Bay flounder season to open June 1 Tidal season opens May 15

OUTDOORS

limit set at 10 for each

March 16, 1993|By PETER BAKER

Yesterday, the Department of Natural Resources revised the BTC seasons and regulations for the recreational summer flounder fishing this year.

The opening day for summer flounder in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries will be June 1, and the minimum length will be 14 inches.

The season will run through Oct. 30. The creel limit will be 10 per day.

The season in tidal waters of the Atlantic Ocean will be May 15 through Sept. 30, with the same minimum length and creel limit.

DNR secretary Torrey C. Brown said summer flounder are in need of conservation and the regulations are in line with the management plans of Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Just ducky

Almost lost in all the squawking about the decline of Canada geese in the Midwinter Waterfowl Inventory was the fact that duck populations fared reasonably well.

Dabbling ducks totaled 66,900 compared to 81,900 last year. Mallards counted were 44,400 compared to 53,000.

Diving duck numbers were up significantly, totaling 168,800 to 94,000 last year.

The survey, which was taken from Jan. 4 to Jan. 15, also found that mild weather and little snow or ice cover caused wide distribution of waterfowl.

Pickerel closed

Yesterday, the season on chain pickerel closed in tidal waters until April 30 to allow the fish to spawn. Also in tidal water, the minimum length for bass is 15 inches through June 15.

In freshwater, all bass caught must be released until June 15.

New signal regulation

Largely as a result of solo sailor Mike Plant's death at sea late last year, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Communications Commission plan to put in place a regulation requiring owners of T06 MHz emergency position indicating beacons to register their units at the time of purchase.

The 406 MHz units transmit to satellites. Units using 121.5 MHz transmit on aviation channels.

Plant, whose capsized boat was found without him aboard in the Atlantic Ocean, had not registered his EPIRB, and a signal sent by the unit was not followed up immediately because of it.

Weather by phone

NOAA weather broadcasts for any area in the country are now available by telephone through BOAT/U.S. Weather Watch.

By calling 1-900-933-BOAT on a touchtone phone, callers may connect with any of 70 National Weather Service marine coverage stations. The cost is 98 cents per minute, and the caller must know the area code of the chosen area.

The service may be of assistance to boaters planning to sail outside the range of their local weather radio station, usually about 40 miles.

Duck population survey

DABBLERS

Species ....... 1989 ..... 1990 ..... 1991 ..... 1992 ..... 1993

Mallard ..... 34,800 ... 41,200 ... 48,700 ... 53,000 ... 44,400

Black duck .. 23,900 ... 15,800 ... 22,300 ... 19,300 ... 18,800

Gadwall ........ 300 ....... -- ...... 400 .... 1,300 .... 1,500

Widgeon ......... -- ...... 400 .... 3,500 .... 3,700 .... 4,300

GW teal ........ 200 ....... -- .... 2,100 .... 1,800 ...... 800

Shoveler ........ -- ....... -- ....... -- ....... -- ...... 200

Pintail ......... -- ...... 500 ...... 900 .... 2,600 ...... 800

Wood duck ....... -- ....... -- ....... -- ....... -- ....... --

DIVERS Redhead ...... 1,800 ..... 1,200 ... 2,700 ...... 200 .... 2,600

Canvasback .. 35,700 .... 33,600 .. 26,500 ... 35,600 ... 37,700

Scaup ....... 38,700 .... 26,400 . 107,500 ... 31,800 ... 78,100

Ringneck ....... 100 ....... 200 ...... -- ...... 200 .... 6,400

Goldeneye .... 1,000 ..... 8,100 ... 2,300 .... 2,900 .... 1,900

Bufflehead .. 13,700 ..... 9,900 .. 14,800 ... 15,200 ... 17,500

Ruddy duck ... 1,100 ..... 2,100 .. 10,200 .... 8,100 ... 24,600

SEADUCKS Scoter ....... 5,100 ..... 1,600 ... 1,100 ...... 800 .... 1,600

Oldsquaw ....... 100 ..... 2,200 ... 3,300 ...... 800 ...... 400

Totals ....... 5,200 ..... 3,800 ... 4,400 .... 1,600 .... 2,000

So: Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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