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