Maryland Overview :
Fisheries Services' 2009 Year In Review

Look for Our First Full Report of 2010 in Early March

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Overview

Cold temperatures, snow and just what we need; “a little more rain”. It has not been hard to conjure up images of Johnny Cash’s song Five Feet High and Rising when waterfront towns are partially flooded and rivers and streams are swollen to their limits. Maryland seems to be in a pattern of lot’s of rain since last summer and although we’re getting tired of it; it is doing some good. It could turn out to be just the catalyst we need for good spawning conditions for anadromus fish this spring. Late February and March rains will wash nutrients from the marshes and swamps into the upper watersheds and if everything goes right; a plankton bloom and subsequent zooplankton bloom (the little guys who eat plankton). The zooplankton in turn become food for newly hatched striped bass larvae in April. It’s a long shot but everyone would agree that Maryland would not mind a strong year class of striped bass.

Fishermen who’ve had enough TV and sitting around have been attending the Outdoor and Fishing Shows this month fighting cabin fever or perhaps looking for a new piece of fishing tackle. Your Fisheries Service will be at the Pasadena Sportfishing Clubs big Fishing Flea Market on February 13th and 14th and the Eastern Sports Exposition in Harrisburg from the 6th to 14th of February. Be sure to stop by and say hello and see the freshwater tank filled with a variety of live sportfish.

Fishermen who love their “hard water” fishing or ice fishing as most call it are enjoying wonderful fishing opportunities at Deep Creek Lake, Lake Habeeb and Piney Reservoir all in western Maryland. Western region fisheries biologist Alan Klotz mentioned that the North Branch of the Potomac and the Youghiogheny are ice free and offering great trout fishing opportunities for anyone willing to trudge through the surrounding snow. Others are out casting for chain pickerel in the upper reaches of tidal rivers and ice free impoundments. Yellow perch are schooling up in some of the deeper areas of the bays tidal rivers and the lower Susquehanna and Northeast Rivers have been a real “go to” place to fish this month. Fishermen are casting tubes, Gulp Minnows and similar soft plastic jig head lures down deep to enjoy catching and releasing large numbers of yellow perch. Be sure to check out the Fishing Hot Spots link to see a video on the excellent fishing there.

Keith Tiedemann sent in a short report and picture of the wonderful fishing he and his fishing buddy enjoyed. The yellow perch fishing has been great in the lower Susquehanna since the end of December. We have been catching and releasing many big fish like the one pictured here. Bill Reiber caught and released this one this past weekend on a gulp minnow. We have been using twister tails, gulp minnows, tubes and silver buddies.

David Yost sent in this report of some fun fishing he and a friend found catching creek chubs in a local stream. It was cold water chubs again today. It took Mike Short and me a while to find a hole but when we did they were steady hitting. We used 1/16oz white spinners; let them settle on bottom before retrieving, then very slowly retrieved. Rt. 3 Bridge separating Bowie/Crofton, north bound side, down side of bridge. Hitting about every 3rd cast; what a blast, fish were a little larger today and a little more aggressive. Casting for Creek Chubs in January is now on my list.

Once again your Fisheries Service biologists have taken the time to write up summaries of their activities for 2009; to help you understand their efforts to bring us greater fishing opportunities and restoring others. The reports are listed by programs under the Chesapeake, Freshwater and Ocean Reports. They are written in their own individual styles; so some will be more detailed than others and they all have different flavors of writing but they are all extremely interesting and contain a lot of information. It is our greatest hope that you can sit back and read them in warmth and comfort as the cold winter winds blow outside. If you would like to ask any questions about any of the programs listed do not hesitate to contact us at the Fisheries Service and we’ll direct your questions to the appropriate biologists.