Chesapeake Outdoors
Outdoor News
by C.D. Dollar

Sarah Taylor-Rogers, new secretary of Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, has decided not to allow a Canada goose hunting season.

"We asked hunters what they thought about a limited season, and a strong majority of hunters who responded were opposed to opening a season which would allow fewer than half of Maryland's waterfowl hunters to participate," Secretary Taylor-Rogers said in a release last week. "In addition, many hunters said they thought waiting to open the season would enable a more rapid recovery of this valuable species."

One of the complaints was that the harvest would amount to only 12,200 birds. There are about 25,000 waterfowl hunters in Maryland, so strict control measures would include a lottery to issue permits and a tagging system to prevent overharvest. According to DNR, most hunters indicated strong disapproval of a lottery system and were willing to wait until greater numbers of migrant Canadas would allow more liberal bag limits.

Secretary Taylor-Rogers also approved a 107-day snow goose season to be extended to March 10. Snow geese have destroyed crops and wetlands for many years. The DNR plan breaks the season into two segments, from October 16 to November 26 and from December 6 to January 31. A third segment, with hunting only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, runs February 2 through March 10.

· Changes to the Angling category for Atlantic bluefin tuna have been announced by National Marine Fisheries Service. Creel limits have been changed from one bluefin per vessel per day from the large school/small medium category (47 to 73 inches curved fork length) to two bluefin per vessel per day from the school category (27 to 47 inches curved fork length) and one bluefin per vessel per day from the large school/small medium category (47 to 73 inches curved fork length) for a total of three fish per vessel per day through October 6, 1999.

· On Sunday, September 26 from 2 to 6pm at St. John's College waterfront, the Annapolis Chapter of Ducks Unlimited hosts its Annapolis Outdoor Festival.

"We have something for the whole family," said chairman John Chew. "Kids of all ages will enjoy Scales & Tales, the Touch Tank, the retriever demonstration and decoy carving," said Chew. "Adults will enjoy the auctions and the Ducks Unlimited store."

Admission includes a classic Bull and Oyster Roast, beer, wine and soda, DU membership and a live and silent auction. Tickets are $70 each, $115 for couples and $10 for kids 17 and under. Contact Vern Cunningham at 410/721-0691 or [email protected]


Fish are Biting

Angling is picking up in the aftermath of tropical storm Dennis, which hit the Bay region with near-gale winds, heavy rains and tide surges keeping nearly all but the insane at the dock for most of the week leading up to the Labor Day weekend.

In the upper Bay, fishermen were reporting that roving bands of rockfish and snapper bluefish invaded the Patapsco River in fair numbers last week. The bar off Swan Point has produced some keeper rockfish for chummers, and anglers trolling at the mouth of the Chester River took bluefish in the four- to seven-pound range, with decent-sized Spanish mackerel thrown in. Look for the bottom fishing for spot and white perch to get going again at the Hacketts and Tolley Point. Eastern Bay and the Hill were streaky, as was Kent Narrows for anglers after keeper rockfish, although the perch, spot and some croaker and flounder were taken.

Farther south, in the middle Bay, action for breaking bluefish, Spanish mackerel and rockfish was hot pre-Dennis. Charter skippers predict this action should resume by the weekend. Fred Donovan from the Rod 'n' Reel (800/233-2080) in Chesapeake Beach is looking for action on the Sharps Island flats, Summer Gooses and the Stone Rock.

At the lower end of the Maryland Bay, the Mud Leads and Cornfield Harbor should resume their productivity, with Tangier Sound continuing to see good bottom fishing.

| Issue 36 |

Volume VII Number 36
September 9-15, 1999
New Bay Times

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