Hayden Cook, Fisheries Intern
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Posted on August 3, 2012 | Permalink
Creel Survey of Potomac River Smallmouth Bass
Location: Potomac River
On August 31st two other Interns and I went out to meet John Mullican and his team on the Potomac, near Brunswick. We were sent out to talk to anglers about a creel survey on smallmouth bass. The Potomac River Smallmouth Bass Club and Maryland Bass Foundation teamed up with The DNR's Inland Fisheries Division to conduct the survey. Using anglers catch and harvest rates, the Inland Fisheries Division can monitor smallmouth population trends, harvest, and regulations.Boat, wading, and bank anglers are all allowed to participate in the survey. The angler receives a postage-paid survey card that consists of questions such as how many fish were caught, where, and when. Then all you have to do is put the card in the mail, the Inland Fisheries Division has tried to make the process as easy as possible for anglers. Plus anglers have a chance to win fifty dollar cash prize; ten prizes will be awarded.
This particular survey began in June and will continue through October extending from the Route 340 Bridge near Harpers Ferry downstream to the lower end of the Seneca pool at Seneca Breaks. The 39 mile survey range will be split up into two sections, which are Rt. 340 downstream to the Monocacy and the Monocacy downstream to Seneca Breaks.
To come in contact with anglers we floated in kayaks and canoes from Brunswick downstream four miles. Since it was on a Tuesday, we enjoyed the beautiful view of the Potomac River and the fishing for smallmouth bass was excellent; we caught a lot including a 15 incher or bigger. This was the first time I have been smallmouth bass fishing, and I plan on going more, personally I think the fight is much better than largemouth. Smallmouth get hooked and go wild jumping out the water, even the little guys go wild not giving up easily. I got five smallmouths, my best about a ten incher and two redbreast sunfish decent in size. All were caught on a yellow 3 inch worm with the hook barely coming out the back of the worm to avoid getting stuck in vegetation. The others were using top water lures because of the thick grassy vegetation.
That day there was nothing I could have possibly complained about, I was able to go fishing with a good group of people and help out with an important creel survey for smallmouth bass. I wouldn't give this job up for anything, and I couldn't have asked for anything better this summer.