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Natural Resources News

Volunteer Angler Surveys Inform Maryland Fish Management

Help Track Species Including Invasive Snakeheads

Maryland anglers are encouraged to submit their catch information to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources volunteer angler surveys. These mobile-friendly volunteer surveys can easily help turn a fishing trip into a scientific expedition by submitting basic data directly from a smartphone.

The department has several volunteer angler surveys for various species and programs, including artificial reef initiative, freshwater fisheries and striped bass. New this year, anglers can submit a catch of the invasive northern snakehead Read more…

Spring Hunters Harvest a Record 4,303 Wild Turkeys

Record-high Harvests Reported in Nine Counties

Photo of male wild turkeys in a field

Photo by Stephen Badger

Maryland hunters reported harvesting 4,303 wild turkeys during the 2020 regular spring and junior hunt turkey seasons, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced. This year’s harvest surpassed the previous high of 4,175, set in 2017, and was 8% higher than the 2019 harvest of 4,002 turkeys. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – June 3, 2020

Photo of a boy holding a crappie

Eight-year-old James Ricasa proudly holds up a crappie he caught while fishing with his family. Photo by Czarlite S. Ricasa

The weather forecast for the next week predicts summer temperatures and offers a wonderful time to bring our younger anglers outdoors for some family fishing fun.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers license-free fishing days on June 6, June 13, and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

Finally, a reminder that the Department is encouraging all anglers to target and harvest invasive fish species such as northern snakeheads, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are supporting an invasive fish tournament from now through Dec. 5 in partnership with the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland.

Read more…

Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons Submitted for Final Approval

Department’s 2020-2021 Proposal Includes Hunting Days for Veterans

Photo of geese in river, near hunting blind

Photo by Larry Hindman

After receiving and reviewing public input, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has selected the state’s 2020-2021 migratory game bird hunting seasons. These selections are now awaiting final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Read more…

Free Fishing Days Scheduled in June and July

Annual Opportunity to Discover Fishing in Maryland

Photo of man fishing along riverside

Photo by Stephen Badger

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers license-free fishing days on June 6, June 13, and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – May 27

Photo of young man holding a largemouth bass

Christian Gruber managed to spend some time fishing for largemouth bass in a local pond — and came up big with this 23-inch largemouth bass that he released after a quick picture. Photo courtesy of Kirk Groves

Maryland is beginning to settle into something resembling summer, and anglers are out safely enjoying the outdoors.

As we continue doing our part to keep transmission of COVID-19 to a minimum, please remember to check our website to find the latest guidance on a variety of outdoor activities.

Read more…

Maryland State Law Enforcement Agencies Partner with American Red Cross in Blood Drive Efforts

Maryland NRP logoThe Maryland Natural Resources Police are joining with other state law enforcement agencies to assist the American Red Cross in encouraging the public to donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic. The push to donate blood is an effort by state law enforcement employees in Maryland who want to honor the memories of those Marylanders who lost their lives to COVID-19 and honor the service of all those who help fight it. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – May 20

Photo of boy with a golden trout in his net.

Braden Walsh is all smiles with the first golden trout that he caught last weekend. Photo by Gary Soukup

It may be hard to believe, but Memorial Day weekend approaches. Folks are seeking rejuvenation in the outdoors, which is encouraged as long as we’re being safe and considerate in regard to social distancing.

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to help the public navigate through these trying times, and our website will continue offering guidance on a variety of outdoor activities.

Read more…

Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Population Shows Healthy Spawning Stock

Annual Winter Dredge Survey Finds Normal Fluctuation

Photo of blue crabs in a basketThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the results of the 2020 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, a cooperative effort with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, which estimates the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay annually. 

The 2020 results showed that the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population maintains a healthy number of spawning-age female crabs. Maryland, Virginia, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission strive to conserve more than 70 million adult female crabs annually to ensure enough young crabs can be produced to sustain the population, which has now been achieved for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s survey estimates 141 million adult female crabs were conserved, which is above the long-term average of 126 million. 

Additionally, the results showed there were 79 million adult male crabs, just above the long-term average of 77 million and similar to the estimate from 2019. The total abundance of blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay in 2020 was 405 million crabs, a near-average abundance for the 30 years of survey results. 

The number of juvenile crabs declined in 2020 to 185 million, from last year’s total of 323 million. Juvenile abundance is largely driven by environmental factors, such as currents, temperature, and winds, therefore year-to-year variability is expected.  Read more…

Maryland Offshore Blind and Shoreline Licensing Open

Applications Must Be Submitted and Postmarked by May 31

Photo of offshore waterfowl hunting blind

Photo by Lori R. Bramble

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

Riparian property owners, or anyone granted permission by the owner, may license their shoreline allowing them to establish offshore stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl, and/or prevent others from hunting the shoreline at a later date. Read more…

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