Maryland Department of Natural Resources

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland and Virginia will end their respective crabbing seasons early this year, following a report indicating a drop in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population.

News outlets report that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that its crab season will end Nov. 20, 10 days earlier than 2016's extended season. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted 6-1 in a public hearing to end the season Nov. 30 and reopen it March 17, 2018, amounting to 16 fewer days than last year's extended season.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - An annual survey has found a record-high number of spawning-age female blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay and predicts another year of improved harvests.

The results of the survey conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Maryland Department of Natural Resources were released Wednesday.

They show the total population of blue crabs fell this year by 18 percent. But the female spawning stock was the highest ever recorded in the survey's 28-year history.

Don Rush

Repair crews are out along the Ocean City shoreline repairing damage done by the recent snow storm.

The beach cleanup is being carried out in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

It’s estimated that as much as 880-thousand cubic yards of sand was lost.  

The initial assessment last week was $21 million.

Mayor Rick Meeham told WBOC that this is only for the beaches adding that an official estimate for homeowners and businesses has not yet been released.

Don Rush

EASTON, Md. (AP) - At least $1 million in federal money earmarked to build new oyster reefs on the Eastern Shore will instead go to Virginia after Maryland officials asked that the project be delayed.
 

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - A newspaper reports that a Maryland Department of Natural Resources police commander expressed alarm about safety regulations after a bird-hunting guide was fatally shot on a private game preserve on the Eastern Shore.

The Cumberland Times-News reported Tuesday on an email it obtained through the Public Information Act.

Capt. Rob Kersey sent the message to the agency's wildlife chief two days after Marvin Coppage was accidentally shot by a juvenile during a pheasant-and-partridge hunt at Schrader's Outdoors near Henderson Oct. 10.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says hunters killed a record-high 95 black bears during last week's four-day hunt.

The total is one more than the number of bears killed in 2013.

Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto says the results show that Maryland's bear population is healthy. He says hunting is an essential tool for slowing the growth of the population.

Peditto says 61 percent of the bears were taken on private land.

Don Rush

The cold snap has left many on the islands that dot the Chesapeake Bay a bit stranded.

Tangier Island has been iced in with the low temperatures.

And, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources complaining that the agency did not send an ice-breaking ship to the island.

Supervisor Wanda Thornton called this an emergency situation.

A spokesman for the state agency told the Salisbury Daily Times that DNR was ready to send supplies by boat if it is needed.

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Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joe Gill’s reconfirmation could be in trouble.

It began following a hearing on a measure last week that would allow DNR to open, close or modify fisheries in a 48 hour period.

Maryland Watermen’s Association president Robert Brown said Gill came up to him and said that if the legislation did not pass he could curt quotas that would hurt him.

Gill says that his comments were misunderstood.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it is seeking volunteers to teach children about the Chesapeake Bay and other state waterways.

The volunteers will be part of the Teaching Environmental Awareness in Maryland program. More than 1,200 classroom presentations have been given since the program was started in 1998. Students are told about the bay's six-state watershed, oysters, oyster reefs, horseshoe crabs and Chesapeake watermen.

SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it is seeking the public's input on proposed changes to hunting areas in the Chesapeake Forests on the lower Eastern Shore.

The department says it is accepting public comments until Aug. 11 on the changes proposed for the 2012-2013 hunting season. DNR owns the Chesapeake Forests, which cover nearly 67,000 acres in six lower Eastern Shore counties. The proposed changes affect more than 7,800 acres.

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