DNR to study black drum movements

April 09, 1995|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

In the latter part of May each year, schools of black drum begin to congregate off the mouth of the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and for a couple of weeks morning fishing can be fast and furious.

But then the black drum disperse.

Department of Natural Resources fisheries managers will implement a telemetry study this year to determine where the black drum go.

Using fish caught by commercial fishermen and then implanted with acoustical tags by biologists, fisheries managers will be able to track the movements of the black drum.

Once the patterns of the drum have been determined, fisheries managers hope to be able to better estimate the status of black drum populations in Maryland waters.

While black drum are caught largely by recreational fishermen, there is some concern that the fish, which feed heavily on mollusks and crustaceans, may be damaging oyster beds.

Black drum spawn at the mouth of the bay and in Virginia waters starting in late April and then move north into Maryland waters.

State campgrounds open

Last weekend, all 23 state forest and parks campgrounds opened for the warm-weather season, after renovations at many sites over the winter. At Elk Neck State Park in Cecil County, for example, a new 31-site camp loop with seven wheelchair-accessible sites is now open.

Except for Assateague State Park, where reservations may be ** made only on a weekly basis, all other campgrounds are open to campers on a first-come, first-served basis, although reservations are suggested.

Campsite service charges will be discounted until Memorial Day and from Sunday through Thursday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For specific information on camping and park facilities, call the individual parks or DNR's State Forest and Park Service headquarters in Annapolis at (410) 974-3771.

Lost and found

Japanese sailor Minoru Saito, out of radio contact with BOC race officials since March 2, when his last known position was 2,400 miles west of Cape Horn, recently was sighted sailing north past the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Harry Mitchell, the 70-year-old Englishman whose emergency beacon was activated during the same storm in the Pacific that knocked out Saito's radio equipment, has not been sighted or heard from since.

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