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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. The leading photograph (above): Still water on Valentine Creek, Severn River, Maryland, USA. Photo by yours truly.

CCA Maryland Offers Guide to Striper Addendum II

Executive Director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland David Sikorski and the CCA team have compiled a useful and easy-to-read guide to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Draft Addendum II. CCA’s guide offers the organization’s position on the proposed changes to the 2024 striped bass season and Q&As to many common inquiries about what’s included in the Draft Addendum II. Check out the landing page for CCA’s Anglers Guide to Pending Striped Bass Changes.

Maryland’s 4th Master Angler Awarded

Photograph courtesy Jason Paugh, via Maryland DNR.

Jason Paugh, of Red House, officially became the fourth Master Angler awarded under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ FishMaryland program. The highest award in the program recognizes the skill and determination required to catch ten trophy-size fish species in Maryland that all meet the minimum award sizes. 

Paugh reached this milestone award by catching a largemouth bass (21.25 inches), smallmouth bass (20 inches), crappie (16.75 inches), northern pike (47.25 inches), chain pickerel (25.25 inches), rock bass (10.75 inches), yellow perch (14.25 inches), carp (38 inches), bluegill (11 inches), and wild brook trout (12.25 inches). All but one of these fish were caught in Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland. Paugh caught the fish on artificial lures. The brook trout was caught in a small tributary of the Savage River system. 

“Angler participation in the FishMaryland program has been tremendous since its launch in January 2019,” Maryland DNR Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “FishMarlyland showcases the array of freshwater and saltwater species available in Maryland, and we are thrilled for Mr. Paugh to be the fourth angler to receive the program’s highest award. It takes a great deal of talent, drive, and perseverance to earn Master Angler status.” Congratulations Jason!

Waterkeepers Chesapeake Dole Out Annual Awards

Waterkeepers Chesapeake hosted its annual In Defense of Water Awards & Reception back in September at Patagonia Baltimore, at which the organization presented awards to clean water and environmental justice advocates for their efforts protecting local communities and water quality.

“We are thrilled to award our 2023 Waterkeeper Outstanding Win (WOW) Award to Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Ted Evgeniadis. As a partner with Waterkeepers Chesapeake on joint litigation around the relicensing of Conowingo Dam, Ted has been a relentless force for cleaner water, pursuing a fair federal license that led to the historic appeals court decision in December 2022 vacating the federal dam license and remanding it back to FERC,” said Robin Broder, Acting Executive Director. “In addition, Ted has had a string of clean water victories on coal ash, sewage overflows, and PFAS contamination, while also serving as Executive Director of the growing Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association and as a Board Member of Waterkeepers Chesapeake for the past six years.”

And Richard Dolesh was presented with the 2023 Water Warrior Award. Nominated by Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman, Dolesh has made significant and long-lasting contributions to the protection and restoration of the Patuxent River watershed and its communities. Fred describes Richard as “a perennial volunteer, known by nearly everybody in the Patuxent conservation community, but so modest that recognition for his contributions is long overdue.” Read more about Ted and Richard here.

ShoreRivers Wants to Plant Trees in Your Town

ShoreRivers is calling all local government officials, community partners, and residents of Cambridge Chestertown, Easton, Denton, or Federalsburg. The environmental organization is actively seeking requests for native tree plantings within these local municipalities. Thanks to generous funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, ShoreRivers is working to plant 1,000 native trees in urban areas of the Eastern Shore over the next three years.

Planting native trees improves water quality and reduces nutrient and stormwater runoff, shades impervious surface to better regulate water temperatures, and sequesters carbon in our atmosphere. Eligible planting locations are ones that offer benefits to a broader community: street trees, parks, community spaces, etc. Tree plantings are available on both public and private properties.

To learn more about this project, or to share potential planting locations, reach ou​t to Jennifer K​lug Vaccaro, Community Restoration Coordinator.

Speaking of Trees…National Christmas Tree Lighting Nov. 30th

2022 National Christmas Tree Lighting. National Park Service. November 30, 2022. Photos: NPS / Kelsey Graczyk

In the national parks category of news, we have the National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House and President’s Park in D.C. this coming Thursday, November 30th. Kick-off the 2023 holiday season with the National Christmas Tree Lighting. This beloved American tradition, presented by the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation (NPF), will feature musical performances and the official lighting of the tree on the Ellipse at The White House. 

Hosted by American country artist Mickey Guyton, this year’s event features Darren Criss, Samara Joy, Ledisi, Reneé Rapp, St. Vincent, Joe Walsh, and Dionne Warwick. The event will also feature performances by the United States Coast Guard’s Guardians Big Band. In partnership with NPF, CBS will broadcast the 2023 ceremony on Friday, December 15th (8 p.m. EST/PST) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live on Paramount+. 

I’ll be tuning in to see Joe Walsh perform.

The National Christmas Tree and 58 smaller trees are free to visit and open to the public December 2nd through January 1st. Hours are 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, and 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Lights turn on near sunset each evening.  

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