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MARCH 26, 2003

OVERVIEW

Photo of angler holding a white perch.In the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries the buzz is focused on white perch, striped bass, and the upcoming arrival of alosids. Catches of white perch continued to improve in many places. Pictured on the left is Sne Shah of Baltimore, MD with an 8 inch white perch. One of many caught by Shah and her friends Jason Rosenberg and Steve Johanson on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 fishing the Tuckahoe River just north of the 404 bridge. They reported catching approximately 100 white perch with a few yellows mixed in. All were caught on small 1/32 curly tail jigs. Striped bass fishing on the Susquehanna Flats was a bust last weekend due to 20 floodgates releasing water. Biologists started sampling for hickory shad this week and reported catching 4 on the turbid Patuxent River. Hickory shad are expected to arrive in good numbers sometime next week. Reference the maps listed under the Quick List link titled Fishing Maps for places to fish for hickory shad. The Fish Passage crew reported that herring are in the Bush River, Red Bridges, Unicorn, Tuckahoe, and VanBibber/ Winters Run. Refer to the Shad Identification page to learn to distinguish between American Shad, hickory shad, alewife herring, and blueback herring.

Oceanside, commercial catch reports indicate that stripers have begun to move into the area. No word on Atlantic mackerel yet but the time is quickly approaching. New recreational rules are in effect for Highly Migratory Species (HMS). The changes include a recreational retention limit for swordfish, an inclusive recreational permit to fish for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, sharks and billfish and a new reporting system to monitor landings of billfish and swordfish. To learn more the changes in HMS, visit the NOAA website at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/

In freshwater news, the Casselman River, Youghiogheny River, North Branch of the Potomac River, and Savage River are not fishable due to high flows. Coves at Deep Creek Lake have thawed but the mainstem still has slush. Savage Reservoir and Youghiogheny Reservoir are free of ice. Catches reported from the catch and release area of Morgan Run are reportedly excellent. Opening day of trout season is this Saturday, March 29th. 3/28/03 Special Note: Howard's Pond (Cecil County) is closed to fishing due to the code orange alert.

The following is the trout stocking update from Coldwater Fisheries Specialist, Howard Stinefelt.

Trout Stocking Update - March 24 to March 28, 2003

The March 29 opening day of trout season (5:30am Saturday morning) is only a couple of days away. Our lakes and ponds are full to overflowing and stream flows have never looked better.

This week, fishery crews finished stocking ALL the #1 and #2 closure areas in preparation for the March 29 opener. Stocking crews report all areas will be well stocked by Saturday with very nice rainbows to include Muddy Creek in Garrett County. Both Westminster Pond and Farm Museum Pond in Carroll County received extra trout that were held back from their delayed pre-season allocation.

This week we stocked trout in the following areas that are now open to fishing (0 Closure Areas). Piney Reservoir (Garrett), Deep Creek Lake (partial ice coverage), Dans Mountain Pond, Laurel Run (under 16 over 65 & blind), North Branch at Gorman, Kitzmiller & Piedmont, North Branch Delayed Harvest Area, Little Tonoloway Creek in Weidmeyer Park (youth and blind), Taneytown Pond, Allens Pond, Howards Pond, and Rising Sun Pond (under 16 over 65 & blind). Morgan Run Catch &Return Area was float stocked from Jim Bowers Road down to Klee Mill Road this week by members of the Patapsco Valley Trout Unlimited.

DNR TO HOLD MEETINGS ON FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATION CHANGES FOR 2004-2005

Public Meetings to discuss the proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes for 2004 and 2005 will be held at the following locations and times on the following dates:

  • April 14, 2003, at the Visitors Center of Cedarville Natural Resources Area, Cedarville, Prince Georges County at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 15, 2003, at Frostburg State University, Cordt's Physical Education Center, Leake Room, Frostburg, Allegany County, at 7:00 pm. PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE.
  • April 22, 2003, at Patapsco Valley State Park Hollofield Headquarters, Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, Howard County at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 23, 2003, at the District 12 Ruritan Club, 19301 Manor Church Road, Fairplay, Washington County, at 7:00 pm.
  • April 24, 2003, at the Natural Resources Police Eastern Region Office, Area 2, Routes 309 and 404, Hillsboro, Queen Anne's County, at 7:00 p.m.

    The following changes are being proposed for Freshwater Fisheries for the years 2004 and 2005.

  • Amend closure dates for Put-and-Take Trout Fishing Areas for 2005 (dates for 2004 have already been adopted):
    Closure Current 2003 Adopted 2004 Proposed 2005
    0
    No Closure No Closure No Closure
    1
    March 9 to March 29 March 7 to March 27 March 6 to March 26
    2
    March 23 to March 29 March 21 to March 27 March 20 to March 26
    3
    April 13 to April 19 April 11 to April 17 April 10 to April 16
    4
    April 20 to April 26 April 19 to April 24 April 17 to April 23
  • Remove Indian Creek Ponds (Charles County) and Eisenhower Golf Course Pond (Anne Arundel County) from the list of Limited Harvest Fishing Areas.
  • Add Beaver Creek (Washington County) from Black Rock Creek downstream approximately 1 mile to a red post located 0.1 mile above Beaver Creek Road to the list of Catch and Return Trout Fishing Areas, Artificial Flies Only.
  • Change regulations on the Trophy Trout Fishing Areas on the lower Savage River in Garrett County, to prohibit the use of treble hooks and multiple hooks on artificial lures. Artificial lures used in the Trophy areas will be restricted to a single hook with a single hook point.
  • Add Cotton Cove Pond in Lion's Park Glendening Recreational Complex at Frostburg, Allegany County, to the list of Put-and-Take Trout Fishing Areas.
  • Establish trout regulations on the upper Savage River, affecting the mainstem between Poplar Lick Run and the Merrill Bridge on Westernport Road. A portion of this area is property that previously had no public access, but has been acquired by the State and is available for additional public fishing opportunities. The following two options will be discussed:
    1 - Do nothing. The area would remain under statewide restriction of two trout per day, with no stocking. The area remains in Natural Trout Water management.
    2 - Establish a Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Area from Poplar Lick Run upstream to the Merrill Bridge at Westernport Road. This option converts the area from Natural Trout Water to a Delayed Harvest Area, which has tackle and seasonal creel limits
  • Change catfish species covered by daily and possession limits to channel catfish only being covered by Creel Limits.

Comments can be emailed to Fisheries Service at pgenovese@dnr.state.md.us Comments to Susan Rivers or call 410-260-8320.

Anglers can participate in the recreational and charter boat spring striped bass fishery beginning Saturday, April 19th. Fisheries Service issued a Public Notice making the official announcement. The change falls under the authority of Code of Maryland Regulation 08.02.01.15.12(I)(1). This specific change applies to Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to Maryland Virginia Line (excluding all bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds) and in Maryland tributaries of the Potomac River downstream of the Harry W. Nice Bridge (U.S. 301). Requirements for licenses, hours, size and creel limits remain the same.

The Striped Bass Cooperative Survey is a way for anglers to help Fisheries Service gather recreational length data for fisheries management. This Survey is online at URL: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/survey/survey.html If you know someone that cannot participate online drop me an email wiStriped Bass Cooperative Survey logoth their mailing address or have them contact me at 1-877-620-8DNR ext. 8294 and I will mail them a packet. Your data collection efforts for this survey are needed and appreciated.

While conducting annual osprey surveys, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists noticed that many nests contained potentially harmful manmade materials such as fishing line and hooks. You are encouraged to pick up trash that can be harmful to critters of all species and properly dispose of it. Boaters will soon see signs with this message posted at many launch ramps. For additional angler conservation information, visit the Ethical Angler program website at URL: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/ethics.html


A COUPLE OF CLOSING NOTES...

Remember, please send me your fishing photos accompanied with the story behind the photo. The only 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 by Tuesday of each week, in a .JPG or .BMP format with the longest side sized at 320 pixels. Include the following information:

  • Date
  • Angler(s)
  • Angler's hometown
  • Photo credit
  • Location
  • Weight/length of catch
  • Bait/lure
Until next week,

Tight Lines,

Angel Bolinger
Fisheries Biologist
MD DNR Fisheries Service