Angling, Outdoors, and Conservation News Recap
Welcome to the Weekly Creel, a compilation of regional news, intel, and announcements for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts concerned with the waters, fisheries, and habitats we cherish. Please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your organization’s news item or event announcement considered for next week’s column. Per usual, here are direct links to the latest Anglers Sports Center and FishTalk Magazine Chesapeake Bay region fishing reports. This week’s catch also includes…
2023 Surf Striper Survey
Hogy Lure Company is solicting surf anglers to fill out its annual Surf Striper Survey now through February 1st. “Our first survey of 2023 focuses on shore striper anglers nationwide,” the company states. “We want to learn more about your favorite shore fishing styles, lures, and gear. Once the survey period ends, results will be shared with participants.” Completed surveys earn you a $20 off $40 spent promo code. No doubt, Hogy is aiming to learn about your fishing habits in order to market to them, but the results should offer an interesting take on how we’re fishing for this popular gamefish along the coast and what’s catching them. If you recall, the 2022 fall striper season—especially along the Jersey beaches—has been hailed as one of the best of the past 30 years.
New Governor, New Administration
On Tuesday, one day ahead of his inauguration, Governor Wes Moore announced a full slate of cabinet appointments, ushering in a completely new state administration. Readers of this blog are, likely, most intrigued by the appointment of Josh Kurtz (pictured, photo courtesy Governor’s Office) as Secretary of Natural Resources, who replaces outgoing Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. Kurtz joins the Moore-Miller Administration from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation where he served as the Maryland Executive Director. The prior Hogan administration was sometimes criticized for acquiescing to commercial interests (lobbyists) when developing conservation policy versus making science-based decisions. It remains to be seen if the new administration will alter its approach to policy development and enforcement.
Rounding out the appointments are: Mayor Jake Day as the Secretary of Housing & Community Development; Kevin Atticks as the Secretary of Agriculture; Serena McIlwain as Secretary of Environment; Carol Beatty as Secretary of Disabilities; Rebecca Flora as Secretary of Planning; Carmel Roques as Secretary of Aging; Kevin Anderson as Secretary of Commerce; and Mayor Emily Keller as Special Secretary of Opioid Response. You can read more about each new cabinet member here.
“With each announcement, we continue to build a Cabinet that reflects the state we are humbled to serve,” Governor Wes Moore said. “These leaders bring with them great knowledge and deep expertise. This is going to be Maryland’s decade, and our team will lead with service in their hearts.”
New Exec. Director of Chesapeake Bay Commission
The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), along with the Chesapeake Bay Commission, have announced their excitement of onboarding a new executive director or the commission. “We are thrilled to welcome Anna Killius as the new upcoming Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission!” stated the CBP release. The Chesapeake Bay Commission is a core partner of the Chesapeake Bay Program and a signatory of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement: the cross-state restoration agreement that the partnership works to achieve. Killius currently serves as the advocacy director for the James River Association and will begin her new position on January 25th. During her five years with the James River Association, Anne worked with lawmakers, conservation groups, industry stakeholders and others to advance programs, policies and legislation related to the James River. She is also a member of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Citizens Advisory Committee, which advises Bay Program leadership on the issues and perspectives of Chesapeake community members. Congratulations Anna!
Fishing Expos Announced
In the past week, a couple more winter fishing flea markets/expos have been announced. The Central Maryland Bassmasters will host their Fisherman’s Flea Market on February 18th at the Gamber & Community Fire Company in Finksburg, Maryland. And about a month to the day later, in March, the Southern Maryland Recreational Fishing Organization will hold their Southern Maryland Fishing & Outdoor Adventure Fair, March 18th and 19th, at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds. Vendors with tackle, lures, outdoor accessories, arts, and crafts will fill out the tables at both events. Check our Events page for these listings, details, and many more regional expos to put on your calendar.
Passenger Ferries for the Bay
Earlier this month, a five-county tourism consortium spearheaded by Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) began accepting proposals to determine the feasibility of initiating sustainable passenger ferry service to connect key Maryland destinations along the Chesapeake Bay. Available for download from the VAAAC website, the Chesapeake Bay Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study Consortium’s (the Consortium) request for proposal (RFP) invites interested parties to submit bids for determining the financial and operational viability of providing passenger ferry service as well as conducting cost-benefit and economic impact analyses for such a service. We’ll be following this one closely.
Maryland Clean Marina Initiative in February
Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the dates and locations for this year’s Maryland Clean Marina Initiative, a series of seminars in February to introduce the voluntary environmental certification program to new participants. Managers of all types of marine facilities are encouraged to attend to learn about best management practices that result in a cleaner, safer workplace and environment. Dates and locations include: February 7 at Tidewater Marina, Havre de Grace; February 9 at Cambridge Yacht Club; February 14 at Annapolis Recreation Center. Learn more by visiting the program’s landing site.
Anglers Announces “Gun Bash”
Anglers Sport Center announced the date of their annual “Gun Bash.” Set for January 28th, the fishing and outdoors retailer will host an assortment of gun-related promotions, sales, and contests. Deals on firearms, ammo, and accessories draw the crowd, but there will also be gun raffles and a special “Greatest Gun Competition,” awarding owners of the best “Antique” and “Bad Ass” guns as determined by the Anglers team of judges. To nominate your gun for consideration, send a picture and the story behind your gun to email@example.com or message the store at its Facebook or Instagram accounts by January 21st. Finalists will be notified by January 25th, and you must be able to accompany your gun to the store between 1–4 p.m. on January 28th. Customers will then vote for the winners on January 28th. Good luck!
Birds of the Severn (and Greater Chesapeake)
In case you missed this week’s live (and streamed) presentation of “Birds of the Severn” by Jack Turner, as part of the Severn River Association’s John Wright Speaker Series, there’s good news. The SRA has posted a full video of the presentation here. Turner (pictured, courtesy SRA) is an environmental scientist and wildlife photographer, currently residing in the Eastport community. Turner has been documenting local wildlife for over five years with his camera and, in the presentation, he discussed the many species that call the Severn River—and by extension the Chesapeake watershed—their home, including great blue herons, bald eagles, wood ducks, and warblers.
National Wildlife Photography Contest
Speaking of shutterbugs and photography…the National Wildlife Federation has announced its “Call for Entries” into the 2023 National Wildlife Photo Contest. The contest began over five decades ago to celebrate the power of photography to advance conservation and connect both photographers and viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. This year’s contest features nine categories of entry (from “Birds” to “Mammals” to “Mobile”), and even includes a “Young Nature Photographers” category for those ages 13–17. Grand Prize winner of the contest takes home $5000, and there are cash prizes for first-, second-, and third-place awards.
Tri-State Marine Announces Early-Spring Open House
Boaters and anglers may want to register now for this free event, held January 28th at Tri-State Marine. The Deale-based marina and showroom’s open house event will feature seminars, including with renowned angler Lenny Rudow at 10 a.m. discussing advanced rockfishing techniques, and with Amanda Funk at 11 a.m. demonstrating Garmin electronics (sonar and navionics). There will also be exclusive incentives and combination offers, Grady-White, Parker, and Sea Pro experts and sales advisors on hand to provide tours and answer all of your questions, special drawings and giveaways, and light refreshments. Admission is free, but please register.