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Weekly Creel : Angling & Conservation News

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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 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…

Maryland Recreational Striper Regs Announced

On Thursday, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the regulations for the 2023 recreational striped bass fishery (private and charter) in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The 2023 regulations are unchanged from 2022 and are as follows:

Spring “Trophy” Season: 

  • April 1 through April 30: Anglers are prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release. 
  • May 1 through May 15: Anglers may keep one striped bass per day, with a minimum size of 35 inches, in the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line. 

Summer-Fall Season: 

  • May 16 through July 15 and August 1 through December 10: Anglers may keep one striped bass per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate would not be permitted to land or possess striped bass for personal consumption. 
  • The striped bass season is closed from July 16 through July 31. During this period, anglers are prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release and charter boats.

It’s the opinion of Reel Chesapeake that the trophy season should be done with altogether, and a slot limit imposed on the remainder of the season(s). But we’re (I’m) not a fishery scientist. What do you think of the 2023 regulations (unchanged from ’22)? Please drop a comment on the matching “Weekly Creel” Instagram post.

Speaking of Regs

Maryland DNR is also in several stages of scoping future fishing regulations. Right now, the comment period is open to all anglers wishing to provide feedback on several topics, including new regs at Assateague State Park during camping season and the use of projectile bait launchers. There are many more rules, penalities, and regs being reviewed. For the full list and to voice your concerns, questions, or support, visit the “Changes to Fishing Regulations” landing page.

Burn Your Socks

Spring is coming…soonish. Annapolis Maritime Museum announced the date of the beloved, annual event “Annapolis Oyster Roast & Sock Burning,” set for Saturday, March 18th, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are on sale. What began as a tradition among a few Eastport shipyard workers, sailors, and friends in the 1970s, the sock burning has become one of the largest spring parties in town! Held the weekend closest to the Spring Equinox, the tradition calls for attendees to doff their winter socks, throw them into a large bonfire, and celebrate…usually by quaffing a few beers! This year’s party will feature live music by the Naptown Brass Band and the Eastport Oyster Boys, plenty of libations, all-you-can-eat oysters, and more fun activities. Pictured: Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan burns his socks with the cheering crowd; photo courtesy Office of the Governor.

Inaugural D.C. Boat Show Announced

Dates have been announced for the 1st Annual D.C. Boat Show, taking place at National Harbor, May 5–7. What to expect? Details are still being drawn up, so other than…boats…we’re not sure, but very excited, to see what organizers are cooking up. We can tell you that the National Harbor waterfront does, in our opinion, seem like an ideal location for a boat show. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, parking, and amenities. The location in the shallower waters of the Potomac River could pose some logistical challenges, but there is ample dockage and plenty of waterfront to bring in floating/temporary docks—assuming this is an in-water show. We shall see. Stay tuned for details.

Angler Night at The Boatyard

This one is for the ladies! The Boatyard Bar & Grill, Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, and Anglers Sport Center are teaming up for “Angler Night” at The Boatyard’s Eastport location, next Tuesday, January 31st at 6 p.m. The evening will feature a Lady Anglers Happy Hour, and a special Q&A about all-things fishing with Anglers’ and CCA staff. All are welcome. Future Angler Night dates at the Boatyard to put on your calendar: February 28 and March 28. Details forthcoming. And…The Boatyard announced a special Save the Date for it’s annual Opening Day Rockfish Tournament: May 6th. More details here.

Last Call for Award Nominations

Just a few days left to nominate an individual for the annual Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission are seeking nominees for the award, which celebrates conservation, education, and sportsmanship. This prestigious honor recognizes an individual who has provided sustained efforts in habitat management, conservation, education, research, or other meaningful contributions that benefit fish and recreational fishing in Maryland. Nominations are being accepted now through January 31st. Recipients will receive a proclamation signed by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and the chair of the Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission. To make a nomination, complete the online form, which includes submitting a detailed essay describing the nominee’s contributions to Maryland recreational fisheries.

Last Call for Deer Hunters

At the tail end of last week, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the last chance for hunters to take a deer in the 2022–23 season. The state’s Primitive Deer Hunt will be open February 1–3 statewide. Hunters with a valid hunting license, or those exempt from the hunting license requirement, may use primitive bows or muzzleloaders to hunt sika and white-tailed deer during these days. Primitive hunting devices are defined as long bows, recurve bows, flintlock, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders. DNR explicitly states that hunters may not use compound bows, crossbows, drawlocks, and telescopic or other electronic aiming devices. However, fiber optic sights are permitted on otherwise legal primitive bows or muzzleloaders. Consult the Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping for full details.

Easton to Acquire 197-Acre Parkland

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy applauded good news coming out of Easton last week. The Easton Town Council approved of the purchase of a 197-acre parcel on Oxford Road for a new forested community park. “The town envisions the proposed park being a key future component of an impressive trails network, ensuring folks from Easton and the surrounding area have access to hiking, wildlife watching, and other types of passive recreation,” wrote the organization’s Director of Land Use and Policy, Owen Bailey. “Acquisition of the property is still contingent on the town receiving the vast majority of the funding required for the purchase from the Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space. The town of Easton and Talbot County will also contribute their own portion of local-side Program Open Space funding to complete the sale. The town of Easton will retain ownership and management of the park. Read more about the news, here.

Greenscape 2023 Announced!

The City of Annapolis has set the date for Greenscape 2023— the community investment of beautification, clean-up, and planting in public spaces. This Spring’s GreenScape is scheduled for Saturday April 22nd. Organizational meetings will be held at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center in Meeting Room 1 on the second Wednesday of February and March. During the first meeting on February 8th, Save the Trees, a local volunteer organization working to eradicate invasive English Ivy in Truxtun Park, will present on the proper way of removing and replacing the ivy with appropriate native plantings.

  • 1st Meeting, Wed Feb 8, 6 pm
  • 2nd Meeting, Wed Mar 8, 6 pm (plant order forms are due at this meeting)

For more information, email Marisa Wittlinger at

Go Green, Socially

More green news in Naptown. Join Annapolis Green at Blackwall Hitch in Eastport on Wednesday, February 1st, the day after the virtual Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit (where the environmental community’s priority state legislation is presented), for the organization’s popular, monthly social session Green Drinks—a cocktail party (or mock-tail party) for people who care about the environment. Learn what delegates and senators will be considering and how that will affect our environment from guest speaker, Marisa Olszewski, Environmental Policy Manager at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Guest speaker Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (District 15, Montgomery County) will also join the conversation, to address legislation related to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Admission to Green Drinks is free. A $10 donation at the door is suggested to help Annapolis Green’s programs continue.