Fishing for information from residents of lake


April 30, 2002|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

EVERY SPRING AND fall, members of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources visit Piney Run Lake for several hours of electrofishing to sample fish populations.

Environmental biologists use a boat rigged to send an electric current into the water to stun fish. The boat has two booms that are lowered into the water. Wire droppers that resemble fingers on the booms dip into the water to transfer electric current.

The stunned fish are netted and placed in a holding tank. They are weighed and measured, scale samples are taken, then they are returned to the water. The information determines the health of the fish and monitors the balance between predator and prey fish.

On Friday, Ed Enamait and Letha Grimes, DNR warm water fisheries biologists, spent the afternoon electrofishing on Piney Run Lake.

Enamait operated the boat while Grimes, using a foot pedal to control the current, scooped up the fish they were studying. Their catches consisted of tiger muskies, a predator fish that can grow to 64 inches long, and crappies, also known as slab fish, which grow 6 inches to 11 inches long.

Rain had given way to blustery winds, stopping boat rentals that afternoon, but the two worked steadily to retrieve the samples they needed. Grimes recorded the weights and lengths of the fish. Both biologists were pleased with the samples they caught and took scale samples back to their Lewistown Work Center in Thurmont for further analysis.

Staff members Jim Gronow and Bud Henkel, both avid anglers, said they look forward to the DNR conducting the fish sampling, often hoping to participate.

Henkel recalled assisting Enamait one night in November on the fall sampling. He said the fall study is normally done at night. The only available light is cast from lights off the front of the DNR boat.

"I thought, `Oh boy, I'm going to find out all the secret spots to fish,'" he said. "But it was dark, and I had lost my bearings. I didn't find out anything more than I already knew."

Country dancing

Country Dancing at Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Hall attracted 44 dancers last week.

"We average 35 to 40 dancers per week," said Sue Tarrant, who manages the event every Wednesday night. "If we continue to draw that many people, we may have dancing all summer long." She said dancing would be suspended for the week of the fire department carnival in June.

Dancers range from those in their early 20s to great-grandparents. Dancing starts at 7 p.m. with a half-hour warm-up and a 30-minute lesson on new dances. Then it's open dancing until 10 p.m.

Tarrant and her husband, Jeff, dance together when not collecting admission or serving refreshments.

The dances include classics such as the "Sixteen-Step," "El Paso," "Two-Step," "Blue Rose" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe." New dances include "Six Pack Summer" and "The Hop."

Admission is $5 per person. Information: 410-795-7122.

Century fund-raiser

Vendors gave high marks to Century High School as a favorite place to sell their wares after the success of the Craft and Flower Show on Saturday.

In comment cards filled out afterward, vendors praised the event, the facility, the organization and the concessions. Their highest praise was reserved for student volunteers who were "very polite and helpful," said Jackie Sellers, president of the PTSO, which sponsored the fund-raiser.

Student volunteers distributed menus to the vendors at the start of the show to mark their meal selections. The students then collected the menus and delivered meals to the vendors. The idea for the meal delivery came from parent committees, Sellers said.

The PTSO sold 122 vendor spaces at $40 each. Sellers said 866 people attended the show. She credited parent and student volunteers for the show's success.

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

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