Chesapeake Outdoors by C. D. Dollar

 Vol. 10, No. 48

November 27- December 4, 2002

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My Thanksgiving List

There is always a risk when creating a list, particularly with a holiday theme. At best, the results are campy and humorous, a fact borne out by the wildly successful “Top 10” list perfected by talk-show smart-aleck Dave Letterman.

On rare occasions, the contents of lists can touch upon the commonalty of human existence, but rarely do they do more than scratch the surface. Mostly, though, list results smack of trite melancholic dribble.

Well, if at the end of this piece that is what is left, then so be it. Below you’ll find a partial, and no doubt evolving, list of just some of the things I’m grateful for and hopeful about. So here it goes:

  • I’m thankful that, at age 60 (at least), music legend Bob Dylan and his stellar band can still blow the roof off the joint, as he proved last week at Patriot Center in Virginia. Despite his trademark stoicism, he passionately delivered the goods with standards “Maggie’s Farm” and “Along the Watchtower” and infused incredible covers of “Old Man” and “Brown Sugar.”

  • I’m thankful, despite its greeting-card traits, for the truth of the axiom that a day fishing, even if you don’t catch a single thing, is still better than a day of work.

  • I’m thankful that a benefit of writing about the outdoors is that we in the profession can forgo many of the complicated issues confounding society today for a few hours in a kayak, on a stream casting flies or hiking a mountain trail.

  • I’m both hopeful that we learned a good lesson from the necessity of closing the migrant Canada goose season and grateful, thanks to prudent conservation efforts, that I can take part in the Chesapeake Thanksgiving tradition of taking a holiday goose.

  • I’m cautiously optimistic that governor-elect Bob Ehrlich will actually make good in his promise to “clean up the Bay.”

  • I am also hopeful that Ehrlich’s colleagues — the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania, other Chesapeake leaders and the federal EPA — will display the fortitude to enforce pollution regulations, especially those of the Clean Water Act that can reduce Bay-killing nitrogen. They also need to find the cash to ramp up efforts to meet the goals of Chesapeake 2000. True, money is tight, but what is the alternative? Scale down our investment in Bay restoration? If this happens, a dead Bay, or at least one that has little hope of recovery in our lifetime, isn’t far off.

  • I’m hopeful that the good people of the Chesapeake take to heart the words of John Muir and apply them to our modern Bay:

    “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life!”

Fish Are Biting
When the weather isn’t too bad, most of the really big stripers are being caught trolling in areas on the western shore, such as Buoy 83, Holland Point and Parkers Creek south. Also, trolling between Buoy 78 and the Silver Ball produced fish up to 40 pounds, according to a DNR fishing report.

Rockfish are still breaking from Bloody Point past the Bay Bridges, but these are mainly undersized fish. Also, keeper-stripers are busting bait at the end of Hooper Island.

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly