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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. The leading photograph (above): Sunset over the Indian River Bay at Holts Landing, on the Delmarva Peninsula, late-summer 2021. Photo by yours truly.
First-Ever DRCN Annual Report Released
Good news for residents of the Delmarva region who care for their home environment. The Delmarva Restoration & Conservation Network (DRCN) has officially published its first-ever annual report! This report highlights the goals, funding, efforts, and accomplishments of the DRCN. For those of you—like me—who haven’t heard of DRCN, it was formed in 2017 as a collaborative of local, state, and Federal government agencies and NGOs working with private and public landowners and local governments to identify the most important places to protect and restore, and to obtain support and funding for voluntary restoration and conservation.
The new, 12-page report features lots of visuals and project descriptives that outline the progress DRCN has made in the six years since inception, including collaborations on Kent Island, in Dorchester County, and Virginia’s Accomack County to restore habitat, preserve land, and enhance water management capabilities. It’s a quick read and offers a snapshot of real, hands-on work to improve the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Beaver Creek Fish Kill
Renowned western Maryland fly fishing destination, Beaver Creek, experienced a fish kill a few weeks ago, which as citizens and officials concerned. Although the kill is likely attributed to heavy rains and an wash of silt entering the sensitive creek, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is investigating the exact cause. About 400 dead brown trout have been found along the banks of the creek, which runs north to south in Washington County, between South Mountain State Park and Antietam Creek. Both creeks ultimately feed into the Potomac River watershed.
“We think it’s probably related to a water quality issue or chemistry issue associated with a runoff…and it’s possible that maybe some contaminants or toxins [entered the creek],” DNR Director of Freshwater Fisheries Hatcheries division, Tony Prochaska, said.
In recent years, Beaver Creek has become renowned for it’s brown trout which, after years of stocking, are established and and naturally reproduce.
ASMFC Sets Cobia Quota Through ’26
Cobia news…the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Coastal Pelagics Management Board approved a total harvest quota for the Atlantic migratory group of cobia of 80,112 fish for the 2024–2026 fishing seasons. This total quota results in a coastwide recreational quota of 76,908 fish and commercial quota of 73,116 pounds (yeah, it took me a minute, too, to read that correctly). The total quota level was first approved in February 2020 for the 2020–2022 fishing seasons. In 2021, the Board changed the cobia quota timeframe from 2020–2022 to 2021–2023. Based on the recommendation from the Technical Committee and in the absence of a new stock assessment, the Board has set the 2024–2026 total harvest quota equal to the 2023 total harvest quota of 80,112 fish. A new stock assessment for Atlantic migratory group of cobia is scheduled for 2025, with the potential to inform 2026 or later total harvest quotas. The Board will meet in October 2023 to consider new recreational management measures for some states. Learn more at asmfc.org.
Both Maryland and Virginia’s cobia season continues until September 15th. Anglers are allowed to keep 1 cobia per person per day; or up to 2 cobia per vessel per day if there are 2 or more individuals on the vessel. Minimum size 40 inches.
NPS Premieres New Park Podcast
Earlier this week, the National Park Service (NPS) debuted a new podcast called “My Park Story” about the stories of individuals who share unique connections to NPS in parks and in their communities. Volunteers, grant recipients, employees, park visitors, and others will tell their stories on how the NPS has impacted their lives.
The first episode features the NPS Social Media Lead Matt Turner who serves as the candid and witty “voice” on the agency’s national social media accounts. Many NPS social media followers have questioned who is behind the accounts, and while Matt has disclosed his identity through interviews with various media outlets, now he has the opportunity to tell his “park story” on the new podcast.
“My Park Story” premiered on Wednesday, Aug. 23rd coinciding with the NPS’s birthday week, and will release a new episode every other Wednesday. As a birthday gift to the American public, NPS published a bonus birthday episode yesterday in honor of the park service’s 107th birthday. Tune into the podcast on NPS.gov or on Apple Podcasts as the NPS explores personal stories of enjoyment, education, and inspiration in these special places and spaces. If you are interested in participating in the “My Park Story” podcast as a guest, e-mail NPS here.
Friends of Fletcher’s Cove Becomes a Nonprofit
Longtime advocacy group, Friends of Fletcher’s Cove (FFC), has officially become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The D.C.-based group has been a grassroots stakeholder in the maintenance and environmental health of the popular fishing and recreational spot, located along the banks of the Potomac River in the heart of our nation’s capital. According to FFC:
“We took action to become a nonprofit to better advocate for the restoration of Fletcher’s Cove and to promote the site as one of D.C’s premier outdoor resources, and one of the best urban fisheries in the country. Moving forward, FFC will work to enhance Fletcher’s Cove across these key pillars: Achieve short-term and long-term sustainable access at Fletcher’s Cove through dredging and sustainable restoration; Build a strong and engaged community of supporters and volunteers at the Cove; Enhance access by contributing to the supply of iconic rowboats; Connect our region’s youth to outdoor experiences at Fletcher’s Cove.”
The new nonprofit’s first executive director is longtime volunteer Rob Catalanotto. Learn more at savethecove.org.
And that’s a wrap for this week’s Creel. If you have news to share, please send an email to email@example.com.