Has any­one seen Mary­land’s Recre­ational Use Statute?

Record Observer - - Sports -

Do­ing some re­search this week on li­a­bil­ity con­cerns on pri­vate lands, I came across sev­eral doc­u­ments that pointed to Mary­land’s Recre­ational Use Statute. Most states have a recre­ational use statute that pro­tects landown­ers from li­a­bil­ity when they al­low the pub­lic to en­ter their land for recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties.

On­line re­sources point to the statute’s ex­is­tence in the Code of Mary­land Reg­u­la­tions. For ex­am­ple, in “Landowner Li­a­bil­ity and Recre­ational Ac­cess,” by Jonathan Kays of the Univer­sity of Mary­land Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion, it states:

The pur­pose of Mary­land’s recre­ational statute, first en­acted in 1957 and there­after amended, is clearly high­lighted in Ti­tle 5, Sub­ti­tle 11 of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Ar­ti­cle of the Mary­land An­no­tated Code, en­ti­tled “Pub­lic recre­ation on pri­vate land.” The statute (An­no­tated Code of Mary­land, Nat­u­ral Re­sources Ar­ti­cle, Ti­tle 5-1102) clearly states the pur­pose of Sub­ti­tle 11:

“The pur­pose of this sub­ti­tle is to en­cour­age any owner of land to make land, wa­ter, and airspace above the land and wa­ter ar­eas avail­able to the pub­lic for any recre­ational and ed­u­ca­tional pur­pose by lim­it­ing the owner’s li­a­bil­ity to­ward any per­son who en­ters on land, wa­ter, and airspace above the land and wa­ter ar­eas for these pur­poses.”

Kays’ doc­u­ment was last re­vised in June 2008. So I wanted to make sure the statute still con­tained the same lan­guage. So I looked up COMAR on­line and tried to find the statute.

De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources’ code is now in Ti­tle 8, and Sub­ti­tle 11 is now listed as Va­cant.

So it ap­pears the statute no longer ex­ists, which I def­i­nitely would like to con­firm.

So I emailed Mr. Kays and he re­ferred me to his dated doc­u­ment. No help there. I emailed the DNR’s Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Stephen Schatz, twice. His first re­sponse was: “Let me check with the team.” That was on Monday, Nov. 14. Since I did not hear any­thing fur­ther from him, on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 16, I emailed again. I have not heard back.

So, I emailed Del. Ja­cobs’ of­fice. I haven’t heard any­thing from him ei­ther.

I’m just try­ing to con­firm if the recre­ational use statute still ex­ists in Mary­land. If you can con­firm its exis- tence or non-ex­is­tence, please email me (ck­nauss@star­dem.com). I will greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your time and ef­fort.

Recre­ational Statute up­date A big thanks to Louis Wright who ad­vised me that in Mary­land there are two places that you have to look to find the var­i­ous rules that gov­ern ac­tiv­i­ties in the state. The first is the Mary­land Code (Code), which are the laws that the leg­is­la­ture makes that are com­piled by sub­ject mat­ter into vol­umes. The sec­ond place is the Code of Mary­land Reg­u­la­tions (COMAR) that con­tains reg­u­la­tions that the var­i­ous state agen­cies make, or­ga­nized by agency.

Rec­om­mended sites point to lex­is­nexis.com and govt.west­law.com, but they are com­mer­cial Web sites and may not be cur­rent.

Sub­se­quent searches found the statute listed on mga­leg.mary­land.gov un­der Statutes.

Some good eatin’ Au­thor, blog­ger, and chef Hank Shaw re­turns to Washington Col­lege on Satur­day, Dec. 3, to talk about his new book

Buck, Buck, Moose, and to dis­cuss the best ways to pre­pare that deer you bagged, or will bag, for your ta­ble. Fol­low­ing his talk he will demon­strate how to pre­pare un­der­uti­lized parts of a deer, and he’ll be on hand to sign copies of his book.

The event, at 3 p.m. in Litrenta Hall, is free and open to the pub­lic.

This will be Shaw’s sec­ond visit to Washington Col­lege, fol­low­ing his talk in April 2015 that was based on his first cook­book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Find­ing the For­got­ten Feast.

His web­site/blog, the Hunter An­gler Gar­dener Cook, won Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foun­da­tion in 2013 and was nom­i­nated in 2009 and 2010. He also won the Bert Greene Award from the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Culi­nary Pro­fes­sion­als for Best Food Blog in both 2010 and 2011. For more info on Shaw’s work, visit http:// hon­est-food.net/.

* * * Fish­ing re­port Striped bass are spread through­out the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gion with some of the larger fish be­ing found along chan­nels such as the Craighill Chan­nel near the mouth of the Magothy and the edge of the Dump­ing Grounds. An­glers are troll-

ing deep with heavy in­line weights and medium-sized buck­tails to cover a wider area to find the larger stripers that tend to be in iso­lated pock­ets at times. Other times, they can be found en masse sus­pended, which can pro­vide some good jig­ging ac­tion with metal or soft plas­tic jigs.

White perch are also part of the mix in the up­per bay and can be found hold­ing deep at the mouths of the ma­jor tidal rivers. A two-hook bot­tom rig tipped with pieces of blood­worms or drop­per flies over a sinker are a great way to stock up on some nice white perch. A depth finder is an in­valu­able tool this time of the year for lo­cat­ing fish that are hold­ing deep. Perch are also stack­ing up near the rock piles at the Bay Bridge and usu­ally they’re big ones mixed in with rock­fish.

South of the Bay Bridge, small rock­fish are work­ing on schools of bait ex­it­ing the tidal rivers and mov­ing down the bay swept along by tidal cur­rents. Get­ting a le­gal 20-inch fish of­ten re­quires ei­ther work­ing deep un­der­neath the sur­face ac­tion or around the perime­ters of the smaller fish. Some­times you have to leave fish to find fish, which seems to go against com­mon sense, but it can pay off with find­ing some keep­ers. The larger stripers are looking for men­haden and small white perch and soon river her­ring and hick­ory shad will be flow­ing out of the Chop­tank.

The chan­nel edges near Thomas Point, Kent Is­land, the mouth of East­ern Bay, off Ch­e­sa­peake Beach, the False Chan­nel, and the mouths of the Lit­tle Chop­tank, West River, and the Sev­ern are all good place to check.

Fresh­wa­ter fish­ing has moved into a late fall phase where many species con­tinue to feed heav­ily as wa­ter tem­per­a­tures drop into the low 50’s in most ar­eas. Large­mouth bass are mov­ing to slightly deeper wa­ters. The deeper ar­eas be­tween the nor­mal sum­mer habi­tat and the deep­est ar­eas of lakes and tidal rivers of­fer great places for bass to am­bush craw­fish and small bait fish leav­ing the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing grass beds and cooler wa­ters looking for refuge in deep struc­ture for the win­ter months. Hair jigs, plas­tic craws, spin­ner­baits, jerk­baits, crankbaits, and grubs are all good choices to work these tran­si­tion wa­ter depths.

On the At­lantic Coast, surf an­glers are anx­iously wait­ing for the first large fall striped bass mi­grants to pass through our area. Nearshore fish­ing for tau­tog and sea bass has been very good. An­glers tar­get­ing sea bass are catch­ing lim­its of nice fish along with some medi­um­sized blue­fish and floun­der.

*** Duck blind know-it-all A flower may con­tain up to four whorls or ar­range­ments of parts: carpels, sta­mens, petals, and sepals.

CHRIS KNAUSS

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