Pub­lic meet­ing on wa­ter­fowl sea­sons March 1 at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege

Record Observer - - Sports -

The Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources will host a pub­lic meet­ing March 1 at 7 p.m. at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s Wye Mills cam­pus (Build­ing No. 13) to re­view pro­posed wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing sea­sons for 2017-2018.

The sea­sons will be fi­nal­ized in early spring af­ter the depart­ment re­views pub­lic in­put and ob­tains ap­proval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice.

The pub­lic com­ment pe­riod will close at noon March 8.

“We look for­ward to re­view­ing pub­lic feedback from our wa­ter­fowl hunters and other cit­i­zens,” said Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Paul Peditto. “This in­put is al­ways vi­tal to help­ing us pro­vide the best wa­ter­fowl­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Mar yland.”

The pro­posed youth wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing days are Nov. 4, 2017, and Feb. 10, 2018. The days are in­cluded to pro­vide men­tors for young hunters in­ter­ested in wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing.

The pro­posed reg­u­lar duck sea­son-open­ing split sea­son would run Oct. 1421, 2017. The sec­ond and third split sea­sons would be Nov. 11-24, 2017 and Dec. 12, 2017-Jan. 27, 2018. The pro­posed bag limit for black ducks has been in­creased to two birds per day dur­ing the black duck sea­son.

The pro­posed spe­cial sea duck sea­son would run from Nov. 4, 2017, to Jan. 12, 2018. Fed­eral reg­u­la­tions for the spe­cial sea duck sea­son call for a max­i­mum sea­son length of 60 days for the 2017-2018 sea­son.

The pro­posed At­lantic Pop­u­la­tion (mi­grant) Canada goose sea­son will be split into its tra­di­tional two seg­ments, Nov. 18-24, 2017 and Dec. 15, 2017Feb. 3, 2018.

The pro­posed mourn­ing dove sea­son will run from Sept. 1-Oct. 14, 2017, fol­lowed by two ad­di­tional splits, Oct. 26-Nov. 18, 2017, and Dec. 16, 2017Jan. 6, 2018.

Cit­i­zens un­able to at­tend the meet­ing may com­ment on­line, by phone at 410260-8540, by fax at 410260-8596, or by writ­ing to: Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources – Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice, 580 Tay­lor Av­enue, E-1, Annapolis, Mary­land, 21401.

*** Deer to­tals Mary­land hunters har­vested 85,193 deer dur­ing the com­bined archery, muz­zleloader, and firearm sea­sons (Sept. 9, 2016-Jan. 31, 2017), ac­cord­ing to the DNR. The har­vest ex­ceeded the 2015-2016 to­tal by more than 1,000 deer.

In­cluded in the statewide to­tal were 7,684 deer taken on Sun­days open for deer hunt­ing, rep­re­sent­ing an in­crease of 19 per­cent com­pared to last year.

The 2016-2017 statewide har­vest in­cluded: 29,042 antlered and 53,318 antler­less white-tailed deer, and 1,284 antlered and 1,549 antler­less sika deer.

The har­vest in deer man­age­ment Re­gion A (Gar­rett, Al­le­gany and western Wash­ing­ton coun­ties) de­creased 8 per­cent, from 9,190 to 8,490 deer this year. These hunters re­ported 5,067 antlered and 3,423 antler­less deer.

Hunters in Re­gion B (the re­main­der of the state) har­vested 76,703 deer, up 3 per­cent from last year’s 74,832. From this year’s to­tal, 25,259 antlered and 51,444 antler­less deer were re­ported in this area.

Fred­er­ick County led the har­vest to­tals again this year with 7,556 deer, fol­lowed by Car­roll County at 5,663 and Bal­ti­more County with 5,367. Count­ing sika deer, Dorch­ester County was third with 5,360 to­tal. Mont­gomery and Wash­ing­ton coun­ties rounded out the top six with 4,873 and 4,736 deer, re­spec­tively.

Mid-Shore to­tals were as fol­lows:

Caro­line: 918 antlered, 2,033 antler­less, 1 sika, 2,952 to­tal

Dorch­ester: 896 antlered, 1,820 antler­less, 1,185 antlered sika, 1,459 antler­less, 5360 to­tal

Kent: 1,232 antlered, 2,182 antler­less, 3,414 to­tal

Queen Anne’s: 1,141 antlered, 2,583 antler­less, 3,724 to­tal

Tal­bot: 812 antlered, 1,981 antler­less, 2,793 to­tal

* * * Fish­ing re­port Mild weather op­por­tu­ni­ties are cre­at­ing fine con­di­tions for trout fish­ing across the state. The lower Susque­hanna River near Per­ryville has been of­fer­ing some of the most con­sis­tent yel­low perch fish­ing. The perch tend to con­gre­gate in about 40 feet of wa­ter just be­low the Route 40 Bridge. An­glers are us­ing a sinker with a Christ­mas tree type rig with two drop­per flies or small soft plas­tic jigs in the 1/32 oz. to 1/8 oz. size cat­e­gory. Tip­ping the lures or flies with a small piece of cut min­now or a dip in your fa­vorite fish at­trac­tant juice can of­ten pay div­i­dends.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, wa­ter tem­per­a­tures be­tween 48 and 54 de­grees will show the great­est amount of spawn­ing ac­tiv­ity. Tra­di­tion­ally the trib­u­taries on the western side of the bay will be a lit­tle warmer than sim­i­lar waters on the eastern side of the bay at the same lat­i­tude. The sur­face wa­ter tem­per­a­ture at Hills­boro on the Tuck­a­hoe River was re­cently 41 de­grees.

The 2013, 2014, and 2015 were good year classes of yel­low perch and the 2011 year class of yel­low perch was a dom­i­nant year class. It takes about three years for a yel­low perch to reach 9 inches so the 2011 year class should pro­vide some nice yel­low perch in the 12-inch or bet­ter size range.

Chain pick­erel are com­fort­able in cold wa­ter and are ea­ger to chase down most any of­fer­ing com­ing their way in tidal waters or lakes and ponds these days. Crap­pie are also ac­tive but tend to hold close to struc­ture in deeper waters as are large­mouth bass. Small jigs or min­nows will work well for crap­pie and bass may be en­ticed to bite on blade lures or soft plas­tic jigs worked slowly and close to the bot­tom.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all Pres­i­dent Lin­coln’s mother was killed by poisoned milk.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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