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Volume 15, Issue 26 ~ June 28 - July 4, 2007

Way Downstream

Has Diamond Jim been caught? Rob Johnson of Preston and three fellow anglers hope so. But they’ll have to wait until July 3 to find out if they’ve won the June prize of $10,000 from Boater’s World — plus a $5,000 diamond from Smyth Jewelers.

Johnson thought the tag in his rockfish was a fouled hook. A closer inspection revealed the message and phone number of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which later verified the catch.

If the tag number does match Diamond Jim’s, Johnson and his friends have agreed to donate part of the winnings to a local scholarship fund, then treat themselves to “one heck of a fishing trip.”

  Get the details of the 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge at

In Chesapeake Bay, it takes longer to draft an Environmental Impact Statement on how alien oysters might work in the Bay than it does for an oyster to grow to eating size. Instead of the expected Impact Statement, the Army Corps of Engineers has instead released a report explaining how hard the job was. Wish we’d thought of that when homework was due.

The late statement is expected to direct the future for oyster management in the Bay, from detailing how we should manage native oyster, C. virginica, to introducing the alien C. ariakensis, to trying for peaceful coexistence. Check out the progress at:

In Pennsylvania, two local governments — the Steelton Borough Council and the Lower Swatara Township commission — last week approved a plan to build as many as six huge ethanol tanks along the Susquehanna River, about 110 miles north of Annapolis. Steelton Terminals Corp. intends to receive the mostly corn-made ethanol by railroad from the west and dispatch it in trucks to be mixed with gasoline. (Ethanol can’t be moved by pipeline because of its corrosiveness.) …

In Washington, Chesapeake Bay surfaced in the Senate debate last week on a new Energy Bill. Said Sen. Barbara Mikulski: “Those fishermen are out there on the Chesapeake Bay trying to harvest ever-diminishing crabs with ever-increasing fuel prices.” She was among the senators who voted for a far-reaching plan that will force auto manufacturers to build cars and trucks that get at least 35 mpg by 2020 …

Our Creature Feature comes from Virginia Beach, where three endangered and rehabilitated sea turtles were released this week into Chesapeake Bay by the life-saving Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team of the Marine Animal Care Center.

The trio got names as well as rehabilitation. CD Chill, a loggerhead found floating in the Elizabeth River last winter and suffering from hypothermia, put on 29 pounds since February, the Daily Press reported. Mighty Luke had lost one whole flipper and part of another when he was found last November. And then there’s Crack Head Fred, who needed massages and hand feeding after being found emaciated and near death last October.

The rare turtles owe their existence to the Virginia Aquarium.

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