Mary­land black bear lottery now open

Record Observer - - Sports - CHRIS KNAUSS

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is now ac­cept­ing applications for this year’s black bear hunt­ing lottery. Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants will re­ceive a per­mit valid for the four-day hunt­ing sea­son, tak­ing place Oct. 24-27 in Al­le­gany, Fred­er­ick, Gar­rett, and Wash­ing­ton coun­ties. The de­part­ment will is­sue 750 hunt­ing per­mits (up from 500 per­mits in 2015) that can be used any­where within the hunt­ing zone.

The an­nual bear hunt is an im­por­tant man­age­ment tool used to slow the growth of Mary­land’s black bear pop­u­la­tion as it dis­perses east­ward into more sub­ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties and coun­ties.

“This hunt re­mains well-reg­u­lated, sci­en­tif­i­cally sound and sus­tain­able,” Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice Di­rec­tor Paul Peditto said. “Ex­pand­ing the area open to bear hunt­ing will help us achieve our goal of lim­it­ing the in­crease in our bear pop­u­la­tion while guar­an­tee­ing a se­cure fu­ture for this species in Mary­land.”

Hunters may ap­ply in one of the fol­low­ing ways: on­line, by phone at 855-855-3906 (week­days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), by vis­it­ing a ser­vice cen­ter, or at one of over 250 Sport Li­cense Agents across the state.

All en­tries must be com­pleted by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31 and ac­com­pa­nied by a $15 non­re­fund­able ap­pli­ca­tion fee. Only one ap­pli­ca­tion per per­son will be ac­cepted, with du­pli­cates re­sult­ing in dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion and for­fei­ture of all fees.

The Black Bear Dam­age Re­im­burse­ment Fund is also open for vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions by hunters when they ap­ply for their per­mits. Do­nated monies will be used to di­rectly re­im­burse Mary­land farm­ers who have suf­fered agri­cul­tural dam­age caused by black bears. Since the fund was started 20 years ago, it has paid out more than $125,000 in el­i­gi­ble claims to farm­ers.

*** Kids fish­ing at

Long Wharf The Dorch­ester County Chap­ter of the Mary­land Salt­wa­ter Sport­fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion will host a kids fish­ing derby from 9 a.m. to noon, Satur­day, Au­gust 6 at Long Wharf Park in Cam­bridge. The event is for ages 5-12 and all chil­dren must be ac­com­pa­nied by a guardian.

Reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired by Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 3 by email­ing your name and phone num­ber to web­mas­ter@mssadorch­ester.com with the subject line “Kids Fish­ing Derby,” or call Bob at 443-225-6440.

Bait and tackle will be pro­vided, but feel free to bring your own rod and reel. The chap­ter will pro­vide wa­ter and hot dogs for all reg­is­tered kids. Anglers will re­ceive a pack­aged lure and a cer­tifi­cate of par­tic­i­pa­tion. First- and sec­ond-place prizes will be awarded for the largest rock­fish, white perch, cat­fish, spot, and croaker.

Spon­sors for the derby are the City of Cam­bridge, Wal­mart, Is­land Tackle, R&D Boat Sup­ply, and ES Hub­bard.

*** Water­fowl­ing event The Mary­land Wa­ter­fowlers As­so­ci­a­tion will host its 2016 Meet, Greet and Swap at the Tal­bot Rod and Gun Club on Chapel Road in Eas­ton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Satur­day Au­gust 13. The event is open to the pub­lic and free of charge, so it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to get bet­ter ac­quainted with the or­ga­ni­za­tion and to buy, swap, and/or sell some out­door sport­ing gear.

The event is be­ing held in con­junc­tion with DNR hunter safety classes held at the club that day. To help in­tro­duce new hunters to wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing, MDWFA

will pro­vide youth hunters with calls and call­ing and shoot­ing lessons after they com­plete their last phase of the hunter safety pro­gram.

Ta­bles are avail­able for at­ten­dees to sell their hunt­ing, fish­ing, and shoot­ing gear un­der the club’s pavil­ion. For in­for­ma­tion and to re­serve a ta­ble, con­tact Steve My­ers at mdl12s­keet@aol. com.

*** Fish­ing re­port Chum­ming for striped bass in the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay con­tin­ues to be a big draw for boats from ports as far south as the lower bay. Swan Point, Love Point, and the western side of the ship­ping chan­nel from above the mouth of the Magothy River to Sandy Point Light have been get­ting the most at­ten­tion. The 30- to 35-foot edge has been the sweet spot with a fall­ing tide pro­vid­ing the best ac­tion.

Trolling deep with um­brella rigs and sin­gle lures has been an ef­fec­tive alternative to chum­ming as has jig­ging when fish can be found sus­pended along chan­nel edges or near struc­ture. Live-lin­ing white perch is also a very ef­fec­tive tactic where fish can be spot­ted sus­pended near chan­nel edges. The Bay Bridge struc­ture and rock piles are hold­ing striped bass and jig­ging or livelin­ing white perch there can re­ally pay off.

In the mid­dle bay, striped bass are be­ing found along chan­nel edges in about 35 feet of wa­ter on the out­side edge of Hack­ett’s and out­side Po­plar Is­land to Buoy 83. Break­ing fish are be­com­ing a more com­mon sight as blue­fish join up with stripers to ha­rass schools of men­haden and bay an­chovies along chan­nel edges. Cast­ing into

the break­ing fish or jig­ging un­der­neath has been pro­vid­ing some fun ac­tion.

Far­ther south in the bay, fish­ing for co­bia is still hold­ing cen­ter stage. Anglers are chum­ming near the Tar­get Ship, the Mud Leads, or the Mid­dle Grounds and catch­ing a mix of blue­fish, a striped bass now and then, and some­times a co­bia.

There also has been a rarely seen visi­tor to Mary­land’s por­tion of the bay and that is the greater am­ber­jack. Ju­ve­nile am­ber­jack in the 26- to 30-inch range have been caught as far north as the mouth of the Chop­tank by chum­ming, trolling, and cast­ing to break­ing fish.

Re­cre­ational crab­bing con­tin­ues to be good in all three re­gions of the bay with the best crab­bing oc­cur­ring in the mid­dle and lower bay re­gions. The larger crabs tend to be deep, of­ten in 10 feet of wa­ter or more.

On the coast, surf cast­ers are catch­ing a mix of king­fish, small blue­fish, and floun­der. The best ac­tion tends to be early in the morn­ing and late evening. Blue­fish and Span­ish mack­erel are be­ing caught by trolling spoons near some of the in­shore shoal ar­eas like the Bass Grounds and Lit­tle Gull Shoals. Floun­der are also present in th­ese ar­eas as well as the wreck and reef sites where they help add to the mix for those fish­ing for sea bass.

Chunk­ing for yel­lowfin tuna has be­come very pop­u­lar re­cently for anglers an­chored up at Massey’s Canyon. *** Duck blind know-it-all Monks Mound, a large earth­work con­struc­tion near St. Louis built by an an­cient civ­i­liza­tion, con­sists of more than 2.16 bil­lion pounds of non-lo­cal soil types. Fol­low me on Twitter @csknauss Email me at ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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