|LAST UPDATED MARCH 20, 2002||NEXT SCHEDULED UPDATE APRIL 3, 2002|
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issued new advisories concerning the consumption of 13 recreationally caught fish species in 14 tidal waterbodies throughout the state. These new 'consumption advisories' supersede those previously issued by MDE in 1987 and 1999. (Those advisories applied to channel catfish, American eel, carp and black crappie recreationally caught in the Potomac, Back and Patapsco rivers as well as Lake Roland.) The fish advisories are geared to protect public health, particularly individuals and their families who regularly consume their catch from Maryland tidal waters where unhealthy levels of fish-borne contaminants have been found. Children, and women who are or may become pregnant, are most susceptible to health risks associated with fish-borne contaminants and should take special note of these advisories. Recent changes in the recommended daily consumption estimates used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), combined with new sampling data and improved analytical techniques have resulted in today's advisories. Click here to view the full MDE press release. To help fully understand the scope of the advisory, MDE has also posted an advisory summary page, and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) dealing with these new advisories. You may also contact MDE directly @ 1-800-633-6101.
RESULTS OF THE 2000 VOLUNTEER ANGLERS SURVEY FOR TIDAL BLACK BASS
Biologists have summarized the results of the Volunteer anglers Survey for the year 2000. This survey was designed to supplement information from DNR fishery surveys on tidal largemouth and smallmouth bass populations. Anglers send results of their fishing trips to DNR and these are entered into a database of bass fishing trips in tidal fresh and brackish waters from around the state.
Twenty- two anglers reported on 2068 hours of fishing by themselves, their friends and clubs. The rate of catch for fishing trips ranged from 0 to 5.3 bass per hour. The average number of fish caught per hour for all trips was 0.93 and was 0.64 for bass 12 inches or larger. The Potomac River had the highest catch rate but the Upper Bay had larger fish on average. The Eastern Shore rivers (from the Chester River south) were in between in regards to both rate of catch and size. The majority of fish caught were between 11 and 15 inches with the 13 to 14 inch group the most frequently caught. The best catches occurred during early spring with May being the best month for numbers bass of all sizes and for bass greater than 12 inches. MORE...
FISH KILL & FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (MDE)
FISH KILL INFORMATION
Our sister agency, The Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), is mandated by Environmental Article Section 4-405C to oversee the investigation of fish kill incidents throughout the state. The Fish Kill Response Section manages and coordinates a multi-agency (including DNR), state-wide fish kill response program. Staff are on call during the regular workweek and on weekends, holidays and after normal working hours to ensure that all fish kill reports are promptly addressed. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REPORT FISH KILLS CONTACT: Maryland Department of the Environment Technical and Regulatory Services Administration Field Operations Office Fish Kill Response Section 416 Chinquapin Round Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 Normal work hours: 410-974-3238 After hours: 1-888-584-3110 or 410-631-3937, or refer to:
The 1999 DNR Circle Hook Study
By DNR Fisheries Service Biologist
The Legislature approved the Susquehanna Flats striped bass catch and release season in just the nick of time last Thursday, March 14, 2002. Opening day, March 15, 2002, was successful for most anglers but overall action has been spotty. Anglers took advantage of the opportunity to get out of the house on Saturday before the nasty weather appeared in the afternoon. Natural Resources Police counted 200 boats on the Flats Saturday. Sunday's inclement weather kept all but a few intrepid anglers from venturing out on the water. Those that ventured out fished in wind, sleet, snow, and freezing temperatures. Pictured on the left is angler Jeff Graham with a striped bass that was caught and released on March 19, 2002 after snapping this photo. Jeff caught this striper using a 1/2 oz Gotcha shad head with a 5 inch Opening Night Bass Assassin. Water temperature was 47 degrees Fahrenheit at 12 to 20 feet. Eleven other fish ranging in size from 12 inch to 35 inches were caught and released by Jeff and his friends John Bucher and Jay Eichelberger yesterday afternoon. Anglers are reminded that the Susquehanna River is closed to this fishery. For regulation information on the striped bass Susquehanna Flats catch and release season refer to FINS. Closures are in place for the striped bass spawning period from March 1 through May 31st. Maps for the proposed striped bass season are available off the FINS page.
The yellow perch run is over and anglers are anxiously waiting for the appearance of white perch and hickory shad. White perch action is just around the corner and anglers are picking up a few on the leading edge. Generally, perch are being caught in the lower to middle portions of the rivers with a few popping up here and there upriver. Some places to catch them right now are Jug Bay and Wayson's Corner on the Patuxent River and the Marshy Hope and Choptank River. Traditional places like Millington and Red Bridges have not turned on yet. Hickory shad typically appear late March or April. Alewife herring (pictured on the right) have arrived and are passing through some of the fish passages. Recreational angler, Gary Estep, has been catching them at Tuckahoe State Park using small shad darts with 2 split shots approximately 12 to 15 inches above. Gary reported catching two hickory shad yesterday (March 18, 2002). For many anglers, shad and herring are often difficult to distinguish. DNR Biologist, Jim Thompson - Fish Passage, has created an identification sheet to help anglers with this task.
Anglers are reminded that there is currently a slot limit in place for walleye in the Potomac River mainstem approximately 0.5 miles upriver from Chain bridge upstream to the flood control dam in Cumberland from January 1 through April 15th. The minimum size is 15 inches with a maximum size of 20 inches. The first trout stocking closure, March 10 to March 30, is in effect. The number two closure is on the horizon, March 24 to March 30. Below is Howard Stinefelt's weekly trout stocking update.
Oceanside headboats are getting geared up for the upcoming annual Boston mackerel run. This run typically starts late March or early April.
A COUPLE OF CLOSING NOTES...
Remember, please send me your photos and fishing stories. The only photo and story requirement is that they be no more than one week old, as I try to post only fresh material. Send your photos to my e mail address, in a .JPG or .BMP format. Include the date, angler, the angler's hometown and who photo credit should be given to. Send comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week,
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