Striped-bass board postpones meeting

December 16, 1990|By Peter Baker

The Striped Bass Advisory Board meeting that had been scheduled Tuesday night in Annapolis has been postponed until early January.

The board's recommendations for spring and fall striped-bas seasons for 1991 were expected to be resolved at the meeting. No makeup date has been set.

"The postponement has been caused by a variety of things," said William P. Jensen, director of fisheries for the Department of Natural Resources' Tidewater Administration. "This is a pretty contentious issue they are involved with, and we have promised to do our best to get them everything they need, and we're not quite ready."

William Goldsborough, chairman of the Striped Bass Advisory Board, was unavailable to comment.

The most controversial issue the advisory board is discussing is the spring fishery, which could be opened in May 1991 on 380,000 pounds of migratory striped bass.

Conservationists see the spring fishery as an endangerment to spawning stocks of striped bass in the bay at that time. Charter-boat operators see the spring season as an economic shot in the arm. Commercial fishermen have no interest in a spring season because their share of the catch would be minuscule.

Jensen said that his staff still is putting together the statistical material the advisory board feels it needs to make a recommendation to the DNR, which will make the final decision on 1991 striped bass seasons.

* DNR officials took their annual look at Jabez Branch in Gambrills the other day -- and, for the first time, saw nothing they wanted to see.

Jabez Branch is -- perhaps now is should be was -- the only natural trout stream on the Maryland Coastal Plain. The survey of the spring-fed stream last week did not turn up a single brook trout.

Jabez Branch has been the center of an ecological controversy in Anne Arundel County for several years, as its watershed has been developed and portions of the stream have silted in or been otherwise polluted.

Last year, the DNR found only two male trout while using an electro-shock device that stuns trout and allows them to be counted. Both males were found in the right fork of the small creek that runs into the Severn River. In the left fork of the creek, which once was a prime spawning area, none were found last year, either.

Bob Bachman, director of freshwater fisheries for the DNR, said that a stocking program eventually may restore the trout population of Jabez Creek because the habitat still appears to be suitable, especially on the right fork.

* The November Canada goose survey made by state, federal and private wildlife interests estimated an increase of 31 percent in the number of Canadas in Maryland this year compared to last year.

The aerial survey, performed Nov. 12-19 by three crews, estimated that there are 377,666 Canada geese wintering here this year. Last year, the estimate was 287,612.

The greatest number of geese was counted on the Eastern Shore (353,594), with the Chester River survey turning up the largest subsection (134,732).

The western shore count was up nearly 10,000 geese over last year.

* The American Federation of Tackle Manufacturers (AFTMA) says a survey it has conducted shows manufacturers' raw material costs have risen between 2 percent and 15 percent in 1990 because of the rising costs of oil. As a result, AFTMA members plan to raise their retail prices between 3 and 12 percent in 1991.

* On Jan. 6, The Nashville Network has scheduled a two-hour block of fishing programs for cable television. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., the schedule is, in 30-minute increments: In-Fisherman Angling Adventures, The BASSMASTERS, Hank Parker's Outdoor Magazine, and Bill Dance Outdoors.

The In-Fisherman will deal with spring smallmouths, topwater stripers and sturgeon, paddlefish and catfish.

The BASSMASTERS highlights the New York Invitational, and Bill Dance Outdoors will deal with pre-spawn crappie in Tennesee's Pickwick Lake.

Details about the debut of Hank Parker's Outdoors were not available.

* Audi Yachting Race Week in Solomons next year will be Aug. 18-23.

November Canada goose survey

Area 1990

!Total estimate 377,666

Chester River 134,732

Elk and Bohemia rivers 34,936

Westernmost Kent County 30,236

Choptank R. (w. of Rt.50) 27,385

Western shore 24,072

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