Saturday, August 28, 2010

Commercial Limited Crab Catcher (LCC) License Buy-Back Program Ends August 31

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding watermen and license holders that the August 31 deadline to submit a bid for the commercial Limited Crab Catcher (LCC) License Buy-Back Program is fast approaching. This voluntary program is in keeping with DNR’s effort to effectively manage Maryland’s blue crab population. Crabbers may receive $2,260 per license, and DNR’s goal is to permanently buy back 2,000 of the latent and active 3,676 LCC licenses.

DNR implemented the buy-back program in response to public feedback. Support for the program came from $15 million in Federal Crab Disaster Funds obtained through the efforts of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and the Maryland Delegation to help watermen and to foster restoration solutions for the crabbing industry in Maryland.

source: DNR

Magothy Oyster Gardening

The Magothy River Association, in conjunction with the state sponsored "Marylanders Grow Oysters" program, is again recruiting oyster gardeners for the 2010-2011 season.

If you have access to a pier on the Magothy River, and can spare a few minutes every week or so, you can grow oysters.  The MGO program is free to all participants.

For more information, see:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hooray for the Bay Contest

A new contest sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Trust will reward Marylanders for showing their love for the Chesapeake Bay.

The “Hooray for the Bay” contest kicked off on July 15, and is designed to engage and educate Marylanders about the impact buying Bay Plates has on the Chesapeake Bay. The contest features 100 Bay Plate Factoids placed strategically at parks, schools and community centers around the state.

To enter, participants can email a picture of one of the factoids to, along with a short description of why they love the Bay. Additionally, participants can visit and complete the entry form, or they can text “BAYPLATE” to 24587 to enter.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust will award 100 Bay Plate prizes to the first 100 eligible entries received by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The grand prize winner will be chosen by a panel of judges who will select the best “Why I Love the Bay” message. Judging will be based on originality, creativity, relevancy, and amusement factor. Complete contest details can be found at

The contest runs until September 15, 2010, and winners of the contest will be announced in October 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maryland Farmers' Markets

A trip to a local Maryland farmers' market is a great way to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, produce, herbs, flowers, garden plants, seafood, meats, cheeses, poultry, eggs, breads, jellies, jams, arts and crafts and more.

Maryland farmers grow top quality turnip greens, cabbage, strawberries, asparagus, blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, peppers, string beans, lima beans, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, squash, pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables.

Visiting a farmers' market is also a great way to find garden plants for the upcoming season. Independent growers usually offer high quality plants including tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, and other vegetables.

Herbs for planting include chives, parsley, cilantro, sage, thyme, oregano and more. Farmers' market vendors also sell house plants, annual and perennial flowers, shrubs and vines to beautify homes and yards.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, Maryland farmer's markets sometimes offer meat, seafood, dairy products and other items. Depending on the location, you may find grass fed beef, local pork, live chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, lamb, fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fish, Chesapeake Bay oysters, blue crabs, quahog clams, shrimp and more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Maryland Fall Surf Fishing - Spot, Croaker and Kingfish

As Summer nears its end, Maryland beaches begin to thin and surf fishermen begin their fall fishing season. Spot, croaker and kingfish are among the most common fish in Maryland's surf during the early fall.

Each of these fish are known to school up and feed heavily before moving farther into the ocean for the winter. Surf fishermen in Maryland sometimes experience excellent fall fishing for these 3 species.

As the runs of fish peak, a larger class of spot arrive, known for their bronze or yellow coloring. Spot, croaker and kingfish catches usually remain consistent until hurricanes or Noreasters pass thru. During the fall runs, spot, croaker and kingfish are joined by flounder, bluefish, sea trout, rockfish and others.

Fishing for these species is easy; fishermen need only a basic surf rod and reel in good condition. Tackle is basic, consisting of top and bottom float rigs and baits such as bloodworms, squid strips, pieces of shrimp, one of the processed bait products that do not need to be kept cold.

Anglers fish where ever beach access is available. Much of the fishing occurs on Assateague Island, where beach access is available to the public. For surf fishermen, the fall runs are one of the highlights of Maryland saltwater fishing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things To Do in Maryland - Cypress Swamp Kayaking

One popular outdoor activity in Maryland is to explore some of the state's unique ecosystems. In the swamps of Maryland, bald cypress trees provide vital structure, holding soil and providing shelter for hundreds of plants and animals.

Although difficult to visit by land, bald cypress swamps usually have water access by kayak, canoe or small boat. Cypress swamps are favorite destinations of nature lovers, birdwatchers, photographers and anglers.

One of the many unusual sights in these swamps are cypress knees. These odd looking formations are part of the bald cypress root system, helping to anchor trees in the mud.

Pristine cypress swamps occur in Maryland along tidal and non-tidal stretches of rivers including the Nanticoke, Wicomico and Pocomoke. These rivers and their tributary creeks are recognizable by their dark color, a result of the tannic acid produced by cypress trees.

Local guides and outfitters offer a wide range or tours, boat rentals and other services. To enjoy some of Maryland's best largemouth bass fishing, Captain Bruce Wootten offers Pocomoke River largemouth bass fishing and a host of other cypress swamp boat trips..