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MANTA Noon Seminars


The Seminar sessions include a variety of topics, including conservation ecology from local to worldwide scales. Attend one of these presentations and enjoy a trip to the ends of the world, an education on the local stream conditions, or get a preview of the newest installation at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Below is the agenda for upcoming sessions and short summaries of each.

All Seminars take place at:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
C-1 Conference Room (unless noted otherwise)
Tawes Office Building
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland

  • For directions, parking, and building access information, click here.
  • If there is a topic you would like to see included in the upcoming series, or a recommended speaker, please contact Dan Boward
  • For summaries of previous sessions, click here.

2015 Season Agenda

January 15, 2015:

Speaker: Jim Uphoff and Margaret McGinty (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

Title: "Managing Chesapeake Bay's Land Use, Fish Habit and Fisheries: Developing and Applying Impervious Surface Reference Points"

Synopsis: The Impervious Serfs have worked to quantify and communicate the impact of development on Marylandís Chesapeake Bay fisheries to stakeholders and agencies involved in planning and zoning, and fisheries management. Development (measured as percent impervious surface in a watershed or IS) has added a major new ecological feature, suburbs and cities, to watersheds. As development proceeds, multiple stressors of fish habitat (altered stream flow, nutrients, sediment, toxic contaminants, endocrine disruptors, etc.) accumulate. Productivity lowers and fisheries deteriorate as habitat becomes unsuitable for egg through adult life stages due to watershed development. We adapted the biological reference point target and threshold concept employed in marine fisheries management to develop watershed IS reference points (ISRPs). ISRPs should help regulators recognize levels of development that conserve fish habitat (target of 5% or less IS, a rural watershed) or degrade fish habitat (a suburban threshold of 10% IS). Reviews of county comprehensive development plans provide opportunities to use ISRPs to influence planning and zoning. Application of ISRPs results in a triage approach for fisheries management, land conservation, and restoration activities. We recommend conserving remaining watersheds that are at the target level of development as the best strategy for maintaining productivity of Marylandís fisheries. Egg-per-recruit models, commonly used to establish safe fishing mortality levels under equilibrium conditions, can be modified to account to judge how habitat deterioration from continuous watershed development lowers safe fishing levels. When applied to Blueback Herring and Yellow Perch, development past the ISRP threshold resulted in productivity so low that a sustainable level of fishing could not be estimated.

February 12, 2015:

Speaker: Ward Slacum (Oyster Recovery Partnership)

Title: Three Years of Evaluating an Electronic Reporting System in the Maryland Blue Crab Fishery:† What Have We learned?

Synopsis: In 2012, Maryland fisheries managers, commercial fishing industry representatives and other stakeholders implemented a Pilot Project with a goal to evaluate if daily reporting using an electronic reporting system could improve the reliability of harvest information reported by the blue crab fishery. The Pilot Project was the outcome of discussions between Maryland fisheries managers and the Blue Crab Design Team that focused on identifying opportunities where industry and management could work together to improve industry accountability and enhance overall blue crab management. The results of the Pilot Project demonstrated that industry had the capability to use an electronic reporting system daily and that reported harvest could be successfully verified for accuracy through dockside monitoring and dealer reports. With the endorsement of the Blue Crab Design Team and Department of Natural Resources the Pilot Project continued through 2014. Over that timeframe more than 100 watermen have reported 6,975 crabbing trips. Watermen were instrumental in the development of the final reporting system and many valuable lessons were learned during the Pilot.

March 12, 2015:

Speaker: Dr. Dave Secor (University of Maryland, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons)

Title: Migration Ecology of Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

Synopsis: A long-term priority question in the assessment and management of coastal striped bass is the rates of egress and residency for striped bass produced in the Chesapeake Bay. Past tagging and otolith tracer analysis demonstrate these rates vary strongly with size, sex, and season but these data are too coarse to employ in current efforts by ASMFC to implement spatially explicit stock assessment models. A unique and timely opportunity exists to leverage telemetry assets deployed by the US Navy, a cooperative Chesapeake Bay Section 6 Award, and Atlantic state scientists cooperatively sharing data through the Atlantic Coastal Telemetry Network and the Mid-Atlantic Telemetry Observing System. Through ASMFC funding, UMCES scientists are tracking a representative group of 100 Potomac River striped bass tagged and released in spring and fall 2014 for a 2.5 year period within the Potomac River and across major regions and tributaries of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coast. Telemetry receivers have been deployed in the lower Potomac, mid-Bay and in coastal waters off DelMarVa. Sex- and size-stratification in the sample is permitting us to resolve sex and size-specific patterns in coastal migration. Other research aims include evaluating migration cues, use of different spawning reaches, visitation to non-natal estuaries, and incidence of straying and skipped spawning.

April 16, 2015:

Speaker: William Harbold (DNR)

Title: Assessing Impacts of Dam Removal on Patapsco River Biota

Synopsis: A Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) biologist will give a presentation on the MBSS's monitoring efforts associated with dam removals in the Patapsco River. This project has been ongoing since 2009, covering the completed removal of two dams (Simkins Dam and Union Dam) and the impending removal of a third (Bloede Dam). The primary focus of the MBSS's monitoring efforts has been to document the impacts of dam removals on the Patapsco Riverís biota by sampling both before and after the removal event. Specific areas of focus include anadromous fish, American eels, resident fish, and benthic macroinvertebrates. The presentation will cover the methods, results, and some brief conclusions drawn from monitoring these areas from 2009 through the present.
View the presentation here (pdf)

May 14, 2015:

Speaker: Dr. Mark Southerland (Versar Inc., Columbia MD)

Title: In and Out of Africa: Lions and Leopards and Lemurs! Oh my!

Synopsis: Mark, Mary, Kelly, and Julia enjoy traveling to far-away places, especially where exotic animals are involved. That said, their August 2015 trip to southern Africa is their favorite. Mark will narrate their travels from Cape Town to Sabi Sands Game Reserve to Victoria Falls and finally to Madagascar. The African big five will be in evidence as well as a pack of the rare wild dogs. The show concludes with several species of chameleons and lemurs, found only on Madagascar, including the other-worldly aye-aye.

If you can’t make the seminar, you can view the photographs at the following link:

Upcoming Events

  • 2015 MBSS Training
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  • 2015 Nutrient and Sediment Monitoring Training
    Irvine Nature Center, May 13, 2015
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