Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Maryland Deer Season

Maryland's firearm deer season opens Saturday, November 30 and runs through December 14, 2013. During the two week season, hunters who possess a valid hunting license or are exempt from the Maryland hunting license requirements may use firearms to hunt white-tailed and sika deer.

Maryland deer hunting regulations can be found on the DNR website. The 2013-14 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping also contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.

Deer hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. The deer are processed at participating butchers and processors free of charge and the venison is then given to local food banks.

For more information, contact the Wildlife & Heritage Service at 410-260-8540.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Friday, October 18, 2013

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival 2013

The 33rd Annual Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival will be held on weekends throughout October in Montgomery County, near Germantown, Maryland.

In addition to pumpkins, Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival includes hayrides, pony rides, hayloft jumping, food, crafts, animals, entertainment, pedal tractors, the Twisted Pumpkin Corn Maze, Spider Web, and more.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Bear Activity

Experts warn that during the fall season bears may be attracted to trash, pet food, birdfeeders, and other human-provided food sources, which can lead to dangerous encounters.

As temperatures begin falling, black bear activity usually increases as the animals prepare for hibernation.

According to Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Keeping trash and pet food in a place where bears can’t get to it is the best way to avoid problems with bears.

Citizens should also delay feeding songbirds until the winter months to avoid attracting these animals.

Since bears may travel many miles in search of food, motorists traveling in Maryland’s western counties are reminded to watch for them crossing roads, especially during October and November.

Maryland’s bears will begin entering dens in mid-November and most are denned by mid-December.

To learn more about Maryland black bears, citizens can contact DNR staff 301-777-2136 (Western Region), or 410-260-8540 (statewide).

source: MD DNR

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013-2014 Maryland Sika Deer Archery Season

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced that the State's sika deer archery season runs from September 6 through January 31 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Maryland sika deer bow hunters are allowed to harvest two deer, one of which may be antlered.

Maryland Geological Survey Groundwater Report

The Maryland Geological Survey has produced a report describing the major aquifers of Maryland’s entire Coastal Plain region, which will help to protect groundwater resources for nearly all of the State’s coastal residents. The report provides information critical to making wise water-management decisions.

Maryland Geological Survey members David C. Andreasen, Andrew W. Staley, and Grufron Achmad developed the Maryland Coastal Plain Aquifer Information System: Hydrogeologic Framework, which presents descriptions of 16 major aquifers and 14 confining units.

The report also contains maps and cross sections, data on aquifer depths and hydraulic properties, and supporting documentation. This information forms the foundation for the geographic information system-based Maryland Coastal Plain Aquifer Information System.

Aquifers are bodies of permeable rock that contain or transmit groundwater. Within an aquifer, water moves through the spaces between individual sand or gravel particles, rather than in underground rivers or veins. Groundwater is the sole source of fresh drinking water for approximately two million coastal residents - located east of I-95, including the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland. A sustainable supply of clean drinking water is crucial to the health and wellbeing of citizens, and the economic livelihood of the State as a whole.

Issued by the Maryland Geological Survey, part of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, this report was prepared as part of a long-term water resource assessment of the Maryland Coastal Plain, which is being done in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The assessment was initiated in response to recommendations of the 2004 Maryland Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State’s Water Resources.

Aside from being a critical drinking water source, groundwater is important for agricultural, commercial and industrial uses. Because groundwater supplies water to streams and rivers, it is also vitally important for sustaining healthy populations of fish and other aquatic organisms.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Maryland Hard Clams

The hard clam, also known as quahog, is one of Maryland's hidden treasures. This delicious clam is served raw on the half shell, steamed, or as the main ingredient in clam chowder, clam fritters, and other dishes.

Where to Buy Clams in Maryland

Small farm raised hard clams known as "littlenecks" are the most common type of clam found in Maryland. Littlenecks are available in supermarkets, seafood markets, and farmer's markets. Most farm raised clams sold in Maryland originate from the waters of nearby Virginia. 

Although harder to find, some Maryland vendors offer wild caught hard clams. Wild caught clams are usually available in larger sizes which are suitable for making chowder, fritters, or other clam dishes.

The best places to find wild caught hard clams are small coastal fish and seafood markets. These establishments usually buy fish and shellfish direct from independent fishermen. Because of the nature of clamming, wild caught clams may be available only during certain periods. In Maryland, fresh local hard clams are usually sold by the dozen or in large bags that contain approximately 100 chowder clams.

How to Catch Clams

Another option for lovers of Maryland seafood is to catch their own clams. Public access for clamming can be found in several areas along the coast. Clams are most abundant in the shallow coastal bays that lie behind Ocean City and Assateague Island.

Although catching clams can be easy once located, considerable experience is often needed to predict tides, weather, and locate an areas that is suitable for clamming.

In recent years, a number of local fishing guides have begun offering clamming trips. Clamming can be great fun and offers a wholesome family activity at a reasonable cost. 

How to Open Hard Clams

Unlike the smaller sizes, which are usually steamed in the shell, the larger "chowder" clams are usually removed from the shell before cooking. Learning to open clams can be intimidating for the beginner but, after a little practice, the process becomes very easy.

Prior to opening clams (called "shucking"), they should be washed thoroughly in cold water to remove any sand, mud, or other debris. Any clams that do not close tightly or have broken shells should be culled.

Once hard clams are cleaned and inspected, it is advisable to chill them in a freezer for 20-40 minutes. This will cause the clams to relax just enough to shuck. A little experimentation will guide the preparer in terms of exactly how long to chill a given amount of clams. When chilled for the correct time, clams should contain little or no ice.

To open hard clams, lay them on a firm surface with the hinge down and the shell gap facing up. Using a clam knife, align the blade with the shells and push down. If the clam resists, a hammer can be used to gently tap on the backside of the knife.

Once the clam knife penetrates between the shells, it should be worked back and forth in such a way as to cut the two adductor muscles that hold the shell together.

After the adductor muscles are cut, the shells can be opened up. Finally, the clam knife is used to cut the clam away from the shell. It is a good idea to open hard clams over a suitable bowl so as to recover as much clam juice as possible.

After the clams have been removed from the shells, they can be washed in their own juice and transferred to a second container. After a few moments, the clam juice can be poured off, being careful to discard the last few ounces which are likely to contain grit.

How To Prepare and Cook Clams

Shucked clams are used in a variety of recipes. One of the most popular dishes is clam chowder. Chowder recipes are usually classified as red or white (tomato or cream based). Most clam chowder recipes contain one or more of the following vegetables; potatoes, onion, corn, lima beans, tomatoes.

Another popular method for preparing hard clams is to make clam fritters. Fritters are easy to prepare, require few ingredients, and are delicious. Most clam fritter recipes include chopped clams, egg, mustard, flour, and a touch of baking powder. In general, the amounts of each component are not set in stone.

Once the batter is mixed, a skillet is heated and stocked with vegetable oil. Cast iron pans work best and most cooks allow the oil to become very hot before adding the clam fritter mixture. Traditional Maryland clam fritters are cooked until brown and flipped once. They are usually served hot on bread or rolls with a dab of mustard.

How to Steam Hard Clams

Small hard clams, called "littlenecks" and "topnecks" are typically steamed in the shell. Before steaming, they should be washed thoroughly in cold water to remove any sand, mud, or other debris. Any clams that do not close tightly or have broken shells should be culled.

Hard clams cook quickly in a steamer and open when done. Steaming times vary among cooks. Overcooking can result in lower palatability as clams tend to become tougher as steaming times increase.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2013-2014 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Seasons

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced the the state's 2013-2014 early migratory game bird hunting seasons. Dove season marks the traditional start of hunting activity each year in Maryland.

Dove, split season

First Season: September 2 – October 5

Second Season: November 6 – 29

Third Season: December 21 – January 1

Woodcock, split season

First Season: October 31- November 29

Second Season: January 11 – 25

Early resident Canada goose season

Eastern zone: September 2 – 14

Western zone: September 2 – 25

Teal, September season

September 16 – 30

Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or online at

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Maryland Waterfowl Regulations Meeting

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed late season waterfowl hunting regulations at 7 p.m. on August 19 at Chesapeake College.

The proposed seasons and bag limits will be announced in early August after DNR receives the framework from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

source: MD DNR

Monday, July 15, 2013

What Fish Are Biting In Maryland?

The first half of the 2013 Maryland saltwater fishing season has been challenging for most anglers. As always, the weather has been a limiting factor. Another factor is the lack of blue crabs in many areas. The good news is that a variety of fish species have showed up in good numbers, giving anglers a range of options.

In the upper Chesapeake Bay, catches include striped bass and white perch, with good catches being reported in Eastern Bay and other traditional fishing spots.

Several species of fish are present on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Striped bass (rockfish), white perch, speckled trout, croakers, and spot have been caught in Tangier Sound and near the mouths of the Nanticoke, Wicomico, Manokin, Big Annemessex, and Pocomoke Rivers. Much of the action has been in shallow water around grass beds, points, and stumps.

Anglers have also had sporadic success catching croakers, spot and kingfish along the channel edges in Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. Some anglers have also reported small gray trout in the same areas.

One of the lesser known runs of fish has been the influx of legal sized red drum (redfish) and speckled trout along the coastal bays of the Eastern Shore. These fish first appeared around Virginia seaside inlets during spring flounder runs. By mid-June, both species had made their way north into Maryland's coastal bays. At Ocean City, anglers are catching legal sized red drum, striped bass, sea trout, and flounder near jetties, bridges, and channel edges.

As with other fisheries, offshore fishermen have been hampered by windy weather during the first half of 2013. Notable catches have included thresher and mako sharks, school-sized tuna, and a few large bigeyes. With major tournaments coming in August, more and more Maryland offshore fishing boats will be targeting white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dophin fish, wahoo, and other deep water species.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July is Lakes Appreciation Month

July is Lakes Appreciation Month in Maryland. Marylanders are encouraged to visit and enjoy their favorite lake, pond or reservoir during Lakes Appreciation Month and discover ways to help protect and enhance these vital resources.

Maryland contains 60 man-made lakes of five acres or more, all of which are open to the public. Maryland lakes provide a number of recreational activities, ranging from fishing and swimming to boating and water sports

Maryland's largest impoundment is Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. Deep Creek lake features 18 species of fish, camp sites, boat rentals, and other resources. Another large lake, Liberty Reservoir, contains landlocked striped bass up to 40-pounds.

Lakes Appreciation Month is a nationwide initiative by the North American Lake Management Society. The non-profit organization promotes partnerships between citizens, scientists, and professionals in order to protect lakes and reservoirs in North America.

source: MD DNR

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ocean City Receives 5 Star Beach Rating

In 2012, Ocean City Beach 6 was one of thirteen American beaches that received a 5-star swimming water quality rating from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

NRDC issued star ratings to 200 popular beaches around the country. The star system awards up to five stars to each popular beach for exceptionally low violation rates and strong testing and safety practices.

Criteria include testing more than once a week, notifying the public as soon as tests reveal bacterial levels violating health standards, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach.

Ocean City Beach 6 Superstar Beach Rating (5 out of 5 stars)

 * Less than 5% of water samples exceeded national standards in 2010, 2011, and 2012

 * Less than 5% of water samples exceeded national standards in 2012

 * Local officials post advisories without re-sampling

 * Closings/advisories posted online and at beach

 * Water quality monitored more than once a week

source: Natural Resources Defense Council

Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Maryland Spring Turkey Season

Maryland hunters reported harvesting a total of 3,344 wild turkeys during the 2013 spring turkey season. The 2013 turkey harvest exceeds the previous record harvest of 3,136 set in 2005.

This year’s harvest was 7 percent above the 2012 harvest of 3,132, and well above the 10-year average of 2,925. High turkey populations coupled with good weather likely contributed to the record-setting harvest, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Also, Harford, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Frederick counties have experienced considerable increases in wild turkey populations.

The top five counties for turkey harvests were Garrett County (386), Washington (309), Charles (270), Allegany (269), and Dorchester (245).

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Friday, May 24, 2013

Annapolis Farmers Market

The Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market, located just outside of downtown Annapolis will open June 6, 2013. The market will run from 3 to 6 p.m. every Thursday through September 5.

The Farmers’ Market is located in the parking lot of the Tawes State Office Building at 580 Taylor Avenue in Annapolis.

It features fresh produce including tomatoes, corn, melons, berries and peaches, as well as homemade jerky, candy, baked goods, and more. New this year, the market will offer local wines from Great Frogs Winery, fresh fruit-and-herb ice-pops from SOCO Artisan Pops, and meat from Enticement Farms.

The Anne Arundel County Farmers' Market is hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

For more information about Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Markets, contact Lisa Barge at the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation at 410-222-7410 or visit

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Maryland Freshwater Trout Regulations

In Maryland, a number of new trout fishing regulations are in effect for the 2013 fishing season.

 - Lion’s Park Pond in Allegany County and Avalon Pond (Lost Lake) in Baltimore County are now Put-and-Take Trout Fishing areas with access for anglers of all ages (local restrictions may still apply).

 - A section of Catoctin Creek within Catoctin Creek Park (Frederick County) has been designated as a Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Area.

 - Governor Bridge Natural Area Pond (Prince George’s County) is now a limited harvest area.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2013 Southern Maryland Blues Festival Performers

Chesapeake Bay Events, Inc. recently released the lineup for the 2013 Southern Maryland Blues Festival. The festival will be held on September 7th and 8th at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Barstow, Maryland.

Music genres featured at the inaugural Southern Maryland Blues Festival will include blues, funk, soul, zydeco, country, and southern rock.

Bands scheduled to appear include:

The Sam Grow Band
The Patty Reese Band
Walter Trout
Ana Popovic and the Mo Better Love Band
Canned Heat
Swamp Candy
The Daryl Davis Band
Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys
Mark Hummell Tribute to Little Walter
Trampled Under Foot
The Marshall Tucker Band

All proceeds from this festival will go to End Hunger of Calvert County.

In addition to the music, the festival will have a crafter village, moon bounces, face painting, local food, wine and beer, and more.

Tickets will go on sale on June 1, 2013. They are available on line at:

source: The Chesapeake Bay Events

Saturday, April 13, 2013

2013 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest Results

Artist Paul Makuchal recently won the 39th annual Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest with his painting of a Lesser Scaup titled Peaceful Swim.

A panel of judges selected Makuchal’s work out of 21 entries from 11 Maryland artists. They judged the entries before a crowd on March 24 at the 24th Patuxent Wildlife Art Show, held at the National Wildlife Visitors Center in Laurel, Md.

Makuchal is now a two-time Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Contest winner. In 1998 at the age of 21, he won his first Maryland title with a painting of a pair of pintails, and again in 2006 with his Canada Goose entry. At 17 he placed third in the Junior Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

The Makuchal name is well known in the world of Maryland art. Paul’s father, Wally Sr., was a long-time commercial artist by trade. His brother, Wally, is an accomplished wildlife artist as well and won Maryland’s “duck stamp” contest in 1999 and 2009. Paul, who prefers to work using acrylics, does a lot of commissioned art and custom painting.

In addition to his past successes in Maryland, Paul’s artwork has won the 2000 Oklahoma Duck Stamp Contest, and earned him Maryland Ducks Unlimited’s “Artist of the Year,” a feature in Ducks Unlimited Magazine and a spot in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Calendar.

source: MD DNR

Friday, April 12, 2013

Maryland Snakehead Fishing

The northern snakehead is a species of invasive fish that has begun appearing in several Maryland rivers. Originating from Eastern Asia. the northern snakehead quickly adapted to Maryland waterways following its controversial introduction.

In 2002, invasive snakeheads were found in a Pond near Crofton, Maryland. Soon after, additional snakeheads were found in Maryland and the species established itself in the Potomac River.

Snakehead Fish Identification

The northern snakehead fish is recognizable by its long, slender body and a snake-like head. Its dorsal and anal fins are long and its tail is rounded. Adults are brownish with lighter markings along the head and flank.

How to Catch Snakehead Fish

Due to their aggressive nature, snakeheads are relatively simple to catch. They are easy to catch using traditional bass lures and can also be caught with live or cut bait.

Potomac River Snakeheads

Northern snakeheads occur in the Potomac River from Great Falls down to the Chesapeake Bay. They have been reported in Potomac tributaries including Little Hunting Creek, Dogue Creek, Pohick Creek, Occoquan River, Neabsco Creek, Quantico Creek, and Aquia Creek.

Other Maryland Snakehead Populations

Northern snakeheads have been found in a number of rivers throughout Maryland. Most recently, they have been found in the Nanticoke and Wicomico Rivers.

Invasive Species Status

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, northern snakeheads present multiple threats and could alter the balance of U.S. ecosystems. They are air-breathers and are capable of overland migration. Adult snakeheads are very aggressive in their efforts to protect their young.

Snakehead Regulations

Maryland, Virginia, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission have regulations in effect regarding the possession or release of live northern snakeheads. Additionally, Federal law prohibits the transport of live snakeheads into the U.S. or across State lines.

Maryland Shellfish Aquaculture Programs

Recently, Maryland has invested in a variety of programs to promote shellfish aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the state’s 2014 capital budget includes $500,000 for aquaculture loan assistance through the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO), a State-run business assistance program.

The State has issued 52 new shellfish aquaculture leases, with about 85 pending approval. Thirty of the approved leases went to watermen. MARBIDCO has helped 36 watermen with shellfish aquaculture operation development loans.

Maryland shellfish growers produce oysters and clams for human consumption.

source: MD DNR

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Maryland Spring Turkey Hunting Season

The 2013 Maryland spring turkey season begins with Junior Turkey Hunts on April 13 on public or private land statewide, and April 14 on private land in Caroline, Dorchester, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

Maryland's spring turkey season runs from April 18 through May 23 statewide.

Junior Turkey Hunts allow licensed youth ages 16 and under to hunt wild turkeys when accompanied by an unarmed adult, 21 and older, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license, or is exempt from the hunting license requirements. Adults may not possess a bow, crossbow or firearm while accompanying a youth hunter during the junior hunt.

Regulations, turkey check-in procedures, and information on public land hunting opportunities can be found at or in the 2012-2013 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping.

source: MD DNR

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 Maryland Summer Flounder Regulations

2013 Maryland flounder regulations have been set by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Recreational anglers will be allowed to keep up to 4 summer flounder per person per day. The minimum size is 16 inches in all Maryland state waters. In Maryland, the flounder season will begin statewide at 12:01am, Thursday, March 28th, 2013.

The fishery is expected to remain open through 11:59 pm December 31, 2013, however DNR could close the recreational season early if projections indicate the recreational harvest target will be caught before December 31, 2013.

source: MD DNR

Friday, March 22, 2013

C and O Canal Big Slackwater Towpath Restoration

For the 2013 outdoor season, hikers, bikers, and other enthusiasts will finally have access to the entire Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath.

The Big Slackwater section of the 184.5-mile hiking and biking trail was closed after flooding in 1996. The stretch along the Potomac River near Williamsport had been the only disruption of the famous towpath from Cumberland, Md., to Washington, D.C.

Prior to the completion of restoration work, towpath visitors had to detour off the trail and onto a dangerous route with no shoulders following 4.5 miles along Dam 4, Dellinger and Avis Mill roads.

The Big Slackwater project was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a Line Item Construction (LIC) project.

Historically, the Big Slackwater portion of the C & O Canal allowed barge traffic to move up and down the river proper in the slack water above Dam Number 4. 

source: C&O Canal Association

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maryland Blue Crab Landings

Maryland Blue Crabs

For 2011, Maryland led the USA in blue crab landings, according to the latest economic report from NOAA Fisheries. The report, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011, indicates that Maryland watermen harvested 50 million pounds of blue crabs worth more than $59 million in 2011. Overall, the U.S. seafood industry generated $129 billion in sales impacts in 2011.

source: NOAA Fisheries

Monday, March 11, 2013

Commercial Fishing Boat Sinks off Assateague Island

On Wednesday, March 6, 2013 the 67-foot fishing vessel Seafarer capsized, broke apart and sank off Assateague Island, according to reports.

U.S. Coast Guard 5th District reports that Wednesday, March 6, Patrick Small of New Bern, N.C. was rescued from a life raft following the capsizing of the Seafarer. Listed as missing were Steven and Walter Tate of New Bern, N.C.

Coast Guard 5th District watchstanders initially received an emergency position-indicating radio beacon alert from the 67-foot fishing vessel Seafarer at 10:39 a.m. Wednesday.

source: United States Coast Guard 5th District

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Maryland Shad Fishing

Hickory Shad

In Maryland, fishing for shad is a springtime tradition. In most locations, shad fishing usually begins in March and continues into early May. Maryland anglers catch hickory shad or American shad during spring spawning runs. In some watersheds, fishermen also catch river herring together with shad.

Popular shad fishing rivers in Maryland include the Susquehanna, Gunpowder, Patapsco, Patuxent, Choptank, Nanticoke, Pocomoke, and others. In addition to mainstem river systems, a number of tributary streams and creeks are known for their shad runs, including Marshyhope and Tuckahoe Creeks on the Eastern Shore.

Productive shad fishing spots often occur along narrow, fast moving stretches of rivers and creeks. In some areas, fishing access is available within national, state, or county parks. In other locations, shad are caught from fishing piers, bridges, dams, dykes, or other man-made structures. Anglers also wade to catch shad or traverse rivers and creeks by small boat.

No bait is required in order to catch shad and river herring. Instead, anglers use small, flashy jigs, spoons, or flies. Depending on the location and other factors, anglers may choose to cast extensively or simply lower their lure into the water and work lures with jigging motion. Bridge and pier anglers often employ specials rigs which feature multiple lures.

In 2012, Maryland, along with most Atlantic states, enacted a moratorium on the harvest of all shad and river herring. Although keeping fish for the table or bait is no longer an option, many anglers still enjoy catch and release fishing for these exciting fish. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

2013 Lefty Kreh TieFest

Lefty Kreh's TieFest
Saturday, March 9th
Prospect Bay Country Club
Grasonville, Maryland

CCA's Kent Narrows Chapter will host Lefty Kreh's TieFest at the Prospect Bay Country Club in Grasonville.

For more information, visit:

Maryland 2012-13 Deer Season

During Maryland's bow, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined (September 7, 2012 through January 31, 2013), hunters harvested 87,541 deer.

According to MD DNR, biologists attribute the 11 percent decline compared to last year’s total to multiple factors, including reduced hunter participation, an abundant acorn crop, and a lower deer population in some areas.

Maryland's 2012-2013 deer harvest includes:

29,366 antlered white-tailed deer

55,763 antlerless white-tailed deer

1,127 antlered  sika deer

1,285 antlerless sika deer

Frederick County led the harvest totals this year with 7,634 deer, followed by Baltimore County with 5,991 and Washington County at 5,762. Montgomery County and Carroll County completed the top five counties with 5,598 and 5,579 deer, respectively.

source: MD DNR

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

During the 2013 Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey, researchers saw an overall increase in the total number of waterfowl compared to last year. Canada geese and snow geese numbers were up but crews observed fewer ducks, compared to 2012.

The total number of ducks observed during the survey was 175,500, lower than the 230,600 counted in 2012. The dabbling duck count of 72,800 was below the 96,600 counted in 2012.  Most of the decline in dabbling ducks can be attributed to fewer mallards being observed.

The total number of diving ducks observed was 98,100, also lower than the 125,300 counted last winter. The scaup count was one of the lowest in recent history. Unseasonably mild winter weather during the weeks leading up to the survey resulted in a delay in the arrival of most diving ducks in the Bay, especially scaup.

Canada geese (462,000) and snow geese (83,300) were noticeably more abundant during this year’s survey compared to 2012.  Improved gosling production in 2012 contributed to higher goose numbers, combined with snow cover in New York and southern Canada that encouraged geese to migrate further south into the Bay region in late December.

The survey was conducted the week of January 6, 2013 throughout the Atlantic Flyway and is used as an index of long-term wintering waterfowl trends, especially for brant and tundra swans.

Each winter, during the first weeks of January, pilots and biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) count ducks, geese and swans along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast.

In Maryland, the survey is conducted by four aerial survey teams that make visual estimates of wintering waterfowl that are observed in coastal and tidewater habitats of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

source: MD DNR

Monday, February 11, 2013

Maryland Outdoor Recreation Stakeholder Evaluations

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking citizens for their input on State outdoor recreation facilities and services in areas throughout Maryland. The Department gathered information from those in Southern Maryland earlier this month.

The recreational evaluations are the first step in a comprehensive statewide effort to enhance existing recreation areas in Maryland, these include; State parks, forests, wildlife areas and trails.

DNR will ask participants to assess the extent to which outdoor recreation facilities, programs and services meet the needs of the community and identify future demand and need.

The public input will help guide the update of the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for future State outdoor recreation facilities and services.

The Department has hired a nationally-known parks and recreation management consulting firm, GreenPlay, LLC, to oversee the Recreation Component of this planning process.

Maryland Outdoor Recreation Stakeholder Evaluations

Western Region - March 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Greenbrier State Park, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro

Eastern Region -  March 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Talbot County Community Recreation Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway (Rt. 50), Easton

Central Region - March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Howard County Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia

Cost: Free

source: MD DNR

Friday, February 1, 2013

Maryland Winter Seafood - Oysters - Perch

A variety of local seafood is available in Maryland during the winter season. Oysters are available in many areas, either shucked or in the shell.

Several species of fresh fish are also available in seafood markets and restaurants. One of the most sought-after species of locally harvested fish is the yellow perch. Yellow perch harvests began in January, and end when the commercial quota is achieved in late February or early March. White perch are also available in Maryland seafood markets during the winter.

Both types of perch are small in size but are highly regarded for their mild, sweet flavor. In addition to yielding fillets, female perch often contain roe (fish eggs). Perch roe is considered a local delicacy. Roe is usually prepared by rolling in flour and frying or fresh roe can be mixed with poultry eggs and served scrambled.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Maryland ORV Permit Locations

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently announced that off-road vehicle (ORV) permits will be offered at three new locations.

Effective January 19, 2013, ORV permits will be available for purchase at Deep Creek Lake and New Germany State parks. The permits will also be offered at Savage River State Forest, beginning on January 22.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Saturday, January 12, 2013

DNR Releases Western Maryland Geologic Map

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has created a new geological map for Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties, that will not only provide information on the region’s geology, but guide decisions about the wise use of its landscape and natural resources.

DNR Geological Survey members David K. Brezinski and Robert Conkwright developed the Geological Map of Garrett, Allegany and western Washington Counties in Maryland - the first comprehensive geologic map for this region published in more than 50 years. The map covers the westernmost counties of the State, providing a current look at how bedrock units and major surface deposits are distributed.

As residential, commercial and recreational development increases in the western portion of the State, and with the potential for the Marcellus Shale to serve as a natural gas resource, the updated map will serve as a land management tool, helping decision-makers balance the impact of human activity with the preservation of natural resources.

The map includes short descriptions of geologic units and a cross section showing their distribution under the earth’s surface. Among other uses, the map will provide users with a better understanding of the distribution, depths and thickness of Marcellus Shale. This map will be especially useful in showing the interplay between geologic formations and groundwater availability and quality.

The map updates geologic information to be consistent with neighboring states, redefines boundaries between formations from the previous maps, and updates the subsurface cross section based on new review of geologic cores and geophysical logs. The geologic information is available to users in a modern Geographic Information System format, and as a printable map at

source: MD DNR