Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things To Do in Maryland in Winter: 27th Annual Fishing Expo and Boat Show

The 27th Annual Fishing Expo & Boat Show begins Maryland's outdoor show season with a huge display of freshwater, saltwater and offshore fishing tackle, boats, motors, trailers, marine accessories and many other fishing businesses and organizations.

With nearly 100,000 square feet of fishing equipment, the emphasis this year will be on tackle that is made for local fishing. In addition to tackle from all the major tackle manufacturers, exotic, foreign, custom and hard to find tackle from more than 50 manufacturers (most tailored specifically for this region) will be available.

The boat section will include more than 70,000 square feet of fishing boats, including saltwater and freshwater fishing boats.

A series of seminars will be presented by a lineup of 24 nationally known fishermen, local and regional fishing guides, experts and guest speakers.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Fishing Expo & Boat Show is a good way to get out and see what is new in Maryland saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maryland 2010 Deer Season

Maryland deer hunters endured less than favorable weather conditions for the two-week deer firearm season and harvested an estimated 40,694 deer. The total included 13,605 antlered deer and 27,089 antlerless deer. Included in the totals were 516 antlered and 565 antlerless sika deer.Overall, the harvest was down 9 percent decrease from last year’s harvest.

Region A deer hunters (Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties) reported 4,422 deer for the two-week season, a decline of 8 percent from last year’s harvest of 4,809 deer. The antlered harvest decreased an estimated 4 percent from 2,620 deer last year to 2,528 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest decreased 14 percent from 2,189 deer to 1,894 deer.

Maryland’s two-week late muzzleloader season opens Saturday, December 18 and closes on January 1, 2011.

source: MD DNR

Maryland Law Defines Local Produce and Seafood

Proposed rules regulating the advertising of "local" foods have been published in the Maryland Register and are available for public comment. The regulations were drafted by MDA as part of a new Maryland law which seeks to bring clarity to consumers as to what constitutes local.

The law authorizes the Secretary to regulate the use of the terms "local" or "locally grown" when used to advertise agricultural and seafood products.  It aims to support Maryland farmers and provide transparency to consumers interested in purchasing local foods by informing Marylanders about their local foods purchases.

In recent years, interest in locally produced foods has surged, leading to the rapid growth of farmer's markets, and the appearance of Maryland products in restaurants and grocery stores.  However, there has been little agreement as to the definition of "local" foods.  A task force of farmers, retail representatives, consumer advocates, and other interested stakeholders provided input for the proposal.

The 2010 Policy Choices Survey by the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that 78 percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

DNR Invites Waterfowl Artists To Enter 37th Maryland Game Bird Stamp Design Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging  Maryland waterfowl artists to enter the 37th Annual Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest.

All entered designs must be the artist's original work, neither copied nor duplicated from any previously published paintings, drawings, prints, or photographs of the contestant, or any other artist. Each contestant may submit up to three entries.

The entry fee, signed Agreement to Enter Form, and entries with completed Entry Identification Forms attached to the back, must be received via mail by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 21, 2011 at The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest, Friends of Patuxent, Patuxent Research Refuge/National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop,
Laurel, MD 20708-4027.

Entries will be judged at noon on Saturday, March 26, 2011 in conjunction with the 22nd Annual Patuxent Wildlife Art Show at the National Wildlife Visitors Center in Laurel, Md. Contestants and the public are invited to attend the contest judging process. Admission is free.

For a list of species eligible for depiction and full contest rules and forms visit:

Artists can also contact Patricia Allen, Contest Coordinator, at or call 410-260-8537.

source: MD DNR

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maryland Releases Seafood Holiday Brochure

The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Seafood & Aquaculture Program is offering a brochure filled holiday meal planning ideas. The brochure features several seafood recipes from the state, including crab ball, fried oysters, traditional Maryland oyster stew and smoked bluefish spread.

The Maryland Seafood Holiday Brochure is available on line at, by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Maryland Seafood Holiday, 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401, or by calling toll free in Maryland at 888-841-5828. Outside of Maryland call 410-841-5972.

The following recipe is from the Maryland Seafood Holiday Brochure:

Smoked Bluefish Spread

1   pound smoked Bluefish
1   tablespoon horseradish
1   tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
2   tablespoons mayonnaise
1   tablespoons dried parsley flakes

Skin the bluefish, remove any bones, and place the meat in a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Place in serving bowl or mold and garnish.  Serve chilled.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aquaculture Financing Loan Program Re-Opens

The Maryland shellfish aquaculture financing program will be accepting a second round of applications between January 2 and January 31, 2011. The program received 16 applications totaling more than $1.3 million during the first round, which closed on November 30.

There is a total of $2.2 million currently available for the program, which is a cooperative effort among the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the University of the Maryland Sea Grant Extension (UME) and the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).

The new shellfish aquaculture loan program is a subsidized program with principal payments returning to a revolving fund to support additional shellfish aquaculture funding needs in the future. The loan program offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers meeting certain performance conditions. MARBIDCO is pricing the loans at a fixed annual interest rate not to exceed 4.5 percent. A Shellfish Aquaculture Financing Committee, including representatives from DNR, MDA, UME, a Maryland farm credit association, and MARBIDCO, has been established to evaluate applications and proposed business plans.

To begin the application process, interested parties may contact Karl Roscher of the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Office (MDA) at 410-841-5724. An application and aquaculture business planning template are available at

source: MD DNR press release