A two-day extension of the firearms hunting season for white-tailed and sika deer has been approved for 18 counties on Jan. 9-10.
The two-day season, which will be open only for antlerless deer, will be held in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
Hunters who did not fill their firearms tags or bonus firearms deer stamps during the regular season are eligible to hunt during the extension.
The General Assembly's Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee approved the season extension last week based on Department of Natural Resources recommendations.
DNR based its recommendations on high deer populations in the 18 counties east of Carroll, where deer-automobile collisions have been increasing along with crop and landscape damage.
Targeting antlerless deer is the most effective management tool available to decrease populations, according to the DNR.
Bow season will remain open during the two-day season, but bow hunters must wear hunter orange during the extension.
Tidewater bass updates
DNR's annual survey of tidal largemouth bass indicates that the fishery continues to be in good shape and the condition of the fish is above average in most areas.
Based on preliminary data, the status of forage fish is "extraordinary," with gizzard shad, menhaden, sunfish, yellow perch and various shiner species observed during sampling.
A bright spot is the tidal Patuxent River, where good survival of stocked bass was noted. Since 1994, the overall largemouth bass population has increased by 141 percent and numbers of stocked bass have more than tripled. More than 14 percent of 392 bass collected carried micro-tags, indicating the stocking program of fingerling bass has been very successful.
Jennings Randolph Lake and Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland both are among the best waters in the state for walleye, and recent surveys by DNR Fisheries staff indicate they are improving.
The survey at Jennings Randolph, conducted by Maryland and West Virginia personnel, showed walleye to be the most numerous game fish in the Corps of Engineers impoundment, although the sizes ranged from 10 to 14 inches.
At Deep Creek Lake, the annual walleye young-of-the-year survey produced a result that was "fair," with 10 young of the year taken per hour of electroshocking.
However, yearling walleye were abundant, with 24 per hour, indicating the 1996 year class continues to be strong. The 1996 year class will reach legal size in 1999.
A DNR electrofishing survey of the Patapsco River downstream from I-70 to Route 144, showed 122 smallmouth bass, only six of which were 12 inches or greater. The largest pTC measured nearly 18 inches and weighed nearly 2.5 pounds.
The survey established a baseline for the catch-and-return area, which recently was established.
Centennial Lake update
The fall survey of Centennial Lake in Columbia targeted largemouth bass, sunfish and tiger muskies, with the largest bass weighing just over 5 pounds and the largest tiger muskie measuring more than 28 inches.
Pub Date: 12/28/97