On Friday, the Department of Natural Resources will announce the findings of its rockfish young-of-the-year survey, an index that measures potential increase or decrease of stocks that will affect the fishery starting in 1995.
A three-year average of more than 8.0 in the index triggered the reopening of the rockfish fishery last fall. The young-of-the-year index, however, cannot trigger a closing of the fishery.
"It no longer is that kind of management tool," said William P. Jensen, director of the DNR Tidewater Administration. "What the index does for us now is to possibly alter the allocations for future seasons."
In the fall rockfish seasons, there has been an 18-inch minimum ** size and a 36-inch maximum length. Rockfish, or striped bass, take at least three years to grow to legal size, Jensen said.
"That [fall] fishery generally has 3-, 4- and 5-year-old fish taken from it," Jensen said.
The fall fishery is aimed at resident fish, those that have yet to join the migrating stocks of larger fish that leave the bay and its tributaries and travel up and down the East Coast.
Those larger fish become targets in the limited spring fishery that is directed at the 36-inch-and-longer fish, which come into the bay to spawn in the tributaries.
Jensen said there are no great surprises in this year's index, but refused to reveal the numbers before Friday.
* There still are openings in the muzzle loader educational program that will be held Sept. 22 at the Howard County Fairgrounds.
The program attempts to transport the students back to the late 1700s to learn what it was like to hunt and survive on the strength of black powder hunting skills.
For more information, call Phillip Krista at 461-3007.
* For the past 16 years, the Federation of Fly Fishers Conclave has offered an opportunity for fly fishermen to learn tactics from many nationally recognized experts. This year's conclave, which will deal with just about everything from Alabama panfish to New Guinea bass, opens later this week in Hershey, Pa.
Bernard "Lefty" Kreh, former outdoors editor of The Sun, will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet in addition to presenting programs on Fly Fishing in Saltwater and Fly Fishing in Australia and New Guinea.
Other programs include fly fishing for bass, trout tactics, Alaska salmon, midges and terrestrials, and fly fishing for bream and crappie.
The list of speakers reads like a who's who of fly fishing, including Ed Koch, Charles Meck, Bob Clouser, Barry Beck, Bob Popovics, Francis Davis, Ed Jaworoski and George Harvey.
More than 50 exhibits and exhibitions are scheduled during the two-day program.
The conclave is Friday and Saturday at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. A registration fee of $5 is required at the door.
* The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public meeting for comment on fisheries management's plans for sea trout and spotted sea trout Sept. 18. The meeting will open at 6:30 p.m. at the Maryland Department of Agriculture on Harry Truman Boulevard in Annapolis.
* Tomorrow at noon, the Chesapeake Challenge APBA Divisional National Championships kicks off at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. Racing also is scheduled to begin at noon on $H Saturday. In the event of inclement weather, rain dates will be Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Racing will be held in four classes, ranging from 21-foot vee-hulls to 45-foot, 1,500 horsepower catamarans.
Three local boats are expected to compete: Empty Pokets, Brooke Dyer, Severna Park; Network Express, Art Lilly, Annapolis; Team Sunsation, Rick Romsberg, Severna Park.
* Maryland's Adopt-A-Stream program has been recognized by the National Environmental Awards Council as being one of the most successful environmental programs in the nation.
Adopt-A-Stream is an effort designed to protect and improve neighborhood streams by citizens of Maryland.