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Governor Larry Hogan Proclaims April 6 Maryland Arbor Day

Maryland Honors Forest Service, Forest Products Industry

Photo of group of people in the governor's conference room, surrounded by potted seedlings

Governor Hogan proclaims Maryland Arbor Day for 2022. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed April 6, 2022 to be Maryland Arbor Day, marking the 150th anniversary of National Arbor Day, celebrated the last Friday of April each year, and the 139th Maryland Arbor Day, celebrated the first Wednesday of April. 

“Arbor Day is a great reminder of the importance of Maryland’s forest lands and the importance of planting trees,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state is proud of the small businesses that support our economy by engaging in natural resources-based industries. We also recognize the important role the hard work and dedication of the Maryland Forest Service in ensuring Maryland’s forests remain a point of pride.”

Resuming an annual tradition that was on hold during the pandemic, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio honored Maryland Arbor Day by presenting tree seedlings grown at the state nursery in Caroline County to the members of the Board of Public Works – Governor Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and state Treasurer Dereck E. Davis.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – April 6

Photo of man in a stream holding a fish

Brent Fletcher took his opportunity to fish the upper Patapsco River and catch this beautiful rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Brent Fletcher

March finished with some cold and blustery conditions for anglers, and April promises milder temperatures. Trout fishing in the put-and-take areas has been getting the premier attention of many anglers enjoying the daily and generous stocking of trout, which will last through the month of April. Don’t miss it!  

As a reminder, Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries except the Potomac River remain closed to all striped bass catch-and-release fishing until May 1. Anglers should become familiar with areas that will open May 1 and later season change dates using the Maryland Department of Natural Resources online striped bass regulation map

In the meantime, fishing in Maryland for multiple species abounds in April.

Read more…

Regulations Issued for 2022 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Fishing

Summer-Fall Season Limits Remain Same

Photo of scientist returning a striped bass to the water

Fisheries biologists survey and tag striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay as part of an annual survey of the population. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that recreational striped bass regulations for the 2022 Chesapeake Bay summer-fall season will remain the same as last year.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, except the Potomac River, will be closed to striped bass targeting from April 1 to May 1.

The 2022 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, All areas will be closed to any targeting of striped bass from July 16 through July 31, and reopen August 1 through December 10. Anglers may 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. Read more…

Fishing Rodeos Kick off for 2022 Season

Young Angler Events Return Across Maryland

Photo of young girl with her father showing off a fish she caught

Among the fishing rodeo locations is Fort Frederick State Park’s Beaver Pond, held this year 8 a.m. to noon on April 2. Photo by Cpl. Chris Warden, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Youth anglers of all ages are encouraged to hone their fishing skills at any of Maryland’s nearly 50 youth fishing rodeos spread out across the state this year. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with dozens of organizations in 14 counties crisscrossing the state to offer free and engaging fishing opportunities for thousands of youth. Many of the events are held on Maryland State Parks and other public lands.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – March 30

Photo of boy holding a trout

The proud and happy face of Jason Punsalon says it all. Photo by Rodney Punsalon

Trout anglers had their big day last Saturday for what most call the opening day of trout season, although trout have been generously stocked for months. It is a time for our younger anglers to enjoy some success in pursuing trout in local waters with moms and dads.

All Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries except the Potomac River will be closed to all striped bass catch-and-release fishing starting Friday, April 1 until May 1. Anglers are urged to become familiar with areas that will open May 1 and later season change dates at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources online striped bass regulation map

Read more…

Maryland’s Recreational Crabbing Season Begins April 1

Traditional Opening Day for State’s Iconic Crustacean

Photo of reflection of four boys crabbing with a dip net

Photo by Christine Edwards, entry in the 2018 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces the recreational crabbing season in Maryland officially opens on April 1 for the Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays, and their tributaries. Read more…

Pumpout Operations and Maintenance Grants Available for 2022 Season

Funding for Marinas to Support Clean Waterways

Photo of small marina with pumping station on pier

Maryland DNR photo

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

This program assists marinas in offering reliable pumpout service to area boaters. 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 23

Photo of two girls holding trout

Photo by Steve Peperak

Put-and-take trout anglers will have their day this Saturday, March 26, as the traditional opening day kicks off at 5:30 a.m. throughout Maryland. This is a wonderful time for our younger anglers to achieve success in catching some trout, and for adults to share it with them. Maryland Department of Natural Resources hatchery crews and biologists have been working hard to get all of the trout out this week, and we hope you have a wonderful time!

Anyone who needs to register a boat at a DNR regional service center, be advised that you need to make an appointment, which is easy to do online or by calling the service center directly. The same is true at Motor Vehicle Administration offices, if you need to register a trailer. 

Remember you can buy licenses and other services online through the DNR COMPASS portal.

Read more…

Washington County Angler Catches Record Muskellunge

At 33 Pounds, Muskie Beats 2017 Record

Photo of man holding large muskellunge

Photo courtesy Kyle Mullenix, submitted to Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a Washington County man has set a new nontidal state record for muskellunge. Kyle Mullenix of Hagerstown caught the 33-pound, 49-inch long record muskie on March 2 along the banks of the upper Potomac River.

Regarded as the “fish of ten thousand casts,” muskies are the largest freshwater fish in Maryland and among the most difficult to catch. Read more…

Maryland Offers Grants for Aquatic Invasive Species Removal

Department Providing up to $10,000 to Community Based Programs

Photo of zebra mussels

Zebra mussels that were intercepted by the Deep Creek Lake Launch Steward Program. Photo by Julie Bortz, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces a new grant program to aid in the removal of aquatic invasive species in Maryland waters. 

The Invasive Species Control Proposal Solicitation is searching for community-based programs or individuals to help the department engage with the public and organizational partners in the control and removal efforts of invasive aquatic species in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Read more…

Maryland Natural Resources Police Report — February 2022

Photo of police truck in a fieldThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) issued citations for illegal hunting and fishing activities in February. Read more…

Offshore Blind and Shoreline Licensing Open for 2022

Applications Must Be Postmarked by May 31

Photo of hunter in a waterfowl blind

Photo by Jake McPherson, Ducks Unlimited

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service is now accepting offshore waterfowl blind and shoreline license applications for riparian (waterfront) property owners.

Riparian property owners, or anyone who has been granted permission from the riparian property owner, may license their shoreline. A license will establish offshore stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl, and/or will prevent others from licensing and hunting the shoreline at a later date. Read more…

2022 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants Total $320,000

Grants Supports Communities, Projects, and Schools

Photo of people planting trees on an urban sidewalk

“Trees Not Trash” a community initiative funded by the 2021 Keep Maryland Beautiful Clean Up and Green Up Grant, focuses on beautifying city neighborhoods by planting street trees and removing litter within Sustainable Community Development areas, while engaging the residents on the benefits of urban trees. Photo courtesy Forever Maryland.

Forever Maryland is proud to announce that 85 grants totaling $320,000 have been awarded toward environmental education, community cleanup and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.

These annual grants are funded by the Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever Maryland, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Read more…

Secretary’s Message – March 2022

Maryland is Invested in Our Natural Resources

Photo of Governor Hogan, Lieutenant Governor Rutherford, and Secretary Riccio at Maryland Park Service podium

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford hands his trail-hiking stick to Governor Larry Hogan during an announcement Greenbrier State Park. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House.

Spring is around the corner, and as usual, many of us have spring fever. The good news is that our amazing DNR staff have readied our parks and public lands to greet the millions of visitors we receive each year.

It is essential that we balance increased visitation with our responsibility to protect and care for the lands that have been entrusted to us. That is why I was so pleased to join Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford a few weeks ago for a special announcement regarding funding for our public lands.  Read more…

Wildfire Danger in Maryland Increases in Spring

DNR Stresses Preparedness, Prevention

Photo of wildland firefighter putting out a brush fireSpring wildfire season has begun in Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 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 16

Photo of girl on a dock holding up two yellow perch

Lucy Perez proudly holds up her stringer of yellow perch. Photo by Nick Perez.

Despite winter’s heavy hand last weekend, the harbingers of spring are all around us. The geese, swans, and most migratory ducks have headed north and are replaced by the arrival of the ospreys. Crocus and daffodils are blooming, and fishing opportunities abound. Anglers are enjoying the trout management waters that are open, all species of fish are awakening from their winter’s sleep, and spawning runs of yellow and white perch are underway.

Read more…

Controlled Burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area Starts March 17

Smoke May Be Visible from Nearby Highways

Photo of crew conducting a controlled burn in a brush area

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a controlled burn on Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area this week. Residents or drivers who see smoke in the area southwest of Rawlings should be aware that it may appear to be a forest fire, but is deliberate and controlled, and there is no need to report it to authorities. Originally planned for late fall, the burn was rescheduled due to weather. 

The fire will create smoke, but it will be a controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris. Pre-burning is planned March 17 with the larger burn scheduled to take place March 18, and resume March 21 (weather permitting, rain may delay the burn). Read more…

Governor Hogan Announces Annapolis Waterfront Park Funding to Preserve Legacy of Historic Carr’s Beach

State and Local Partnership Will Preserve Open Space on Significant Historic Property
on Chesapeake Bay

Photo of wooded beachfront area taken from the water

Photo by Jody Couser, Chesapeake Conservancy

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the State of Maryland will provide more than $4.8 million toward the purchase of a historically significant waterfront property for the development of a new Annapolis public park. 

The land has been identified as part of the property once owned by the Carr Family and is close to Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, popular resorts on the Chesapeake Bay that served the Black community at a time when they were prohibited from using other beaches. Known as “the Beach,” Carr’s Beach hosted many prominent Black performing artists during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, The Shirelles, Little Richard, and Billie Holiday. Read more…

Maryland DNR 2022 Photo Contest Now Open

Entries for Annual Contest Taken Until August 1, 2022

Photo of owl landing in marshy area

Photo “Short-eared Owl Hovering” by Mitch Adolph, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 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…

Muskrat Trapping Season Extended in Select Maryland Counties

Weather Conditions Lead to Additional Week for Trapping

Photo of a muskrat den in the marsh

A muskrat den at Taylors Island Wildlife Management ARea. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has added a one-week extension to the muskrat trapping season in all counties except Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington. The revised season will now close March 22, 2022, to make up for unfavorable weather conditions.

An extremely cold winter and more recent tide fluctuations have limited trapper access to many waterways and wetlands, reducing the ability and opportunity to harvest this valuable furbearer. Read more…

New DNR Vessel Christened the M/V Eddie Somers

Boat Named After Long-Time Captain of Its Predecessor

Photo of boat on drydock

Photo courtesy Blount Boats Inc.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has christened the newest boat in its Hydrographic Operations fleet, naming it after a long-time captain of the Crisfield-Smith Island route the boat will serve. The M/V Eddie Somers was christened this week by DNR officials and its namesake at shipbuilder Blount Boats Inc. in Warren, Rhode Island.

The boat is named after former DNR Capt. Eddie Somers, who retired in 2018 after 25 years as captain of the M/V J. Millard Tawes, the boat the new vessel is replacing.  Read more…

Maryland DNR App Available to Locate Key Oyster Sites

Development of iShellfish Follows Legislation Signed in 2021

Photo of DNR boat approaching commercial oyster boats

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the development of a new mobile app, iShellfish, to provide interactive maps for commercial watermen and other users to locate areas they need to find or avoid while on Maryland’s waterways.  Read more…

Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2022 Results Released

Annual Survey Estimates Number of Winter Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Photo of airplane ready to take off for waterfowl survey

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

In early January, aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made visual estimates of the ducks, geese and swans along most of the state’s Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River. and Atlantic Ocean coastal shorelines. This year, the teams counted about 563,800 waterfowl, lower than the 627,000 birds observed in 2020, and below the most recent five-year average of 718,600 birds. The 2021 Mid-Winter Survey was not flown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…

Free Trees Available for Maryland’s ‘Backyard Buffers’

Waterfront and Streamside Landowners can Reserve Seedlings

Photo of a surrounded by trees and other vegetationThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners statewide who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream, or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program, now available in 23 counties.  Read more…

Maple Syrup Festival Returns Live to Cunningham Falls State Park

Event Takes Place March 12-13 and March 19-20

Photo of several bottles of pure maple syrup

Photo by Ranger Melissa Acuti

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites the public to celebrate the Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park this March. This popular event takes place during two weekends, March 12-13 and March 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at the park’s William Houck Area. The event returns live after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Read more…

Natural Resources Police Report — January 2022

Photo of Natural Resources Police truck on patrol in snowy landscapeThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) issued citations for deer poaching and other hunting violations in January.

Read more…

Governor Hogan Encourages Marylanders to Celebrate Harriet Tubman’s 200th Birthday

Weekend of Events Planned Next Month at Underground Railroad State Park

Photo of sculpture of Infant Harriet Tubman, located at Harriet Tubman State Park

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Harriet Tubman and the 5th anniversary of its opening, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center will host a series of free, family-friendly programs during the weekend of March 12 to 13.

“Harriet Tubman dedicated her life in selfless service to others and the cause of freedom,” said Governor Hogan. “This year, as we celebrate her 200th birthday, we hope that even more Marylanders and visitors from across the country will take time to learn about the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad and her years-long struggle to lead countless slaves to their freedom.” Read more…

Maryland Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

First Lady Yumi Hogan Participates as Judge; Top Entries’ Schools Receive Free Tree Plantings

Photo of group standing with artwork on easels

Judges of the 2022 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest stand with the top three prize winners. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Marlyland State House.

Fifth-grade students who submitted Arbor Day posters to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources had their work judged today by a panel of forestry experts and a special guest judge, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, who is an accomplished artist and adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art.

The posters were created using varied artistic techniques, including colored pencils, crayons, markers and paint, all illustrating this year’s contest theme, “Trees are Terrific…and Maryland Forests are Too.”

Original artwork focused on trees cleaning the air, creating shade and generally contributing to healthy outdoor living. Read more…

Board of Public Works Approves Program Open Space Funding for Baltimore City

More than $20 Million For Baltimore City Outdoor Recreation This Year

Photo of people biking on a park trail in the city

Maryland DNR photo

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved 11 Program Open Space projects totaling $6.3 million in grants for Baltimore City. These projects include new and upgrades to existing park facilities across the city. In January, the board approved about $4 million in Program Open Space grant funding provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for Baltimore City. 

In total, Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget included $4.2 million through the Program Open Space Local program, and $6 million in direct grants to Baltimore City for its park projects. Additionally, Baltimore City is receiving $10 million through the Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure program. Read more…

Maryland Hunters Report Taking 70,845 Deer in 2021-2022 Season

Frederick County Leads State in Harvest Totals

Photo of buck in green brush

Photo by Patricia Neal, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that deer hunters harvested 70,845 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 10, 2021 through Feb. 3, 2022.

The statewide harvest included 27,947 antlered and 39,498 antlerless white-tailed deer, plus 1,541 antlered and 1,859 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 13% lower than the 2020-2021 total of 81,729 deer. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – Winter 2022

Photo of young man and dog holding a fish next to some iced-over water

Tommy O’Connell spent some time ice-fishing on Cunningham Reservoir with his buddy Oakley. Photo by Tommy O’Connell

While some retreat when winter temperatures drop and snow and icy conditions prevail, there are anglers who just cannot sit out the winter months. The reservoirs of Western Maryland are providing wonderful ice fishing opportunities for a variety of fish species, and the open waters of fast-moving streams and rivers are providing excellent trout fishing thanks to the pre-season stocking program.

Read more…

Maryland DNR Seeks Public Input on Seasons and Bag Limits

Hunting and Trapping Proposals Posted for Review

Photo of young hunters in the field

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment on proposed season and bag limit changes for the 2022-2024 hunting and trapping seasons, including proposed changes to the 2022-2023 migratory game bird seasons.  Read more…

Secretary’s Message – February 2022

Public Input Essential to Our Mission

Photo of two people fishing in a creek

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

Our department recognizes and values the contributions of both anglers and hunters – especially when it comes to responsibly managing our natural resources. We also recognize the value in ensuring that these and other important outdoor recreation traditions continue long into Maryland’s future. 

With support from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), we have been in extensive conversations with stakeholders on this topic. Our ultimate goal is development of a recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) plan for Maryland which will guide our efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate anglers and hunters and diversify participation over the next three years.  Read more…

Public Comment Sought for 2023 Maryland State Forest Work Plans

Forest Service Seeks Input on Proposals Through March 4

Photo of wooded area

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the proposed fiscal year 2023 annual work plans for the following state forests: Chesapeake/Pocomoke, Green Ridge, Potomac-Garrett, and Savage River. The comment period concludes March 4, 2022.

Annual work plans help the department identify priorities within the scope of the forests’ long-range management. They address composition, establishment, growth, health, and quality along with construction and maintenance projects. Read more…

Free Environmental Seminars for Maryland Marinas Offered in March

DNR Clean Marina Program Now Taking Reservations

Photo of boats at dock

Maryland DNR photo

Marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs are invited to attend a free seminar to learn about becoming certified Clean Marinas, hear about stormwater management projects and funding, and learn about proposed Maryland regulations. Vendors of the latest environmental marina products will also be on hand.  

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) staff will discuss the 2022 reissue of the General Discharge Permit for Marinas as well as new fuel tank storage regulations. Additionally, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff will explain grant funding available for pumpout stations, stormwater management and more.   Read more…

Drifting in the Stream: A Guide to Fly Fishing for Trout

Fly used in fly fishing

Photo by John Mullican, DNR’s Fishing and Boating Services

The mystique of fly fishing often intimidates anglers, preventing them from trying this fun and productive method of fishing. Sure, expert proficiency with multiple casting and fishing techniques can take years to hone, but is not necessary to catch fish to enjoy the sport. Read more…

Rutherford’s Travels: Fly Fishing at Morgan Run Natural Environmental Area

Lt. Governor Boyd K. RutherfordOn a beautiful autumn day in October Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and I traveled to Carroll County, Maryland to explore the nearly 2,000-acre Morgan Run Natural Environment Area. Natural environment areas are typically 1,000 or more acres and are home to significant geological or ecological resources. Development is typically limited to trails, interpretive facilities, and limited support facilities. Like our state parks and natural resource management areas, they are managed by the Maryland Park Service. Read more…

Maryland Office of Outdoor Recreation is Up and Running

Photo of Anthony with Lt. Governor Rutherford at first day hike

J. Daryl Anthony (left) with Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford

In September 2021, Governor Larry Hogan created the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and I am honored and pleased to serve as its inaugural executive director. Read more…

Harriet Tubman in Baltimore

Photo of Baltimore in the 1800sToday, Harriet Tubman is known for her heroic exploits on the Underground Railroad, where she rescued 70 people from slavery and guided them to freedom. While most of her time in Maryland was spent on the Eastern Shore, Baltimore figured centrally in several of her daring rescue missions. Read more…

Traveling in the Footsteps of Harriet Tubman: Celebrate Tubman’s Bicentennial in 2022

Photo of mural of Harriet Tubman reaching her hand to mural viewer

Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center mural. Photo courtesy of Dorchester County Visitors Center

Two hundred years ago, an American hero named Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland. An Underground Railroad conductor, abolitionist, suffragist, veteran, and small business owner, Tubman overcame arduous odds to accomplish great feats. Today, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway follows in her footsteps from her home in Dorchester County to freedom in Philadelphia. There are 45 sites to explore in total, and nearly half of the byway’s sites are located in Dorchester County. Read more…

Tools of the Trade: Remote Easement Monitoring with Lens

Image of a Maryland Environmental Trust easement property in Upstream Tech’s Lens system

Image of a Maryland Environmental Trust easement property in Upstream Tech’s Lens system

Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) had nearly finished preparations for its spring easement monitoring season. The pandemic put a serious dent in executing MET’s plans for monitoring, which usually involves visiting properties, meeting with the property owners, and observing the landscape and land uses, all to verify adherence to conservation easement requirements. In some limited circumstances, staff were still able to make visual assessments of land use from public roadways, but for the most part, our monitoring efforts were shut down to avoid the potential of spreading the virus. Read more…

Outside Perspective

Fly-fishing at Morgan RunThis year Maryland commemorates the 200th anniversary of when experts believe that Araminta Ross–later to be known as Harriet Tubman–was born in Dorchester County.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resource is proud to partner with the National Park Service at our Harriet Tubman State Park and Visitor Center, which is also celebrating a milestone fifth anniversary since its opening on Harriet Tubman Day, March 10. Read more…

Youth, Veteran, and Military Waterfowl Hunting Day Held Feb. 5

Special Hunting Opportunity Offered Statewide

Photo of geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman, Maryland DNR

Maryland’s youth hunters, veterans, and military personnel can experience the thrills of hunting the state’s fields and wetlands during the winter special waterfowl hunting day on Feb. 5.  Read more…

Maryland Reports 2022 Winter Turkey Season Harvest

Hunters Take Advantage of Cold Weather Opportunity

Photo of several wild turkeys in the woods

Photo by Tony Wheatley, submitted to the 2018 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 67 wild turkeys during the 2022 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 20-22. This year’s harvest was 24% lower than the 2021 winter total of 89 turkeys.

St. Mary’s, Baltimore, and Caroline counties reported the highest harvests respectively, although turkeys were reported from most counties across the state. Adult males, or “toms,” comprised 30% of the harvest with the remainder being females and juveniles. Eighty-one percent were taken with a shotgun, but some hunters harvested their bird with a crossbow or vertical bow. Read more…

Wildlife Professional’s Estate Bequeaths $1.7M to Department

Gift to Support Wildlife Education and Upland Habitat Projects

Photo of Marilyn Mause

Marilyn Mause in 2017. photo courtesy Gregory Bartles.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service recently received a $1.7 million gift from the estate of longtime employee Marilyn Mause specifically for wildlife education and upland habitat projects. Mause, who worked 34 years for the department’s wildlife unit primarily within the state’s central region, passed away in 2018.  Read more…

Maryland’s Primitive Deer Hunt Days Run Feb. 1 – 3

Final Opportunity for Deer Hunters for the 2021-22 Season

Photo of deer in snowy woods

Photo by Sizhu Liu, submitted to Maryland Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the state’s Primitive Deer Hunt will be open Feb. 1-3 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…

Natural Resources Police Report — December 2021

Photo of officer on the radio

A Natural Resources Police Officer on patrol. Maryland DNR file photo.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) cited numerous individuals for hunting and fishing violations throughout the state in December. Read more…

Secretary’s Message – January 2022

Resolve to Accessing Maryland’s Natural World

Photo of First Day Hike sign in a state parkWhile it was a rainy start to 2022, I could not let a little rain get in the way of a great tradition. This year I joined Maryland Conservation Corps participants and visitors for a First Day Hike at Tuckahoe State Park, in Caroline County.

I certainly was not alone! About 3,000 hikers took to the trails for First Day Hikes at our state parks over three days, despite the rainy and wet conditions. We are pleased to see so many people continuing to enjoy this growing tradition!

In true Maryland fashion, following a warm and rainy New Year’s weekend, literally overnight, we turned a corner into winter weather! But snow and cold temperatures do not mean you have to stay inside. There are plenty of winter outdoor recreation opportunities on Maryland’s public lands from the mountains to the coast. Visit our website for activities near you, or plan a fun winter weekend getaway to one of these scenic destinations. Of the more than 19 million visitors in our state parks in 2021, 93 percent rated their experience as “excellent” or “above average” which speaks to the quality of our parks and our staff. Read more…

NRP Officer Prevents a Second Suicide in Two Months

He Previously Rescued a Woman Who Had Jumped into a River

Photo of NRP officer with truck

Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer First Class Jacob Gerczak

A Maryland Natural Resources Police officer prevented a suicide for the second time in two months.  

On Dec. 29 at about 6:30 p.m., Officer First Class Jacob Gerczak was on patrol near the Chesapeake City Bridge when he observed a woman leaning over the safety railing of the bridge. The five-year veteran, who in October had rescued another woman after she jumped into a river, recognized the signs that she might be suicidal and turned his patrol vehicle to approach the woman. Read more…

Maryland’s Winter Turkey Season Opens January 20

Hunters Get One More Chance to Bag a Bird

Photo of several turkeys on a snowy field

Photo by Isaac Bonneville

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the opening of the winter turkey season, which runs statewide from Jan. 20-22 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2021 fall season.

Hunting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex.  Read more…

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