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Weekly Creel : Angling & Conservation News

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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 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…

Two More Days of National Fishing & Boating Week

Today and tomorrow are the last two days of this week’s National Fishing & Boating Week, celebrated nationally and organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This event is held annually the first full week of June. All week long, NOAA has shared videos, feature stories, news, and information about how it supports sustainable recreational fisheries for the benefit and enjoyment of the nation. There’s plenty of fun and informative resources at NOAA’s website, linked above. Check it out and have fun casting a line!

15 Million Oysters Planted in Severn River

On Wednesday, fifteen million spat-on-shell were planted on the Peach Orchard Reef, located between the Route 50 and Naval Academy bridges on the Severn River. This is the fifth consecutive year that the community-funded reef building campaign known as Operation Build-a-Reef has planted oysters in the Severn River. The program has resulted in over 100 million juvenile oysters contributed to the Severn. It is a partnership between the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Severn River Association, with financial support from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Elected and organization officials attended the event, including Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Senator Dawn Gile, Delegate Dana Jones, Senator Van Hollen, SRA’s Executive Director Jess Iliff, and more. Financial support for the program was also contributed by Smyth Jewelers. Tito’s Handmade Vodka also played a role, by contributing a $30,000 matching campaign in support of the adjacent Marylanders Grow Oysters Program. Now through June 30, Tito’s Handmade Vodka will match donations made to Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) to support the planting of oysters. Learn more at Photograph courtesy Oyster Recovery Partnership.

Shoreline Restoration Project Completed in Dorchester County

Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently completed shoreline construction at Hurst Creek in Dorchester County, the second of the department’s 24 Resiliency through Restoration Initiative pilot projects. In this project, nearly 1,200 linear feet of living shoreline was completed along the mouth of the Hurst Creek along the Choptank River. A combination of marsh grasses, sand, and stones were used to construct the living shoreline and adjacent breakwaters to provide increased protection to the surrounding community of Bonnie Brook in Cambridge. About 12,500 cubic yards of clean, sandy dredged material, excavated from the adjacent channel of the creek, was used in the construction of the shoreline.

“Resilient shorelines are essential to adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change for future generations,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “This project also highlights the beneficial use of dredged material, which creates economic opportunities, helps clean the water and increases habitat for our most important species.” Photograph by Maryland DNR.

350 Acres Protected Forever in Kent County

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy recently celebrated the permanent protection of 350 acres of land owned by Kristen and Albert Nickerson in the area of Still Pond, Kent County. A collaboration between ESLC and the Department of Natural Resources’ Rural Legacy Program, the addition of the Nickerson’s farmland brings ESLC’s total easement acreage to more than 55,000 acres. The new easements also add to a contiguous block of nearly 1,300 acres of protected land. The benefits of such contiguity are endless. Working farmland is kept more secure when surrounded by other protected working farms, rather than being encroached upon by developments. Woodlands can support larger and more diverse populations of interior dwelling species like woodpeckers, thrushes, vireos, and owls when habitats are combined into large contiguous blocks. And waterways are better protected with longer shoreline buffers. Learn more at

Planks for Pride Campaign Hits $5K Mark

The Pride of Baltimore II replica historic ship recently celebrated it’s 35th birthday—35 years since the ship was launched in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. And the Pride organization has launched a special fundraising campaign to help maintain the ship’s hull integrity. According the organization:

“Most of us require a little more maintenance as we get older. Well, so do ships. This winter, while the ship was in dry dock for winter work and inspections, it was discovered that some of Pride’s planks are starting to deteriorate. The deterioration isn’t so severe as to affect the integrity or safety of the ship immediately. However, those planks need to be replaced sometime in the next few months. Right now, it looks like Pride will go to a dry dock in August for the plank work. We did not expect the need for some planks to be replaced this year, so we launched this fundraising campaign, Planks for Pride. Our goal is to raise $35,000 to put toward the six-figure cost of the plank work.”

As of this week, the campaign has raised $5,550 toward it’s $35K goal. To learn more about the campaign and how you can help restore the Pride of Baltimore II, visit the Planks for Pride website. Photograph courtesy Pride of Baltimore II.

Sewage Overflow on Patapsco

On Thursday, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health ordered an emergency closing and warns against direct water contact in Stoney Run, a tributary of the Patapsco River in Linthicum Heights. The closing is due to a sewage overflow estimated at 98,100 gallons from a foreign object blocking a manhole. The overflow occurred overnight June 3, 2023 and was stopped on June 6, 2023. The closing will remain in effect until Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

The Department of Health posted closure signs to let the public know about the closing. People coming in contact with the affected water are advised to wash well with soap and warm water immediately. Clothing should also be washed. For more information about the closing, call the Department of Health’s Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program at 410-222-7241.

ASMFC Presents Annual Awards of Excellence

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission presented its Annual Awards of Excellence to a number of individuals for their outstanding contributions to congressional/legislative issues, fisheries science, and law enforcement along the Atlantic coast. Specifically, the 2023 award recipients were Miranda Peterson for congressional/legislative contributions; Carol Hoffman for technical and scientific contributions; and Region 3 New York State Department of Conservation Police for law enforcement contributions.

“Every year a great many people contribute to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast. The Commission’s Annual Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding efforts by professionals who have made a difference in the way we manage and conserve our fisheries,” said ASMFC Chair Spud Woodward of Georgia. “I am humbled by the breadth and extent of accomplishments of the recipients and am grateful for their dedication to Atlantic coast fisheries.” Pictured from left to right: ASMFC Executive Director Bob Beal, Environmental Conservation Officer Lieutenant Sean Reilly, Carol Hoffman, Awards Committee Chair Jim Gilmore, and ASMFC Chair Spud Woodward. Photograph courtesy ASMFC.

“Ask the Alliance” Webinars Return This Summer

Environmental nonprofit Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is bringing back it’s popular “Ask the Alliance” webinars this July and August. Each Thursday at noon, the 30-minute sessions will introduce a variety of outdoors, environmental, and Chesapeake Bay-related topics. The webinars kick off on July 6th with an “Intro to Fly Fishing” program hosted by the Alliance’s Communications Director, Adam Miller, for an introduction to the gear and techniques needed to enjoy your time on the water. Subsequent webinars will cover nature photography, natural lawns, kayaking, foraging, aquatic macroinvertebrates, rain gardens, and turtles of the Chesapeake watershed. Pre-registration is requested. Visit the Alliance’s website here for all details.

And that’s a wrap for this week’s Creel. If you have news to share, please send an email to