Tourney puts park manager's love of fishing to work

NEIGHBORS

September 26, 2000|By Debra Taylor-Young | Debra Taylor-Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LOREN LUSTIG, manager at Piney Run Park on Martz Road, brings expertise and enthusiasm to the Fall Fishing Tournament.

Lustig, an avid angler, has enjoyed the sport for 49 years, since he was introduced to it by his father at age 4.

Lustig recalls his father taking him and his brother to fish at Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a pristine location in Minnesota, near the Canadian border. Lustig felt his life change.

"The experience had a dramatic effect on me, and I determined I had to live or work in those conditions," Lustig said.

Lustig decided to work in conservation and, in 1971, graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a degree in environmental education. He began working as a wildlife biologist in the Montgomery County park system.

In 1985, he moved to Carroll County as park manager at Hashawha, and five years ago moved to Piney Run Park as manager.

Lustig's knowledge of the lake environment at the park is extensive. He explained that the park works closely with the Department of Natural Resources to monitor the health and balance of the lake.

Twice a year, a DNR employee goes to Piney Run lake to electro-fish, with Lustig often assisting. A voltage current is placed in the water surrounding the boat and for a designated area, the fish are stunned and float to the surface. This enables a scientific analysis of the fish.

The purpose is to keep the lake environment balanced between predator and prey fish, Lustig said. Too many prey fish cause an imbalance where the fish overpopulate and are very small and unsuitable to eat.

Lustig delved further into an explanation of the lake environment and explained that fishing of the prey fish, such as crappies, catfish and yellow perch, is encouraged to help maintain balance. The predator fish, such as largemouth bass, striped bass (rockfish) and tiger musky, also maintain balance.

The predator fish are large and harder to catch. The record all anglers dream of breaking is for the largemouth bass, at 24 pounds, established in Georgia in the late 1920s. Whoever catches a record-breaking fish would likely receive millions of dollars' worth of endorsements, according to Lustig.

Lustig says Piney Run has a good population of largemouth bass. The record at Piney Run for largemouth is 8 pounds, 4 ounces, established in May 1981. Piney Run holds the state record for yellow perch at 2 pounds, 8 ounces and 17 inches long, established by Michael Shutt in May 1995.

Jim Gronaw, Lustig's assistant and an avid angler, is well-versed in state records and records at the park. He helps determine what should be restocked. Each type of fish requires different skills to catch and the lake offers great diversity to anglers.

Anglers have strong comradeship and a good catch is often celebrated by everyone, Lustig said. Anglers like to exchange information on their catch and how it was executed. So go the fish tales, although Lustig said the information is beneficial to anglers and conservationists.

According to Lustig, fall is a time for some of the best fishing. The fish are feeding aggressively to prepare for winter. About 150 anglers are registered for the tournament. Lustig encourages pre-registration, although registration will be taken the day of the event.

The tournament is from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday. The gate opens at 4:30 a.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for three primary species. All rules and regulations must be followed. Registration is $15, plus park entrance fees.

Information and registration: 410-795-3274.

Gardeners' alert

Piney Run Park Nature Center on Martz Road will give gardeners an opportunity to add to their perennial gardens by participating in the Piney Run Perennial Swap.

By dividing herbs and perennials and taking portions to the center at 1 p.m. Saturday, growers can swap with other garden enthusiasts to increase the diversity of their perennial gardens.

Participants are asked to mark each plant with its name and its water and light needs.

The nature center will have a flower press on hand from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 3 to help preserve flowers.

All materials will be supplied. Fee is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

Coffeehouse

St. Joseph's Parish is holding Coffeehouse 2000. Discussions of religion and politics related to the presidential election will be highlighted.

Music, speakers and a light-fare menu will be included at the event that begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the parish gym on Liberty Road.

The church will conduct a nonpartisan voter registration after all Masses on Saturday and Sunday.

Rummage sale

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church will take donations for its annual fall rummage sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday in the kitchen of the gym, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 3-5.

The rummage sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6.

Information: 410-795-7838.

Debra Taylor-Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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