months of job training, conservation work, and stewardship with the Maryland Park Service.
Members from across the country, all between the ages of 17 and 25, completed 1,700 hours of service. This year’s crews planted thousands of trees, bay grasses and native plants; treated trees against harmful insects and diseases; and taught environmental education programs to more than 8,750 students, youth, and park visitors. Read more…
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.
Conditions Show Improvement Following Tropical Storm Isaias
Maryland 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…
Department Cites Charter Boat Operators
Maryland Natural Resources Police have charged six charter boat operators with multiple fishing violations following a lengthy investigation into the use of prohibited fishing gear. The investigation began in October 2019 in response to tips received by concerned citizens.
During the investigation, police discovered several charter boats had violated the size and catch limit for striped bass, failed to use non-offset circle hooks while chumming or live-lining in tidal waters as required in Maryland, and committed other violations.
The Natural Resources Police has been working tirelessly to make sure that those fishing for striped bass are following the law. This investigation is in addition to the more than 800 citations written to recreational fishers this season related to striped bass violations. Read more…
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.
Reservations Available for Free Boating Basics
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is partnering with Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) and the Boat U.S. Foundation for Safety and Clean Water for a series of free “Welcome to Boating” clinics. These clinics will provide instruction on how to properly launch, load, retrieve, and dock a trailerable boat.
Currently scheduled clinics are taking place at the Sandy Point State Park boat ramps from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 27, Sept. 1,
and Sept. 3. Only 30 reservations available for each date. Each reservation allows a boater to bring one additional family member. Read more…
New Primitive Deer Hunt Days in February
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that archery hunting for white-tailed and sika deer opens statewide Sept. 11, and continues through Jan. 30, 2021.
New for the upcoming deer season, archery and muzzleloader hunters may participate in Primitive Deer Hunt Days from Feb. 1-3, 2021. During this special season, hunters may use vertical longbows, vertical recurve bows, flintlock, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders only. Telescopic and electronic aiming devices are prohibited during this hunt. More information on these special hunt days is available in the 2020-2021 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping. Read more…