Angling, Outdoors, and Conservation News Recap
Welcome to the Weekly Creel, a compilation of regional news and announcements for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts of the Chesapeake Bay region. Please email us directly at email@example.com to have your organization’s news item or event listing considered for next week’s column. Per usual, here are direct links to the lastest, local fishing reports from Reel Chesapeake, On The Water, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Anglers Sports Center, and FishTalk Magazine. This week’s catch also includes…
New Bay Report Reiterates Clean-up Challenges & Solutions
Reducing the amount of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay and improving its water quality is proving to be more challenging than anticipated, according to a new report released by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) for the Chesapeake Bay Program. On Tuesday, STAC released an independent report evaluating why progress toward meeting the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and water quality standards has been slower than anticipated and offered potential solutions for accelerating progress in the future. The full report—Achieving Water Quality Goals in the Chesapeake Bay: A Comprehensive Evaluation of System Response—can be found here.
Predictably, the report cited nutrient overloads from runoff of agricutural farms, urban centers, and impervious surfaces as the main contributor to pollution in the Bay. So much so, that 50 years of “save the bay” endeavors will still come up short of the 2025 TMDL goals set in the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Solutions offered include: reducing “nonpoint” pollution sources (e.g., runoff from agricultural fields, urban centers, and impervious surfaces); developing government reward systems for implementation of best practices (e.g., riparian buffers, farm management); and embracing different reduction goals for different habitats or incorporate the benefits of restored wetlands or living shorelines into load reduction calculations.
In response, many enviro orgs issued statements. The Chesapeake Bay Commission, for example, stated the following:
“As we approach the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership’s 2025 target for having pollution reduction practices in place to achieve our water quality standards, we know that we are falling short of our goals and it is critically important to understand why. This report shows that new, targeted approaches are needed to accelerate our progress toward clean water and abundant natural resources. Our goals are still achievable even if the path for their achievement looks different in the face of climate change and continued growth in the region. Importantly, this report focuses us on the pivotal work that lies ahead and helps inform our decision making.”
Grand Reopening of Beverly Triton Nature Park Held
Last weekend, Anne Arundel County officials and community representatives officially cut the ribbon and reopened Beverly Triton Nature Park in the Mayo Pennisula, south of Annapolis. The once-barely-accessible property underwent a near-$5 million renovation, which includes a new pavilion, nature trails, dedicated fishing and wildlife observation areas, picnicing and restroom facilities, new playground, improved beach access, shoreline improvements, and more. For complete details about the park, its features, and hours of operation, visit the county’s Beverly Triton Nature Park website. Photograph courtesy Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation & Parks.
Boat Ramp Opens at Merritt Point
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and the Department of Recreation and Parks recently announced the completion of a new boat ramp at Merritt Point Park in Dundalk, which will provide enhanced accessibility for residents and offer a new soft launch for kayaks and canoes to improve access for a wide range of water and paddle sports.
“This boat ramp renovation and new kayak launch better connects Baltimore County residents and visitors to our incredible natural resources, providing another point of safe and convenient access to our waterways,” said Olszewski. “Thanks to the Department of Natural Resources and our team at the Department of Recreation and Parks for their partnership to deliver on this opportunity to experience all the scenic beauty our shorelines have to offer.”
The $1 million project, secured through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, was supported by nearly $900,000 in State and Federal waterways and boating grants, and is the County’s first major project of its kind in more than 15 years.
The Merritt Point Park boat ramp and soft launch project is one of the first steps in a comprehensive park renovation and enhancement project. Over the next two years, a variety of park renovations, including walking paths, pavilions and playground renovations are planned for the park, as part of the County’s efforts to revitalize its older, established community and neighborhood parks.Information on other Baltimore County boat ramp locations can be found under “Park Highlights” here.
ASMFC Striper Regulations Officially Adopted in Maryland
Yesterday, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the new striped bass slot size limits for the entire state watershed, per the emergency mandate initiated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week. “The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces a change to the size limit for the striped bass recreational and charter boat summer and fall fishery for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, including the Maryland tributaries of the Potomac River. Effective 12:01 a.m. May 16, 2023, the minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches and the maximum size for striped bass is 31 inches. This rule is effective for the 2023 striped bass season, which runs from May 16, 2023, through July 15, 2023, and August 1, 2023, through December 10, 2023. All other rules remain the same.”
Maryland’s coastal fishery also adopted a new slot size limit. Per DNR, “The Secretary announces changes to the recreational striped bass size and catch limits for the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays, and their tributaries. This notice supersedes all previous notices regarding the 2023 Atlantic Coast Recreational and Charter Boat Striped Bass Fishery. Effective 12:01 a.m. May 16, 2023:
- Anglers may keep one striped bass per person per day from the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays, and their tributaries.
- The minimum size for striped bass is 28 inches.
- The maximum size is 31 inches
Guided Paddle Trips on the Eastern Shore
With warmer weather, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s paddling programming returns with a variety of on-the-water experiences scheduled over the coming months. Led by ACA-certified instructors, these registration-required, guided paddles are designed to appeal to both experienced and new participants. Find the full list of upcoming opportunities at cbmm.org/paddlingprograms and registration links at bit.ly/CBMMPaddling2023.
The first paddling event of the season is on campus next Friday, May 19, with Paddling Gear & Beer Demo Day from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet CBMM’s instructors and ask them questions as they demonstrate paddling techniques and share their preferred gear. Participants will have the opportunity to test out various vessel styles and gear within Fogg’s Cove.
Additional trips include a Paddle & Tasting from Skipton Landing on Saturday, June 3, at 9 a.m., and a pair of Full Moon Paddles on Monday, July 31, from Oak Creek Landing in Newcomb, at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 30 from CBMM’s campus at 6 p.m. Cost for the paddles ranges from $15 to $55. Registration is limited for all paddling programs, and anyone age 16 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Photograph courtesy CBMM.
Kid’s Fishing Derby Announced
Pasadena Sportfishing has announced the details of it’s annual Kid’s Derby, which will be held on July 1st, 8–11:30 a.m., at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena. The event brings families and their young anglers together for a morning of friendly, competitive angling in two age groups–4 to 8 years old, and 9 to 15. There are prizes awarded for the “three largest fish” and “most fish” caught in each age group, plus door prizes. This is a BYORR (bring your own rod and reel) event, and pre-registration is recommended. For complete details visit the event page here.
ICYMI, Town of Easton Elects New Mayor
Last week, the residents of the Town of Easton, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, turned out in droves at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department to cast their votes in the town’s mayoral and council races. Current Easton Town Council President Megan Cook earned 1,068 votes in a decisive victory over longtime incumbant Mayor Robert Willey’s 664 votes, and current Ward 1 Councilman Al Silverstein’s 636 votes. Cook becomes Easton’s first female mayor. Learn more about Megan Cook at the Town of Easton government site here.
And that’s a wrap for this week’s Creel. If you have news to share, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.