This weekend ...
* In a curious twist, recreational rockfishermen might not have the Chesapeake to themselves as the extended season resumes tomorrow. The Department of Natural Resources was back at the drawing boards last night trying to determine whether to give the charterboat fishery an encore over the coming weekend.
There appears to be some confusion as to whether charter fishermen really got their quota of 161,206 pounds after all. The charterboat season was cut short by DNR Oct. 24 in the belief they might have even exceeded their share, but skippers claim their own records prove they not only didn't get their quota, but fell short of it.
A DNR insider said last night that the real catch might well have been halfway between, which would be just about the 161,206-pound quota. Expect the final word today, but that won't give charter fishermen much time to line up parties -- though the fishing is exceptionally good.
As for the recreational fishery and its scheduled Friday through Sunday bonus, it appears it will get all three days -- being short of its 456,747-pound quota. DNR has given no indication what comes next if recreational fishermen don't get the remainder this weekend; weather is getting colder -- and many fishermen are losing interest.
Last weekend, the turnout for the first segment of the extension was good, but nothing like it was during the regular season -- that's why the quota wasn't reached in the first extra add-on. Some bait shops reported a fairly brisk business; others said they hardly noticed the difference. Many bait shops were loaded with leftover eels, some sold many, others are still loaded with them. This weekend will be a lot different than the last; weather will be much colder, and in some areas the fish have either moved farther down the bay, or to deeper water. But chilly as the weather has been, rockfish -- with some blues mixed in -- were seen breaking in large schools in the bay yesterday. Remember, the limit is one a day, no permit needed.
L Some ideas where one might fish over the anticipated finale:
* UPPER BAY: Bay Bridge, Love Point still has some (with trollers more in evidence), Belvedere Shoals, Pooles Island, Swan Point, deeper waters near the Dumping Grounds, the Bay Bridge, the Kent Island Shore from Matapeake southward (give Brickhouse Bar a shot), and maybe Hacketts and Thomas Point.
* MID-BAY: The Tilghman Island area near at the mouth of the Choptank to the Diamonds, West River, Kent Narrrows, the east side of Poplar Island, Winter Gooses, False Channel, Radar Station and much of that general Western Shore sector. Some might also be in shoal; waters in the Choptank above Cambridge.
* LOWER BAY: Point No Point, Cedar Point at the mouth of the Patuxent, bay waters off the the mouth of the Potomac, the mouth of the Honga River and Tangier Sound.
* Today: Continuing through Saturday -- with hunters reportedly doing fairly well -- the fall wild turkey season in Washington County west of I-81, and all of Allegany and Garrett counties.
* Tomorrow: The Waterfowl Festival opens a three-day run in Easton. The World Goose Calling and Mason-Dixon Duck Calling Contests will be held Saturday night. Hours are 10 to 7 tomorrow and Saturday; 10 to 5 on Sunday. Admission for a day's attendance (and it will be mighty crowded) is $8. Call 1-301-822-4567.
* Saturday/Sunday: Sight in your deer rifle at NRA hunter's rifle sight-in at Baltimore County Game and Fish Protective Association, noon to 4, 3400 Northwind Road. $3 donation. Other sight-ins Nov. 16-17 and 23-24.
* Tuesday: First segment of Maryland's Canada goose season opens, with the outlook a bit brighter than last year. A fair number of honkers are already on the Eastern Shore, and mixed in are more than the usual number of snow geese. The limit is one a day through Nov. 29. More on the goose season tomorrow.
* Tuesday: Public meeting, 7 p.m. at Greenbrier State Park Visitor Center regarding proposed routes for the Appalachian Trail in the Route 77 area near Smithsburg. Call 974-7656.
Planning ahead ...
* Nov. 20: Organizational meeting of Trout Unlimited chapter for Carroll County, 7:30 p.m., Iriquois Building of Hashawha Environmental Center, Westminster. Lefty Kreh will be the speaker; admission is free. Call Brian Kaltrider, 1-848-5005.
Names and places ...
* The burning of 250 acres in the fire at 40,000-acre Green Ridge State Forest won't have any affect on hunting during the deer season, but woodlands are tinder dry. DNR has decided to keep the forest open, but cautions hunters that building fires and careless smoking could pose enough danger to prompt a shutdown.
* Ed Golden, regional forest game manager in Western Maryland, has been named state forest game manager, replacing Josh Sandt, who was boosted to chief of wildlife for DNR. Succeeding Golden as Western Maryland chief is Tom Matthews.