The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss freshwater fishery regulations for next year.
To be discussed at the four meetings are: tailwater trout fisheries in the Savage and Gunpowder rivers and the North Branch of the Potomac; special regulations for trout streams; the tidal largemouth bass fishery; the smallmouth bass fishery, and the status of reciprocal license agreements for the tidal Potomac.
Changes under consideration include the expansion of the put-and-take trout fishery, catch-and-return trout fishing areas and trophy bass fishing areas.
Specifically, Israel Creek, Sharpsburg Community Pond and Big Pool in Washington County would be added to the put-and-take trout areas; Accident Community Pond in Garrett County would be added to the closure list of trout fisheries; Little Seneca Creek downstream of the Little Seneca Creek Dam would be added to the list of catch-and-return trout areas limited to the use of artificial lures; and Leonard Mill Pond in Wicomico County would be added to the trophy largemouth bass areas.
Meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on the following dates:
* July 24 -- Room 314, Continuing Education Building, Garrett Community College, McHenry.
* July 29 -- Natural Resources Police meeting room, Routes 309 and 404, Queen Anne.
* July 31 -- Hereford Middle School, Hereford.
* Aug. 1 -- Sweadner Hall, Frederick Community College, Frederick.
* Peregrine falcons, an endangered species, have had another good nesting season in Maryland, with 16 young added to the population from six successful nests.
The falcons on the USF&G Building in Baltimore and the Bay Bridge were the most successful pairs, with each producing four offspring. The remainder of young birds were produced on specially built towers on the lower Eastern Shore.
Two new pairs of peregrine falcons were observed -- one on the lower Susquehanna and another at Assateague -- but neither nested this year.
* The bald eagle count continues to increase in Maryland, with 128 pairs identified.
"When we began our aerial surveys for nesting eagles in 1977, only 41 pairs were found, producing 45 young," said Glenn Therres, who heads the DNR eagle project. "Since then, the population has steadily increased threefold."
Nest surveys indicated that 90 of the 128 pairs of eagles statewide had successfully raised 169 eagles, the greatest number of eagles nesting in Maryland since the species was declared endangered in 1967.
Last year, 123 pairs raised 164 young.
Where the birds are
Bald eagles nested in all 16 bay coastal counties as well as Montgomery County. A breakdown of nesting pairs by county:
Dorchester. . . . . .. .... . 28
Charles. . . . .. ... ...... .19
Talbot. . . . . . . . . . .. 11
Kent. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Cecil. . . . . . . . . ... . . 7
Harford. . . . . . .. .. ... . 7
Queen Anne's. . . . .. . ... ..7
Worcester. . . . . . . . .. . 6
Anne Arundel. . . . . .. .. .. 5
Calvert. . . . . .. . . . .. . 5
St. Mary's. . . . . . .. . .. 5
Somerset.. . . . . . . ... ... 5
Baltimore. . . . . . . . . ... 3
Prince George's.. . .... . . . 3
Wicomico. . .. . . . . . ... . 3
Caroline. . . . . . . . . . . .2
Montgomery. . ... . . . .. ... 2