Bad news for black bass
The Black Bass Advisory Subcommittee met this week to finalize their recommendations to the Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission, which will meet in October.
If Tuesday night’s meeting is any indication of what is going to happen, not much is going to be done to restore black bass in the Potomac River.
There was even talk of walking back the ban on culling tools for tournaments with waivers. Science has proven that warm water can be deadly to tournament bass; the culling tool ban makes sense to protect bass when they are most vulnerable. How many more years of declining numbers will it take before some substantive changes are made to black bass management practices?
Last night, with all members in attendance, the issue of sanctuary areas was dismissed with a vote of 8-4. To scope out the public’s opinion of the catch-and-release areas, 1,000 Maryland anglers were surveyed and 81 percent were in favor of closures to protect spawning bass. There is strong opposition from tournament directors and anglers, and now it seems that the voice of a few will have precedent over the citizens who live and pay taxes in Maryland.
Sanctuary areas are probably not going to happen, so if you are concerned about the black bass population in the Potomac River, you can head out to National Harbor this weekend to help build artificial habitat for black bass and other native fish.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and National Harbor have teamed up to construct 80 small concrete reef balls and relocate them to the bottom of Smoots Bay in the Potomac River to help restore it as a prime largemouth bass environment. They will be interspersed with woody structure to provide protection for juvenile bass who depend on submerged grasses that have been in decline the past decade.
The taskforce is looking for volunteers over the age of 16 to help with the effort. The reef building will take place Friday to Sunday at the National Harbor. Volunteers will help mix and pour concrete into molds, “hatch” the balls, and clean the workspace. Lunch will even be provided.
To register as a volunteer, go to www.cbf.org/events/ other/md/national-harbor-reef-ball-event-registration. For more information, call Pat Beall at 443-482-2065. Southern Maryland lakes and
ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, reports that the bass fishing has been good lately, although the fish are on the smaller side in the 10- to 14-inch range with a nice 2- to 5-pounder thrown in for good measure.
Early in the morning topwater lures should be your goto. When the sun is high, soft plastic tubes, finesse worms