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Natural Resources News

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…


Marylanders Kick Off 2022 with First Day Hikes

New Year’s Weekend Hikers Brave Rainy Conditions

Photo of hikers on a road, heading into the woods

Hikers at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area  head into the woods on Jan. 1, 2022. Maryland DNR photo.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates that about 3,000 visitors took part in First Day Hikes in Maryland State Parks during the three-day period from December 31, 2021 through January 2, 2022. 

More than 350 people self-reported that they hiked 1,223 miles in our state parks during the three-day weekend, in addition to 487 people that took part in ranger-led hikes, and 2,135 hikers who enjoyed self-guided options. 

Rainy conditions may have dampened some attendance this year, but generally warmer temperatures through most of Maryland still provided plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun on the state’s public lands. Read more…


Maryland Deer Firearms Season Reopens January 7

Final Weekend of State’s Most Popular Hunt

Photo of deer in snowy woods

Photo by Lori Bramble

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the January firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 7, 2022, in Deer Management Region B, which includes all of the state except the westernmost counties. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

The season is open Jan. 7-8 in all of Region B. The season is also open through Sunday, Jan. 9 on private and designated public lands in Cecil and St. Mary’s counties, and on private lands only in Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Washington (Zone 1), and Worcester counties. Shooting hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Montgomery counties. Read more…


First Day Hikes on Maryland Public Lands to Welcome 2022

Ranger-led and Self-guided Hikes Available Across Maryland

Photo of people hiking in wooded area

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio take a First Day Hike at Patapsco Valley State Park on Jan. 1, 2021. Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites everyone to take a First Day Hike, Maryland’s annual tradition for a fun, healthy way to welcome the New Year. 

The Maryland Park Service will once again make First Day Hikes a weekend-long event, with ranger-led and self-guided opportunities across the state from Dec. 31, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022.  Read more…


Maryland Hunters Take 26,569 Deer in Two-Week Firearms Season

Harvest 16% Lower, Population Remains Healthy

Photo of alert deer in the woods

Photo by Olivia Wiley

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters harvested 26,569 deer during the two-week firearms season from Nov. 27 through Dec. 11. The harvest was 16% lower than last year’s official count of 31,649. Read more…


Muzzleloader Deer Season Open Through Jan. 1, 2022

Second Half of Split Season Now Open

Photo of deer leaping

Photo by Brendan Wolf

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters the muzzleloader deer hunting season reopened Dec. 18 and will run through Jan. 1, 2022. This is the second half of Maryland’s split deer muzzleloader season; the first half was held in October. Hunters may use muzzleloading firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this time. Read more…


Winning Artwork Chosen for 2022-2023 Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design

Depiction of Snow Geese Wins Annual Contest

Illustration of snow geese above a cornfield

Towson resident Jim Taylor’s illustration will adorn the 2022-23 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp.

Towson resident Jim Taylor won this year’s 48th annual Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest held by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Judges chose Taylor’s depiction of snow geese flying over a cornfield to be featured on the stamps hunters purchase to hunt all migratory game birds in the state. Read more…


Maryland Announces Winter and Spring Trout Stocking for 2022

Preseason Stocking Begins; Traditional Trout Opener is March 26

Photo of man stocking a creek with trout

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced plans to stock 300,000 trout in Maryland waters. Preseason trout stocking begins this week. 

The annual stocking will be completed in three bursts, preseason from now through February and spring stocking March 14 –25 and April 18 – 29. Updates will be provided for all open locations once stocking is complete.  Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — November 2021

Photo of Natural Resources Police truckThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged numerous individuals in November for conservation law violations including striped bass poaching and illegal deer hunting.  Read more…


Secretary’s Message — December 2021

Honoring our Past, Preserving our Future

Employee Appreciation celebration at Harriet Tubman State Park. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

December is a great time to reflect on the year’s accomplishments, so I decided to dedicate this month’s message to our amazing partners, volunteers, and staff who make our accomplishments possible. 

Earlier this year, I was pleased to host Employee Appreciation celebrations at various state park locations throughout the state. This offered us an opportunity to formally honor our team of dedicated staff and celebrate milestone anniversaries in their years of service to the State of Maryland and DNR. 

These invaluable employees have provided 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years of service. Their depth of knowledge and dedication helps us excel at our mission and makes our state a better place. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – December 8

Photo of man fishing from a boat in the bay at sunset

As the sun sets on the 2021 striped bass season, this photo sums up the message, “just one more fish, please.” Photo by Travis Long.

This will be our final Maryland Fishing Report for 2021 — look for our midwinter report in January. In the meantime, there are a number of fun adventures anglers and their families can enjoy together the next couple months. All of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wish you peace and happiness over the holidays and in the New Year. 

The 2021 Maryland striped bass season comes to a close on Friday, December 10. Anglers in southern Maryland will be able to fish for striped bass in the lower Potomac River until December 31. 

Read more…


Atlantic Population Canada Goose Season Begins Dec. 17

Split Season Ends Jan.1, Resumes Jan. 13

Photo of numerous Canada geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that Maryland’s Atlantic Population Canada goose hunting season opens Friday, Dec. 17. The season contains two segments, Dec. 17 through Jan. 1, 2022,  and again from Jan. 13 through Jan. 31, 2022.  Read more…


Water Temperatures Pose Danger to Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals

Marylanders Asked to Report ‘Cold-Stunning’ of Sea Creatures

Photo of officer in a boat releasing sea turtle back into the water

Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Aquarium staff returned three sea turtles to the Atlantic Ocean in September 2020, after months of rehabilitating the animals from near-fatal cold-stunning. Maryland DNR photo.

As soon as water temperatures dip in the fall, sea turtles and some marine mammals that frequent the Chesapeake Bay are susceptible to cold-stunning or hypothermia.  

The immediate impacts can cause some species to become slow and unresponsive, making them dangerous to themselves and boaters.  Read more…


Maryland Announces Opening Weekend Deer Firearm Season Results

Hunters Find Success Despite Windy Conditions

Photo of buck in the woods

Photo by Duane Tucker

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported 10,419 deer taken on the opening weekend of the 2021 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 27-28. The overall harvest was 6% lower than last year’s official opening weekend harvest of 11,123 deer, as windy conditions prevailed. 

The harvest total included 4,780 antlered and 5,289 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 168 antlered and 182 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 11. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – December 1

Photo of man holding a large chain pickerel at the water's edge

Gary Budny holds up a beautiful chain pickerel he caught and released at Loch Raven Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Gary Budny

Everywhere in Maryland, colder weather is setting in as we enter December. Some species of fish will begin to hunker down for the winter months while others relish the colder water temperatures. Fishing for blue catfish, trout, and chain pickerel often excels during the winter months, and saltwater fishing for sea bass and tautog provide plenty of action along the coasts.

Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves $26 Million in Rural Legacy Program Grants

Funding Will Protect 6,000 Acres Statewide

Photo of rural areaThe Board of Public Works today unanimously approved more than $26.2 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements in 17 counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect about 6,000 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state. 

Additionally, the board approved designation of a new Rural Legacy Area in Charles County, the 64,000-acre Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Forest Rural Legacy Area. Designation will provide the opportunity to protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and historic properties within the Nanjemoy and Mattawoman watersheds.  Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves Community Parks and Playgrounds Funding

Program Provides $5 Million for Outdoor Recreation Statewide in Fiscal 2022

Photo of playground in wooded areaThe Board of Public Works today approved the last of 31 Community Parks and Playground projects for this fiscal year, totaling $5 million in grants for new and upgraded outdoor facilities in communities across Maryland.

Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget included funding for these projects, through which the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides flexible grants to municipalities to rehabilitate, expand, or improve existing parks, create new parks, or purchase and install playground equipment. 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…


Maryland Fifth Graders Invited to Submit Arbor Day Posters for 2022

Annual Contest Taking Submissions until January 21, 2022

Image of poster with tree highlighting forest products

Luke Etter of Carroll County won first place honors in the 2021 Arbor Day Poster Contest, with a prize of 15 trees to his school for planting.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest.

The theme for 2022 is: “Trees Are Terrific…and Maryland Forests Are Too!” Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 24

Photo of man with two kids in a yard, holding ducks and a fish that they harvested

There are many outdoor opportunities to be thankful for in Maryland. Bryant Smith and his children show off a mixed bag of wood ducks and a large northern snakehead.

Marylanders are beginning to hear Old Man Winter knocking on the door this week, with repeated temperatures below 30 degrees in some areas. Water temperatures are declining in all areas, changing the fishing conditions. Dress appropriately and enjoy the exciting fishing opportunities. All of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wish everyone a happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.

Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 24, 2021

Map of Maryland showing past peak foliage in most of the state

The meteorological fall season comes to a close on December 1, and we are beginning to experience consistently cooler temperatures and brisk winds across Maryland. Fall foliage enthusiasts who bundle up and head east will be rewarded with leaves of crimson, amber, and gold adorning the Eastern Shore’s beautiful waterfront landscapes. A few pops of color remain in the central part of our state, and our citizen reporters spotted gorgeous burgundy-red leaves in Frederick and mellower tones of yellow and orange at Seneca Creek State Park. We’d like to thank all of the Marylanders that submitted photos capturing the fall season this year. We were thrilled with the response, and your photos helped us with our foliage forecasting. 

Read more…


Maryland Offers ‘Gift of Trees’ for Holiday Shopping List

Native Tree Planting with Certificate Available for Purchase

Photo of tree nursseryThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers holiday shoppers the opportunity to buy one gift for a loved one, for future generations, and for the environment.. The Gift of Trees is a program where Marylanders purchase native trees — either a single tree or a grove of 10 trees — for planting in honor of a celebration, commemoration, or observation.

A Gift of Trees certificate suitable for framing will be issued and mailed out within a week or two of an order. All trees will be planted in the next growing season – either spring or fall – to promote optimal growth and survival. Orders must be placed by Dec. 17 to ensure certificate delivery in time for Christmas. Holiday discounts are available for early shoppers.

Read more…


Maryland’s Deer Firearms Hunting Season Set to Open Nov. 27

Another Chance for Hunters to Put Venison in Their Freezers 

Photo of deer in the woods during late fall

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the two-week firearms hunting season for sika and white-tailed deer opens Saturday, Nov. 27 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 11.  Read more…


Fall Foliage Report – November 18, 2021

Map of Maryland showing peak foliage on the Eastern Shore

GO EAST! Western portions of the state have passed peak conditions and even had a little snow. Although there are still patches of fall scenery in the central part of the state, the fall color has shifted east of I-95 in Maryland. Based on our reports, the last of fall’s glory can be seen in bright reds, oranges, and yellows; even driving around the neighborhood can provide some beautiful views. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore there are also plenty of conifers, and the pops of green mixed in with traditional fall colors make for great scenic landscapes in vast open spaces. 

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – November 17

Photo of man on a boat holding two black sea bass

Photo by Monty Hawkins

As we move through November there are plenty of excellent fishing opportunities to be had. The western mountain streams and rivers hold trout, smallmouth bass, and muskellunge. The small lakes and ponds that dot Maryland are providing a variety of fish that are feeding aggressively. The striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay are also feeling the urge to build up body stores. In the waters of the Atlantic, fishing for black sea bass does not get any better, with limit catches the norm.

Read more…


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