KNAUSS

Record Observer - - Sports -

*** Tiny in­va­sive The DNR has con­firmed the first known pres­ence of a new, non-na­tive, fresh­wa­ter mol­lusk in Mar yland wa­ters. Af­ter being no­ti­fied in early Septem­ber of small snails in the Gun­pow­der River, de­part­ment bi­ol­o­gists and species ex­pert Ed­ward Levri has con­firmed the pres­ence of New Zealand mud­snails.

Gun­pow­der River­keeper Theaux Le Gardeur first re­ported the snail in north­ern Bal­ti­more County, south of the Pret­ty­boy Reser­voir in the Gun­pow­der Falls main­stem near Bush Cabin Run. Bi­ol­o­gists in­ves­ti­gat­ing the site col­lected sev­eral hun­dred snails in a mat­ter of min­utes.

The New Zealand mud­snail is tiny, reach­ing only 4-6 mil­lime­ters, and is iden­ti­fied by its unique color vari­a­tions of gray, dark brown, or light brown. It feeds on or­ganic mat­ter, pre­fer­ring al­gae, bark, and leaves for sus­te­nance.

The mol­lusk is highly re­silient and pro­lif­er­ates eas­ily. The snail re­pro­duces asex­u­ally, with fe­males pro­duc­ing well over 100 clones in a sin­gle year. It can sur­vive and thrive in a va­ri­ety of habi­tats in­clud­ing brack­ish wa­ter and fresh­wa­ter lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. The mud­snail has spread to other states in North Amer­ica af­ter first being dis­cov­ered in Idaho in 1987.

While the mud­snails’ po­ten­tial eco­log­i­cal im­pact re­mains un­cer­tain, bi­ol­o­gists are con­cerned that over time the species could dis­place na­tive snails and aquatic in­sects that other na­tive species, like fish, de­pend on.

The DNR is ask­ing all an­glers, boaters, and any­one else in con­tact with the Gun­pow­der River to check their equip­ment and de­con­tam­i­nate their boats (in­clud­ing motor and trailer), boots, buck­ets, fish­ing rods, oars, and tackle to pre­vent the spread of the mud­snail into other wa­ters.

*** Po­comoke cel­e­bra­tion Visi­tors to Po­comoke River State Park can en­joy an all-day cel­e­bra­tion on Sept. 30. The cel­e­bra­tion marks the park’s five decades and co­in­cides with the sec­on­dan­nual Del­mar va Pad­dling Week­end. Par­tic­i­pants will launch from the park’s Shad Land­ing Ma­rina at 9 a.m., pad­dling down Nas­sawango Creek and Po­comoke River.

An open house at the Shad Land­ing Area gets un­der­way at 1 p.m., fea­tur­ing a com­pli­men­tary bar­be­cue and mu­sic. Of­fi­cial pre­sen­ta­tions be­gin at 2 p.m. with re­marks from state and lo­cal dig­ni­taries and of­fi­cials as well as the Mary­land Park Ser­vice’s Scales and Tales pro­gram.

* * * Fish­ing re­port Striped bass ac­tion con­tin­ues to be good in the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake. Right now, livelin­ing spot along chan­nel edges is pro­duc­ing keep­er­size fish. Spot are read­ily avail­able at shal­low hard­bot­tomed ar­eas and can be caught with blood­worms. Stripers have been hold­ing along the chan­nel edges at Love and Pod­ick­ory points and to a lesser de­gree at Swan Point.

Trolling can be a good op­tion with spoons, buck­tails, and sur­gi­cal tube lures be­hind plan­ers and in­line weights to get them down close to the bot­tom where the fish are hold­ing.

More and more sur­face ac­tion is being en­coun­tered out in the bay as bait starts to get the hint to leave the tidal rivers. The ex­o­dus of bait will in­crease next month as wa­ter tem­per­a­tures fall and the best fish­ing will switch to ver­ti­cal jig­ging.

Tol­ley and Thomas points have been good places to live-line as has the False Chan­nel and the Di­a­monds at the mouth of the Chop­tank River. Some are also find­ing ac­tion at the out­side edge of Hack­ett’s Bar and off Po­plar Is­land at times. Blue­fish are also present.

Speck­led trout con­tinue to en­ter­tain on our side of the bay along marsh edges, stump fields, and small creeks flow­ing out of the marshes. Cast­ing soft plas­tics like Gulp white mul­lets or drift­ing pieces of soft crab are great ways to catch them.

Re­cre­ational crab­bing has been very good and should con­tinue in the mid­dle and lower bay re­gions. Re­cre­ational crab­bers are see­ing a lot of sooks as they mi­grate to­ward the mouth of the bay for the win­ter. Many of the jimmy crabs being caught are large and heavy.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all In the 14th and 15th cen­tury in France and Eng­land, aris­to­cratic terms of ven­ery were the lin­guis­tic equiv­a­lent of silly hats: col­or­ful, fash­ion­able, and fun. For ex­am­ple: A covert of coots.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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