The wait for trout is over
The wait is over. You may have spent the past few weeks picking apples and plucking the perfect pumpkin out of the patch, but fall is also a great time to wet a line and go after some of the thousands of trout the Maryland Department of Natural Resources stocks in some of the lakes and ponds across our state.
DNR just announced they have finally stocked trout in our local waters. Now that these rainbow and golden trout are swimming free, there’s no better time to get out and try your luck at catching one (or a few).
The water temperatures in Southern Maryland have been quite warm this fall. The cold snap that finally hit made it possible for Maryland DNR to make a deliver y to the southern part of our state.
In Calvert County, Calvert Cliffs Pond and Hutchins Pond both received 350 hatchery trout. In Charles County, Wheatley Lake, Myrtle Grove Pond and Hughesville Pond were allotted 350 each as well.
Anthony Hancock, assistant manager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, wasn’t there when the trout were delivered, but he tells me most of the fish average 11 to 12 inches and there are a few genuine 16-inch trophy-sized trout in the bunch. It wasn’t quite as big a delivery as he was hoping for, and there are already some early birds at work taking them back out of the lake, including some fly fishermen, so time is of the essence. Split-shot with PowerBait remains the most popular way to catch these trout.
This is the last month Gilbert Run Park’s gates will be open on the weekends. But keep in mind, even if the gates are closed, you can still walk in to fish.
Jeffrey Socha, a recreational angler up to our north in Thurmont, took a week off when the trout were released in his neck of the woods and he spent his entire vacation fishing all the hot spots in Frederick and Washington counties, including Greenbrier Lake, Owens Creek and Rainbow Lake. Not only did he catch some tasty fish for dinner, but I’m willing to wager that his blood pressure is lower and he’s smiling a lot more lately.
Take a page from Socha’s playbook and hit Wheatley Lake or one of the other public waters that were stocked with trout this weekend. Or better yet, call in sick tomorrow and enjoy a day of fishing. I won’t tell.
A word to the thrifty
This past weekend I left the kids in the competent hands of my husband and spent a few hours campaigning for my candidate of choice at the early voting location in St. Mary’s County.
There were some genuinely nice people on both sides of the fence, and if I am being completely honest, a slight measure of respectful animosity. What I found really surprising was the constant flow of people coming and going as they exercised their right to vote.
While I was observing the activities and attitudes at
the election polls, the thought crossed my mind concerning the days after Nov. 8 and what the election could mean for the outdoors crowd?
While I can’t see the future better than anyone else, the thought crossed my mind that one particular outcome of the election could drive the sales of firearms, and more to my immediate point, raise the price of ammunition.
I might be way off base, but if you recall how .22 caliber ammunition and other types, too, were mighty scarce a few years ago, and the prices were high when you could find it, right
now might be the best time to stock up. It looks like there is a 50/50 chance that prices could be rising.
Black bear hunt
Since 2004, Mar yland has held a lotter y for permits for the black bear hunt that takes place in the western part of the state. This year, the hunt was expanded from just two counties — Garrett and Allegany — to include two more, Frederick and Washington. And the number of permits granted was increased 50 percent, from 500 to 750. Over 5,000 hunters applied this year.
The annual hunt took place Oct. 24 to 27 and a record number of 166 bears were har vested.
This record-breaking total is 71 more than the previous record of 95 which was set last year.
Officials with the Mar yland DNR are confident that this record hunting season is evidence that they are managing the black bear population effectively. Biologists estimate that the black bear population is growing at a rate of about 12.5 percent annually and black bears are slowly expanding their territory beyond the westernmost part of Maryland.
The most bears were taken in Garrett County with 125 reported, 30 were reported in Allegany and the remaining 11 were taken from Frederick and Washington counties. The largest bear was taken by John Kennedy of Flintstone. It was a 559-pound male.