Turkey harvest set record by 24 birds

OUTDOORS

June 16, 1991|By PETER BAKER

Department of Natural Resources forest wildlife supervisor Josh Sandt predicted a record harvest of wild turkeys this spring, and Maryland hunters produced one, beating last year's record by 24 birds.

But the four-week season for gobblers that ended May 16 still managed to spring a small suprise on Wildlife Division officials.

"The harvest was above expectations in the new counties open for the first time on the Eastern Shore," said Assistant Secretary Donald E. MacLauchlan. "We anticipated a moderate harvest of approximately 40 birds in the newly opened counties."

Hunters in Kent, Queen Anne's, Dorchester and Somerset counties harvested 55 gobblers. No birds were taken in Howard County, the fifth of five new areas opened this spring.

Sandt said that all new areas opened to hunting were established by the state's trap and transplant program, which has re-established wild turkey populations in all but one Maryland county.

"By this time next year," Sandt said, "we will have established populations in all counties. The birds have adpated well and are expanding at a faster rate than expected, as the harvest in the new counties indicates."

Last year's harvest was 1,121 birds. This year's total was 1,145.

*

Shark fishing is heating up in Ocean City as water temperatures offshore reach into the mid 60s.

Three areas off Ocean City produce three groups of sharks.

Duskies, sand tigers, sharpnose, blacktip and brown sharks can be taken from the shoreline to 20 miles offshore. From 20 to 40 miles offshore, makos, tigers and hammerheads may be taken, and farther out, beyond the canyons, blue sharks are taken occasionally.

The most popular area is at the Fingers, where Mako sharks are taken in 20 to 30 fathoms of water.

The O.C. Princess, a new addition to the headboat fleet, starts the first of what may become several 24-hour shark fishing trips to the Fingers tonight. The trip will run from 4 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and is limited to 30 fishermen.

RF For more information on Princess shark trips, call (301) 289-8121.

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If shark fishing isn't your bag, wait a few weeks and the Ocean City Tuna Tournament will get under way on July 11. The three-day tuna tournament is in its fourth year.

Last year, several hundred fishermen and 73 boats participated in the event. This year, tournament organizers are promoting tag-and-release tuna fishing.

:. For more information, call (301) 289-8121.

*

The first white marlin of the season was taken by Bill Woodward of Edgewater while fishing aboard the Shadowfax with Captain Pete Lynch on June 8 at Washington Canyon.

Woodward took 13 minutes to land the 43-pound fish, which took a cedar plug fished on 30-pound test line.

Record harvest

The record harvest reported in the 12 counties opened for spring turkey hunting:

County.. .. .. ..1990.. ..1991

Garrett.. .. .. ..356.. .. 379

Allegany.. .. .. .310.. .. 274

Washington.. .. ..228.. .. 216

Frederick.. .. ...100.. .. .89

Montgomery.. .. ...49.. .. .39

Howard.. .. .. ... --.. .. ..0

Calvert.. .. .. ...66.. .. .68

Kent.. .. .. .. ...--.. .. ..3

Queen Anne's.. .. .--.. .. .18

Dorchester.. .. ...-- .. ...20

Worcester.. .. .. .12.. .. .25

Somerset.. .. .. ..--.. .. .14

Totals.. .. .. ..1121.. ..1145

Note: Howard, Kent, Queen Anne's, Dorchester and Somerset counties were new hunting areas this spring.

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