You bet­ter watch out! Wildlife Crimestop­pers is here

Dorchester Star - - OUTDOORS/CLASSIFIEDS - CHRIS KNAUSS Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at ck­[email protected]­dem.com

Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice is crack­ing down on il­le­gal killing of fish and wildlife through a part­ner­ship with Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers. The newly es­tab­lished non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion serves as the state af­fil­i­ate of In­ter­na­tional Wildlife Crimestop­pers, a group ded­i­cated to stop­ping il­le­gal hunt­ing and fish­ing around the world.

Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers was es­tab­lished to in­crease pub­lic aware­ness of the im­pact of po­ten­tial poach­ing on fish and wildlife pop­u­la­tions, and en­cour­age any­one with knowl­edge of these ac­tiv­i­ties to con­nect with Mary­land Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice. Neigh­bor­ing states Delaware and Penn­syl­va­nia host sim­i­lar part­ner­ships with In­ter­na­tional Wildlife Crimestop­pers.

In­for­ma­tion can be re­layed anony­mously by email, phone, or text to dis­patch­ers, who will alert the near­est patrol of­fi­cer. If the tip leads to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of a sus­pected poacher, the Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers board of di­rec­tors may is­sue a re­ward.

“The pub­lic is our eyes and ears,” said NRP Su­per­in­ten­dent Col. Robert K. “Ken” Ziegler Jr. in a press re­lease. “We need ev­ery­one’s sup­port in our vig­or­ous pur­suit and pros­e­cu­tion of crim­i­nals who il­le­gally fish, hunt, or trap our fish and wildlife re­sources. The Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice is ex­cited about part­ner­ing with Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers to rec­og­nize those who take the time con­tact us when they be­come aware of an in­ci­dent.”

Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers does not re­ceive any fed­eral or state fund­ing and de­pends solely on fi­nan­cial sup­port from cor­po­rate, in­di­vid­ual, pub­lic do­na­tions, or gifts. Jack Bai­ley, a re­tired NRP sergeant, is chair­man of the five-mem­ber board. Other mem­bers in­clude Shawn Der­her, man­ager of Bass Pro Shops at Arun­del Mills; NRP Re­serve Of­fi­cer Stan Samora­jczyk; and Ken Schrader, pres­i­dent of Schrader Out­doors LLC.

Founded in 1997, In­ter­na­tional Wildlife Crimestop­pers sup­ports wildlife law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in 40

U.S. states and five Cana­dian prov­inces. Re­tired Texas Game War­den Lewis Rather cur­rently serves as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

To con­tact Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers, call or text to 443-433-4112, email [email protected]­land.gov, or re­port vi­o­la­tions us­ing the depart­ment’s free mo­bile app. Do­na­tions to Mary­land Wildlife Crimestop­pers can be sent to: 580 Taylor Ave., E-3, An­napo­lis, MD 21401.

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East­ern Shore Haiku

Copies are now avail­able on Ama­zon and through lo­cal book sell­ers of the Shore’s hottest book of haiku po­etry, “Shore-Ku,” pub­lished by Sandy Is­land Me­dia.

Writ­ten by yours truly and in­spired by my trav­els around these here parts, crit­ics so far have been largely speech­less over the con­tent. But this is what they might be think­ing: “Sev­en­teen syl­la­bles have never been so art­fully ar­ranged with such am­bi­gu­ity and thought-pro­vok­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion. The artis­tic pho­tog­ra­phy and the 365 1/4 poems in this book are pure magic.”

“Shore-Ku” does fit nicely in a stock­ing. All pro­ceeds will be used to re­stock my Yuengling sup­ply.

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BOW hunt

Be­com­ing an Out­doors Woman will con­duct a goose hunt­ing clinic and hunt on Sun­day, Jan. 6 and Mon­day, Jan. 7 here on the Mid-Shore. Staff of the Mary­land DNR and Blue Stem Farms are host­ing the event that be­gins at Schrader’s Bridgetown Manor in Caroline County.

Class­room in­struc­tion will cover the “hows and whys” of wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing, in­clud­ing safety, state and fed­eral laws and reg­u­la­tions, as well as hunt­ing skills and tech­niques. Par­tic­i­pants can also en­joy

shoot­ing trap, take a tour of Bridgetown Manor, and watch a re­triever dog demon­stra­tion.

On Mon­day, the group trav­els to Blue Stem Farms in Queen Anne’s County to par­tic­i­pate in a guided goose hunt. Only 15 spa­ces are avail­able. The work­shop is open to women who are new to or have lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence goose hunt­ing. Par­tic­i­pants may bring a non-hunt­ing partner, but they are re­quired to reg­is­ter at full price and will not be per­mit­ted to carry a firearm. The dead­line for reg­is­tra­tion (mail-in only) is Dec. 19.A valid Mary­land Hunt­ing Li­cense is re­quired, in­clud­ing a Mary­land Mi­gra­tory Bird Stamp and a Fed­eral Mi­gra­tory Bird Stamp. Com­plete in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on the DNR web­site or call Ka­rina Stone­sifer at 301777-2136.

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Fish­ing re­port

Cur­rent sur­face wa­ter tem­per­a­tures are about 50 de­grees in the mid Ch­e­sa­peake Bay area and the salin­ity is 4.5 parts per thou­sand, which is ex­tremely low for this part of the bay. Trolling is still a fine op­tion for get­ting out on the wa­ter to catch some fish, es­pe­cially if you have a heated cabin.

Trolling deep with in­line weights or down­rig­gers to get um­brella rigs and sin­gle- or tan­dem-rigged lures down is now the ticket to get stripers that are hold­ing deep. The rock­fish are hold­ing in 35 feet to 50 feet of wa­ter. Um­brella rigs with sassy shads or spoons are pop­u­lar with buck­tails, swimshads, or spoons as a trailer. The deep chan­nels at the mouths of the Chop­tank and Sev­ern rivers along with the East­ern Bay and the west­ern side of the ship­ping chan­nel have been good places to give trolling a try. Bot­tom bounc­ing can also be a good op­tion along chan­nel edges.

Light-tackle jig­ging is cer­tainly a good op­tion when fish can be spot­ted sus­pended deep along chan­nel edges in the re­gion. Large soft plas­tic jigs in the 6-inch size range will help tar­get the larger striped bass. Us­ing a good depth fin­der and un­der­stand­ing how to read it ac­cu­rately are para­mount to finding fish to jig on. There are other fish set­tling down in the same ar­eas such as giz­zard shad and white perch.

White perch have moved into deeper wa­ters and now can be found in the bay chan­nels or the very deep­est chan­nels at the mouths of the largest tidal rivers over hard bot­tom. Of­ten it will take some lead to be able to hold bot­tom so a bot­tom rig or a drop­per fly rig will be needed that is baited with pieces of blood­worm. The re­wards are there in the form of some fish­ing fun and tasty fil­lets.

On the fresh­wa­ter scene, large­mouth bass are very ac­tive in tran­si­tion zones lead­ing to deeper wa­ters of­ten near sunken wood or sim­i­lar struc­ture. Spin­ner­baits, jerk­baits, and crankbaits are good op­tions for fish­ing these ar­eas. Work­ing deeper struc­ture with grubs, jigs, and crankbaits that re­sem­ble cray­fish is an ex­cel­lent tac­tic for large­mouth. Fallen tree­tops, sunken logs, rocks, bridge py­lons, and dock piers are great places to tar­get.

Cooler wa­ter tem­per­a­tures have caused chan­nel cat­fish to be very ac­tive in all of the tidal rivers that flow into the Ch­e­sa­peake. Fish­ing with cut bait, nightcrawlers, chicken liver, or chicken breast mar­i­nated in gar­lic or other fa­vorite scents will lure cat­fish.

On the At­lantic Coast, surf an­glers along the Ocean City and As­sateague Is­land beaches are mostly catch­ing small blue­fish. There are good num­bers of these fish and they make fine ta­ble fare. They can be caught on bot­tom rigs with a float to keep cut mul­let or finger mul­let off the bot­tom and away from cal­ico crabs.

Sea bass ac­tion at the wreck and reef sites has been very good with limit catches be­ing com­mon. A mix of large floun­der, trig­ger­fish, blue­fish, and tau­tog are also be­ing caught.

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Duck blind know-it-all

Duck­weed is eaten by hu­mans in some parts of South­east Asia as it con­tains more pro­tein than soy­beans.

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