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Maryland Fishing Report – August 25

Photo of youth near a lake holding a northern snakehead fish

Brayden Castigilia holds up a northern snakehead he caught recently near Smallwood State Park. Photo courtesy of Katy Kaufmann

Mother Nature is dealing Maryland some hot daytime temperatures this week, and many of those seeking some relief will flock to the water. Fishing for a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish could hardly be better as we approach the zenith of our summer fisheries, from the cool mountain streams of Western Maryland to the warmer waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coast. 

One fish that has been providing a lot of fun and exciting action are northern snakeheads. This invasive species is certainly plentiful and they are rapidly expanding their range, making them available to anglers throughout the Chesapeake watershed.

As the summer heat continues, please continue checking the Maryland striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species.

Read more…


Maryland State Record Blue Marlin Caught at Ocean City

Florida Man Recognized with 1,135-pound Catch at Tournament

Photo of group of people standing with record blue marlin

Billy Gerlach (behind sign, holding dorsal fin) stands with his record blue marlin. Photo by Craig Weedon. Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A Florida angler is the new Maryland state record holder for a blue marlin, which he caught in an August 20 tournament at Ocean City.  Read more…


Women’s Equality Celebration Aug. 28 at Sang Run State Park

Rededication of Restored 1872 Election House Part of Community Event

Vintage photo of building

The Sang Run Election House, seen here in the 1930s, is being rededicated following a complete restoration as part of Women’s Equality Day 2021.

The Maryland Park Service joins with Garrett County organizations on Aug. 28 to host a Women’s Equality Day Celebration including a historic march reenactment and event at Sang Run State Park from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. This event commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote in 1920. 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…


First Lady Yumi Hogan Joins Call to Protect Assateague’s Wild Horses

New Safety Measures and Outreach Campaign Highlighted at State Park

Photo of group holding signs with Protect Our Ponies slogansMaryland First Lady Yumi Hogan joined the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Assateague Island National Seashore staff, and other guests at Assateague State Park, urging island visitors to drive carefully and “Give Wild Horses a Brake,” part of a new outreach campaign design to reduce horse injuries and #ProtectOurPonies.

A freely roaming herd of wild ponies is one of the major attractions at Assateague, a barrier island that is divided into Maryland’s Assateague State Park and the federal Assateague Island National Seashore. Unfortunately, humans feeding the horses or otherwise encouraging them to come near campgrounds and vehicles has left the horses unafraid of people and cars, making them more susceptible to dangerous situations on the Assateague roads. 

The First Lady, Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Maryland State Senator Mary Beth Carozza, and members of the nonprofit friends group Assateague Island Alliance visited the State Park on Friday. The Alliance also presented the First Lady with a conservation award for her continued support and work protecting wildlife.

Read more…


Gambrill State Park to Co-host 2021 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship in October

State Partners with City and County of Frederick, Cycling Group to Secure Bid

Photo of Gambrill State Park entrance sign

Maryland DNR photo

Gambrill State Park and the Frederick City Cooperative Wildlife Management Area have been chosen by USA Cycling as the venue for the 2021 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on Saturday, October 23. The Maryland Sports Commission will serve as the event host, working closely with officials from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Gambrill State Park staff, TEAM Maryland partner Visit Frederick, the City of Frederick, Frederick County Government, and the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts Inc.  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 18

Photo of man holding a northern snakehead

Jhong Vitao holds up a nice northern snakehead for a selfie that he caught in lower Dorchester County recently. Photo by Jhong Vitao

These late summer weeks hold a lot of fishing opportunities for anglers across the state. Our summer migrant fish species in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters are in full swing and other fish are active.

Northern snakeheads are on the prowl in many areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and entertaining anglers with plenty of action and good table fare.

Throughout the summer, anglers should continue to check the Maryland striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species.

Read more…


Maryland Department of Health and Department of Natural Resources to Provide COVID-19 Vaccinations at Sandy Point State Park

This weekend’s vaccine availability is the latest stop on the GoVAX Summer Tour

GoVax logoThe Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the availability of free COVID-19 vaccinations at Sandy Point State Park this weekend, Aug. 14-15. The event is the latest stop on the GoVAX Summer Tour, which continues to bring free mobile clinics and vaccine outreach to popular destinations across Maryland. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 11

Photo of man with son, daughter and dog, holding a bushel of blue crabs

Photo by Jim Livingston

Life on the Chesapeake is all about family and friends, a good boat, a good dog, and getting out on the water to enjoy it all. In many cases, this involves catching some blue crabs for a crab dinner together.

Throughout the summer, anglers should continue to check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species.

Read more…


Secretary’s Message — August 2021

Outdoors Career Training Offers a Lifetime of Growth

Photo of group of people beside a pool

Governor Hogan with Secretaries Riccio and Schulz visit Black Girls Dive Foundation, Randallstown, in May. This organization empowers and encourages young black women to be involved in recreational swimming and diving; ocean-related science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academic pursuits; and environmental stewardship.

Outdoor recreation has become more welcome than ever as we seek safe activities to do with our friends and family. Recognizing its importance even before the pandemic, Governor Hogan charged Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and me with co-chairing the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC). Since then, Secretary Schulz and I have been traversing the state and working to implement the recommendations of the commission. Among those recommendations is naming Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors to help position Maryland as a top destination for world class outdoor recreation experiences. So far we have recognized 33 ambassadors in four counties and counting.

Several other recommendations of the MORE Commission centered around opportunities for workforce development and job creation in the outdoor recreation industry in Maryland. Three of DNR’s own programs, the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC), Conservation Jobs Corp (CJC), and Veteran’s Conservation Corps (VCC), are excellent examples of that. Each of these programs provides an opportunity to explore natural resources career paths while gaining on-the-job training and professional certifications. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — July 2021

Photo of police boat aat dockThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) recently charged several individuals throughout the state for illegal activities including impaired boating, having a concealed machete, illegally harvesting striped bass during the season closure, and other violations. Read more…


Angler Breaks Newly Set Maryland Swordfish Record

Previous Record Held About Two Weeks

Photo of anglers at a dockside weighing station with record swordfish

Jacob Bertonazzi, second from left, stands with his record swordfish. Photo by Gary Tyler, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

A New Jersey angler is now the second officially recognized state record holder for swordfish, which he caught in a tournament August 6 at Ocean City. 

Jake Bertonazzi broke the state’s nearly two-week-old record for the Atlantic Division with a 318.5-pound swordfish — Xiphias gladius — caught while participating in the White Marlin Open, roughly 60 miles offshore in Poor Man’s Canyon.  Read more…


DNR Graduates Maryland Conservation Corps Class of 2021

Group photo of Maryland Conservation Corps class

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources honored 29 members of the 2020-2021 Maryland Conservation Corps during their graduation program on August 5. The ceremony commemorated the members’ 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 7,915 students, youth, and park visitors. Read more…


Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors Named in Talbot County

‘Deputized’ Organizations Help Promote Maryland Outdoor Recreation

Logo of Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesA century-old yacht club, a historic ferry, a YMCA and senior center, and two outdoor retailers have been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors in Talbot County for their efforts to promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, and Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio named the ambassadors during site visits to their facilities this week. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will continue working to promote the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor recreation. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 4

Photo of man and his daughter each holding a white perch

Evelyn Wike spent a weekend morning fishing for white perch with her dad near Annapolis. The smiles in this selfie say it all. Photo by Christopher J. Wike

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends and few things can be more rewarding than fishing with sons and daughters.

With striped bass fishing resuming this week, anglers should continue to check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

Read more…


Governor Hogan Announces Additional $3.4 Million In Relief Funds For Maryland Fishing Industry

Photo of fishing boat on the bay

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Governor Larry Hogan, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), today announced an additional $3.4 million in economic relief funds for the state’s commercial seafood industry through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.The funding will support activities previously authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are proud to continue helping Maryland’s seafood industry access much-needed assistance during these difficult times,” said Governor Hogan. “Our goal is to ensure that these relief funds provide direct aid for today, but also make Maryland’s economy more resilient by strengthening markets for the future.”
Read more…


From the Field: Shakira Johnson, Administrative Officer, Maryland NRP

Photo of Shakira Johnson in her officeMaryland Department of Natural Resources employees take pride in the work they do—and they are noted for choosing their profession out of a love for protecting, conserving, and restoring our state’s natural treasures for the benefit of fellow Marylanders. Read more…


Chessie the Manatee Still Making Waves

Wandering Marine Mammal Came to Maryland 27 Summers Ago

Photo of people on boat capturing manatee

The ailing Chessie is captured by the FWC Marine Mammal Rescue Team.

Not many visitors to the Chesapeake Bay garner a cult-like following like Chessie. Two books tell his tales, and he has even made a film cameo. His story began nearly two decades ago, back in the summer of 1994, when this nearly 1,100-pound Florida manatee was spotted wandering the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. Read more…


Five Easy Tips to Help Beach Wildlife

AssateagueIf you love Maryland’s Atlantic beaches, you’re not alone—eight million people visit Ocean City every year; that’s more people than the populations of Maryland and Washington, D.C. combined. But when large numbers of people visit the beaches on Assateague Island and Ocean City, it can present challenges for the wildlife that live there year-round. Here are a few easy tips to make your beach vacation as relaxing for wildlife as it is for you. Read more…


Vessel Discharge Regulations Explained

Docked for Sunset by Adrian James Testa

Docked for Sunset by Adrian James Testa

Boats come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is universal on land or sea — “when you gotta go, you gotta go.”

Small boats that only go out for a few hours probably won’t have an installed toilet but larger boats with enclosed areas usually have an installed toilet or “head.”
What does the law say about proper disposal of sewage? Read more…


Ahoy, Maryland! A Guide to Responsible Boating

Splashing Under The Bridge by Theressia Shoup

Splashing Under The Bridge by Theressia Shoup

Anyone who lives in Maryland knows we are a water state. With 623 square miles of inland waterways plus the Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays behind barrier islands to the Atlantic Ocean, and three miles offshore of the ocean itself, it’s no wonder that 160,000-plus boats were registered in Maryland last year. Read more…


Maryland’s Most Wanted: Join the Hunt for the Spotted Lanternfly

Image of poster advising people of the threat of spotted lanternflySince August of 2020, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has conducted 64 different hunting seasons covering a variety of animals, seasons, and locations. But there’s one animal in particular that the DNR is very interested in, which has no hunting restrictions. For this species, you won’t need a spring trap or a rifle. A net to catch it with and a camera works much better. Read more…


Maximize Your Experience, Minimize Your Impact: Leave No Trace in Maryland State Parks

Photo of path with purple flowers

Photo by Avi Bender

If there is one thing that the global pandemic has shown us, it is the value of fresh air and open space. Visitors to Maryland State Parks cashed in on that value in record-breaking numbers in 2020. At the same time many businesses, attractions, and sporting events were restricted or shut down, state parks in Maryland saw a 45% increase in visitation last year, and 2021 is on track to meet or exceed these unprecedented numbers of park visitors. Read more…


Tools of the Trade: John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery

Photo of pine seedlings

Pine seedlings

The Maryland Forest Service produces millions of tree and shrub seedlings each year for reforestation and other plantings across Maryland and Delaware. The first state nursery, near College Park, was founded in 1914 primarily to grow trees for roadside planting. The state nursery later evolved and expanded to grow seedlings for conservation purposes including wildlife habitat, watershed and soil protection, and forest products. Read more…


Outside Perspective

Photo of Jeannie Haddaway-RiccioIn this edition of our magazine, I am proud to share with you excerpts from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Annual Report, highlighting achievements in the year 2020. Every year, we share an annual report of DNR activities from the previous calendar year. It is a great way to keep the public informed of our activities, but it is also a great testament to the dedication of our staff, our partners, and our volunteers. Read more…


Maryland Record Set with 301-Pound Swordfish off Ocean City Coast

Annapolis Resident and Team Mount 8-Hour Fight to Land Record Fish

Photo of five men with a large swordsfish

Peter Schultz, second from left, and his team stand with the new state record swordfish. Photo courtesy Big Fish Classic, used with permission.

An Anne Arundel County angler is now the first officially recognized state record holder for swordfish, which he caught in a tournament July 23 at Ocean City.

Annapolis resident Peter Schultz, 36, is the first record holder for the Atlantic division – Swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Schultz caught the 301-pound swordfish while participating in the Big Fish Classic Tournament, landing the record-breaking catch roughly 50 miles offshore at Washington Canyon. Read more…


Qualification Shoots Scheduled for 2021-22 Managed Deer Hunts

Proficiency Tests Necessary to Participate in Lottery for Hunts

Photo of man target shootingThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources has released the 2021-2022 Shooter Qualification Schedule, which includes 20 qualification sessions at 10 locations across the state. Additional events are available upon reservation. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 28

Photo of angler holding a sea bass on a boat

Angler Garrett Bucy, age 14, caught this pretty sea bass while fishing with his dad off Ocean City.

The striped bass fishery will reopen Sunday, August 1. During the closure, anglers are targeting alternate species such as catfish, perch, spotted sea trout, red drum, bluefish, cobia, and Spanish mackerel. Sea bass have been a reliable target fish for ocean anglers with the warm weather and calm seas.

Throughout the summer, be sure to check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

Read more…


Lingering Impacts from Extreme Weather Events Affect Chesapeake Bay Underwater Grasses in 2020

Annual Report Shows Overall Decline with Improvement in Several Areas 

Photo of submerged aquatic vegetation

Photo by Brooke Landry, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports a third consecutive year of underwater grass loss in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay in 2020. During the annual survey, 34,882 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in Maryland, representing 44% of the state’s 2025 restoration target and 30% of the ultimate restoration goal of 114,065 acres.

Record high rainfall and stream flows into the Chesapeake Bay in 2018 and 2019 led to higher levels of nutrient and sediment pollution, changes in salinity, and poorer water clarity in many of Maryland’s waterways. Habitat conditions remained poor in 2020, and underwater grass abundance declined 13% overall from the previous year.   Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 21

Photo of boy holding channel catfish

Ethan Zlokovitz caught this channel catfish from shore on a menhaden chunk near the mouth of the Magothy River.

With the striped bass fishery currently closed, anglers are targeting alternate species such as catfish, perch, spotted sea trout, red drum, bluefish, cobia, and Spanish mackerel.

Anglers are reminded that the striped bass fishery is closed in the Chesapeake Bay until August 1 to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Throughout the summer be sure to also check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

Read more…


Trio Loses Hunting Privileges for Poaching Antlerless Albino Deer

PatrolThree Garrett County men were convicted of multiple counts of deer poaching and had their hunting privileges suspended following charges filed by the Maryland Natural Resources Police for the illegal killing of an albino deer in fall 2020. Read more…


A Reminder to Marylanders: Keep Wildlife in the Wild

State Reminds Residents to Observe Wildlife from a Safe Distance and to Not Feed or Pet Wild Animals

Photo of three baby raccoons in a tree

Photo by Jessica Nelson, submitted to the 2018 annual Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

Each year during the spring and summer months, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) receive reports of captive wildlife situations in which residents attempt to care for or possess wild animals. These attempts are often made with good intentions but pose serious risks to both the animals and humans involved.

Any wild animal, especially young wildlife, should be left alone in their natural environment. It is safe to observe wildlife from a distance, but do not attempt to feed, pet, or rescue any wild animal. Maryland law prohibits residents from possessing certain wild animals, including deer, raccoons, and foxes. Attempting to “rescue” any young wild animal, even those that appear vulnerable or to have been abandoned, risks interfering with the animals’ natural adaptation to their environment and the development of their basic survival skills. Additionally, attempting to care for wild animals potentially exposes caregivers to diseases that may cause human illness. Read more…


Nesting Platform Initiative Launched for Endangered Birds in Coastal Bays

Conservation Partnership Deploys ‘Island’ for Colonial Nesting Waterbirds

Photo of floating platform with decoy birds

Photo by Dave Brinker, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Audubon Mid-Atlantic, and Maryland Coastal Bays Program are partnering in research and monitoring efforts to preserve three of Maryland’s state endangered colonial nesting waterbirds — the common tern, royal tern, and black skimmer. Read more…


Maryland Partners to Create Delmarva Woodland Stewards Program

Initiative Funded to Promote Wildlife and Fire Protection, Wood Markets

Photo of tree seedlings being grown

Seedlings growing at the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service has awarded funding of $280,852 to the Maryland Forest Service to work with the University of Maryland Extension and many public and private partners across the Delmarva Peninsula to establish a new training and outreach program, the Delmarva Woodland Stewards. 

Funding from the federal Landscape Scale Restoration Grant program will be used by the partnership to demonstrate, educate, and provide outreach that will enhance forest and wildlife management practices, promote the ecological benefits of prescribed fire, pursue tree planting opportunities for water quality, and highlight the need for low grade/biomass markets in forest health, restoration, and sustainability.  Read more…


Grants Gateway Open for FY23 Resilience and Restoration Funds

Department Accepting Grant Applications from Governments, Nonprofits

Photo of heavy equipment and workers restoring a shoreline

Resilient shoreline and wetland features being installed at the West River United Methodist Center recreation complex in Anne Arundel County in May 2021. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the Grants Gateway application is open for local governments and organizations for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins July 1, 2022. Through this process, funding is available for projects that restore local waterways, increase communities’ resilience to climate change 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.

The department’s Grants Gateway provides a streamlined, single point of entry to several state and federal programs, maximizing the resources available to restore the Chesapeake Bay and help coastal communities. The system, now in its third year, enables communities better access to financial resources and a more intuitive reporting and management process. Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — June 2021

Photo of two NRP officers on boat patrolThe Maryland Natural Resources Police recently charged several individuals throughout the state for illegal activities including weapons charges at a state park, operating watercraft while intoxicated, illegal fishing, and more.  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…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 14

Photo of woman holding up a snakehead

Dien Mbaku spent a summer day fishing for northern snakeheads near the Blackwater River in Dorchester County. Photo courtesy of Dien Mbaku

Summer heat is upon us and many are seeking relief near waters across the state, from cool mountain streams of Western Maryland to the surf and offshore sites of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a good opportunity to seek and pursue the wide variety of fish found in our waters.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay begins July 16 and runs through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Throughout the summer be sure to also check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

Read more…


Maryland Waterfowl Blind Site Licensing Process Now Available

Online Lottery, Virtual Appointments To License Blind Sites

Photo of hunter in an offshore waterfowl blind

Photo by Jake McPherson, Ducks Unlimited. Used with Permission.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now offering an online-only process for Maryland hunters to apply for a 2021-2022 waterfowl blind site license. From now through July 26 at 11:59 p.m., hunters may enter the lottery for the opening days of blind site licensing through the department’s Compass portal. 

Hunters can register to be entered into a random lottery for a county of their choice. Landowners who would like to license their own property may also enter the same lottery. Read more…


Maryland 2021 Black Bear Hunt Lottery Now Open

Application Deadline Aug. 31; Drawing Sept. 3

Photo of black bear in woods

Photo by Bob Geary, 2018 entry in the Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the 2021 black bear hunt lottery. Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the five-day hunting season which will take place Oct. 25-29 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. The department will issue 950 hunting permits this year. Read more…


Secretary’s Message — July 2021

Leaving a Positive Impact in our Wake

Photo of sunset over Chesapeake Bay

Photo by Krystle Chick, 2015 submission to the Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Sarah Taylor-Rogers, former Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Maryland Environmental Trust board member, and longtime leader and champion of environmental stewardship in Maryland.

Dr. Taylor-Rogers was the first woman to head our department and her public service and dedication to conservation will long be remembered. We will benefit from her legacy for generations to come. Read more…


Governor Hogan Awards $22 Million for Chesapeake Bay Restoration Projects

Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Supports 123 Unique Sites

Image of Map of Resilience Funding Projects

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the award of $22 million to 25 ecological restoration projects that will improve water quality and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, while building local resilience to climate impacts. These awards encompass 123 unique sites that will be restored using best management practices, including riparian buffer and reforestation plantings, stream restoration, stormwater management, and wetland creation.

“Our administration has committed record investments in bay restoration and remains committed to preserving this national treasure,” said Governor Hogan. “These funds will improve the quality of our bay, and make Maryland a better and more resilient place for generations to come.”  Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – July 7

Photo of man on a boat holding a black sea bass

Photo by Monty Hawkins

July is providing some exciting promise for Chesapeake Bay anglers as reports of cobia, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel entering the lower Bay are becoming more common. Offshore of the Atlantic Coast, fishing for sea bass is excellent right now.

Anglers are reminded of the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass.

Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

Read more…


Monitoring Buoy to Help Research Marine Mammals off Atlantic Coast

Technology Provides Environmental Data for Offshore Wind 

Photo of buoy in the ocean

Photo by Mark Baumgartner, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have launched an ocean buoy that monitors and provides daily reports of whales detected off Maryland’s Atlantic coast. 

A wide range of whales, dolphins, and porpoises call the ocean offshore Maryland home or visit during their annual migration along the Atlantic coast. The buoy supports the state’s ongoing efforts to expand our understanding of marine mammals and to support research that will aid environmental assessments such as those conducted for offshore wind development. This buoy will provide information about these species and the time of year they are present. Read more…


Maryland Conservation Corps Recruiting for 2021-22 Season

Young Adults Can Gain Practical Experience and Skills Training

Group photo of MCC members in a wooded areaThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now recruiting members for the Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults aged 17-25 in extensive conservation, environmental and natural resources management projects across the state.

The department seeks to hire 35 full-time members who will work on seven teams for an 11-month period, beginning in late September 2021. Read more…


Bird Illness Investigation Continues in Several States

Update as of August 17, 2021

Logo of Maryland Department of Natural Resources

In late May, wildlife managers in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and other states began receiving reports of sick and dying birds. Several passerine bird species have been affected.  No human health or domestic animal (pets, livestock and poultry) issues have been documented.  As of mid-August, reports have decreased in many jurisdictions and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is lifting its previous recommendation to cease feeding birds. Read more…


Maryland Awards Climate Resilience Grants to Seven Communities

Funds Support Planning and Design of Green Infrastructure Solutions

Photo of two women in a marshy shoreline checking information on clipboards

Maryland DNR staff monitor restoration projects to track how these efforts are responding to climate change.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the award of $415,000 to seven climate resilience projects to help communities prepare for, and recover from, climate-related impacts. These competitive grants are designed to help communities plan and design solutions to withstand flooding and other weather-related events. 

The projects selected will identify and prioritize vulnerable communities, incorporate climate change data and information into existing plans and policies, and develop nature-based or natural solutions to control flooding. Funding is provided by Governor Hogan’s Resiliency Through Restoration Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read more…


Outdoor Environmental Education Grants Awarded for Watershed Studies

Funding Supports Projects Fostering Science and Stewardship for Students

Photo of school-age boy and girl studying aquatic wildlife outdoorsThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced $160,000 in awards for student and youth outdoor science and watershed education in the state. The following schools and nonprofit organizations will receive funding during Fiscal Year 2022. Read more…


Maryland’s Operation Dry Water Commences for Holiday Weekend

Campaign Highlights Importance of Sobriety on the Waterways

Photo of Natural Resources Police boat in motion on the waterAs part of a nationally coordinated effort to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the Maryland Natural Resources Police will participate in the annual Operation Dry Water campaign. This campaign aims to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities on the water.

Operation Dry Water weekend, July 2-4, includes amplified recreational boater outreach, education, and coordinated enforcement surrounding boating under the influence. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – June 30

Photo of boy holding a yello perch

This young angler proudly displays his catch at Gunpowder Falls State Park. Photo by Ranger Angela Crenshaw.

It’s the Fourth of July weekend, a time of family and friends getting together to enjoy each other’s company and the great outdoors. People naturally gravitate to water this time of the year, and our younger anglers are enjoying fishing for anything that will bite.

The last Maryland license-free fishing day for the year is on July 4, presenting a great opportunity to take someone on their first fishing adventure without needing to purchase a license. 

Anglers are reminded of the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

Read more…


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