Friday, July 25, 2014

Honey Harvest Festival

Honey Harvest Festival
Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
September 20, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The 2014 Maryland Honey Harvest Festival will be held at the Patuxent Research Refuge on September 20 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Supported by the Maryland State Beekeepers Association, the festival features arts and crafts, honey tasting, candle-making demonstrations, and more.

The Maryland Honey Harvest Festival is free and open to the public.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2014 Maryland Free Fishing Days

Maryland Free Fishing Days:
June 7, 14 and July 4, 2014

Maryland's 2014 free fishing days are June 7, June 14 and July 4. No fishing license, stamp or registration is required to recreationally fish in State waters on these days.

Maryland also features 23 unique license-free fishing areas, where anglers can fish without a license throughout the year. However, a free Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration is required in these areas except on free fishing days.

As always, anglers must adhere to fishing regulations, including size and possession limits, which are available online in the digital 2014 Maryland Fishing Guide. Printed copies of the guide are offered at most Maryland tackle shops and any of the seven Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Service Centers.

Anglers 15 years and younger do not need a license to fish, year-round.

source: Department of Natural Resources

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ocean City Md Striped Bass Fishing

The striped bass, also known as striper, or rockfish is one of the most popular saltwater fish caught at Ocean City, Md. Unlike most saltwater fish species, striped bass are caught during all four seasons; spring, summer, fall and winter.

Productive areas for catching stripers around Ocean City include the north jetty, south jetty, Rt 50 bridge, Rt. 90 bridge, Verrazano Bridge, coastal bays, and beaches along Ocean City and Assateague Island.

Casting lures is a popular technique for catching striped bass. Popular lures for catching stripers include bucktail jigs, jigs with soft plastic bodies, metal jigs, crankbaits, topwater plugs, gotcha style plugs, spoons, and others.

Striped bass are also caught using a variety of live and cut baits. Around bridges and jetties, live eels and spot are popular. For surf fishing, anglers employ cut baits including bloodworms, menhaden, mullet, spot, soft crab, sea clams, and other baits.

Although fishing for these heavyweight gamefish can be very specialized, anglers occasionally catch striped bass while flounder fishing.

Striped bass make excellent table fare. Fish kept for the table should be kept cold.

Stripers can be cleaned using either of three techniques;
scale first and fillet, leaving skin on;
remove the skin first by peeling off, then fillet;
or fillet first and then cut skin from fillet.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

Researchers found more than 905,000 waterfowl during the 2014 Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. Each winter, aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources make visual estimates of ducks, swans and geese along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast.

The estimated total represents a 22 percent increase over the 2013 survey estimate of 739,600 birds. Biologists attribute the higher count to the fact many species flocked to Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay due to severe winter conditions to the north.

Additionally, large areas of the Bay and tributaries were ice covered during the survey period, concentrating waterfowl in ice-free, open waters where they were more easily counted.

The survey estimates for mallards, black ducks and canvasbacks were the highest they have been since the mid-1970s. Overall, dabbling ducks were more abundant this time around (128,000) compared to last winter (72,800).

There were nearly twice as many diving ducks this survey (190,300) over last year (98,100). The canvasback count (68,400) was the highest since the mid-1960s, and far greater than the January 2013 estimate (18,400). 

Survey teams also observed large numbers of wintering Canada geese (512,100) along the upper Chesapeake Bay. The extensive snow and ice in northern latitudes pushed large numbers of geese south to the Chesapeake from their normal wintering areas in southern Ontario and the Finger Lakes region of New York.  

The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey has been conducted annually throughout the United States since the early 1950s. The Maryland survey results are ultimately pooled with other states’ results to provide a measure of the distribution and population size of waterfowl wintering in the Atlantic Flyway, as well as information on long-term trends.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CWD Found in Maryland Deer

In February, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received laboratory confirmation that a second white-tailed deer harvested in Maryland tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The adult female deer was harvested in Allegany County in December 2013 during firearm season. The first confirmed case of CWD in Maryland was reported in February 2011, also from Allegany County.

This is the second positive sample out of nearly 7,500 deer tested in Maryland since 1999. Since 2010, sampling efforts have been focused on Allegany and western Washington counties due to the presence of CWD in nearby West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Over 20 U.S. states and Canadian provinces have documented cases of chronic wasting disease, a fatal disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, moose.

The disease appears to be passed between animals via saliva, feces or urine, according to DNR.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2013-14 Maryland Deer Harvest

Maryland hunters harvested 95,863 deer during the archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined (September 6, 2013 through January 31, 2014).

The 2013-2014 statewide harvest includes:

30,998 antlered and 62,164 antlerless white-tailed deer
1,116 antlered and 1,585 antlerless sika deer

Region A (Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties) hunters reported 9,176 deer (5,186 antlered and 3,990 antlerless).

Frederick County led the harvest totals this year with 8,040 deer, followed by Washington County with 6,376 and Baltimore County at 6,336. Carroll and Montgomery counties rounded out the top five with 5,915 and 5,889 deer, respectively.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Eagle Festival

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Eagle Festival
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD
March 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge eagle festival includes several free bus tours to see active eagles' nests.
Pre-registration is NOT required.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Popes Creek Coastal Wetlands Acquisition

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) was recently awarded a $1 million National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant to acquire land in Charles County, Maryland.

The property along Popes Creek includes 92 acres of upland forest, 128 acres of wetlands, open water, and beach front.

Popes Creek is a conservation focus area, having been identified by MD DNR as both a Targeted Ecological Area and a Natural Heritage Area. It lies within the Zekiah Swamp area, which is a protection priority for the USFWS Chesapeake Bay Program, MD DNR, and Charles County.

The property will be held and managed by Charles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Plans for the site include the creation of a biking/walking trail along an abandoned railway bed.

Funding for the project was included in $16.5 million in grants which will go to support 21 critical coastal wetland projects in 12 states and Puerto Rico under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.

Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program funds originate from the Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue which is generated via an excise tax on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Maryland Deer Harvest Totals

Hunters reported taking 36,942 deer during the statewide, two-week firearm deer season, which ended on December 14. This harvest represents a 2 percent increase compared to the 36,127 deer taken during the 2012 firearm season.

Overall hunters reported seeing more deer than last year in many parts of the state, but challenging weather slowed the harvest slightly.

The two-week firearm harvest included 12,254 antlered and 23,706 antlerless white-tailed deer and 394 antlered and 588 antlerless sika deer.

source: Maryland DNR