Posts Tagged ‘fishing piers’

Bill Burton Fishing Pier Artificial Reef

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

On October 5th, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finished construction of an artificial oyster reef alongside the Bill Burton Fishing Pier adjacent to the Fredrick C. Malkus Bridge. Funding for the reef was provided by NOAA through its partnership with Restore America’s Estuaries.

The reef was created by placing concrete “reef balls” on the bottom of the Choptank River. The two foot-tall igloo-like reef balls were built by volunteers at CBF’s Oyster Restoration Center in Shady Side, Maryland (ORC) or by volunteers from the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association (MSSA).

The reef balls were “set” with baby oysters (“spat”) by submerging them in large tanks of Bay water at ORC and adding millions of oyster larvae spawned at the University of Maryland hatchery at the Horn Point Laboratory near Cambridge.

Patricia Campbell, CBF’s specially designed oyster restoration boat, deployed the reef balls throughout the summer, and placed the remaining 60 in the river Saturday as the public looked on from the pier. Following the reef ball placement, the crew of Patricia Campbell overplanted them with one million “spat-on-shell” oysters produced at ORC.

The reef balls act as an artificial structure upon which oysters, mussels, barnacles and other benthic organisms can attach. Oyster shells are the normal substrate to which these species attach, but shells are in short supply.

The three-dimensional artificial reef also serves a habitat for fish like striped bass, sea bass and croaker and for crustaceans like blue crabs, mud crabs and grass shrimp.

“This should help the fishing community experience good fishing, particularly with oyster spat. It’s available to the public. You don’t need a boat to fish it,” said Clint Waters, President of the Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishing Association, Dorchester Chapter.

The Bill Burton reef will be one of the most accessible oyster and fish reefs on the Eastern Shore. That was evident today as fishermen cast their lines from the pier onto the reef.

With the help of MSSA volunteers, DNR and MARI are tracking the number of fish caught in the area both before and after the reef’s construction to document the reef’s benefits as fish habitat.

The dedication celebration from 1 pm to 5 pm on the pier included fishing demonstrations, opportunities for the public to add oysters to the reef, guess-the-number-of-oyster-spat sponsored by the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, and hotdogs by Easton Ruritan.

source: joint press release; Chesapeake Bay Foundation,  Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative

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Maryland Free Fishing Days

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Maryland is offering two free fishing days for the 2013 season; June 8 and July 4.

No license, stamp or registration is required to fish in Maryland waters on these days.

Maryland fishing regulations, including size and possession limits are available online in the new digital 2013 Maryland Fishing Guide.

Printed copies of the guide are offered at most Maryland tackle shops and any of the seven Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Service Centers.

Maryland also features 23 unique license free fishing areas, where anglers can fish without a license anytime they want.

The annual Bill Burton Family Fishing Derby will be held during the first Maryland free fishing day.

The event is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 8 at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier, located on the Talbot County side of the Choptank River at Route 50.

Registration is free and will take place before the derby, between 8 and 9 a.m.

source: Maryland DNR

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Potomac River Pier Replacement Projects

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced completion of three pier replacement projects along the Potomac River in St. Mary’s County.

DNR Boating Services and St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks worked together to renovate the piers located at Fox Harbor Landing in Ridge, River Springs Landing in Avenue, and St. George’s Island.

According to DNR, the new piers are Americans with Disabilities Act- accessible and provide boaters with safer access to the water.

source: MD DNR

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DNR Dedicates State Park To Iconic Outdoor Writer Bill Burton

Monday, July 26th, 2010

In July, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) formally dedicated the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park. Attending the ceremony were members of the Burton family, DNR Deputy Secretary Joe Gill, representatives of the Fisheries Service, Maryland Park Service and other invited guests.

The park is now officially dedicated to Bill Burton, an outdoors reporter, writer and fisherman who chronicled outdoor activities in Maryland for over half a century.

At the dedication ceremony, members of Bill’s family including his wife, Lois, and daughter, Heather, each spoke about his lasting legacy and dedication to Maryland’s many natural resources.

The Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park is a fitting tribute to Bill’s life and work, as he was instrumental in preserving the Choptank River Bridge for use as a fishing pier when the new bridge was constructed.

The park is a destination fishing spot for anglers and a popular access point for many working families of Maryland because of the variety of fish that can be caught there, including perch, striped bass, hardheads, sea trout and catfish.

The dedication took place nearly one year to the date from when the Board of Public Works approved the renaming of the Choptank River fishing piers in Talbot and Dorchester counties on July 22, 2009. Sadly, less than a month after the renaming, Bill passed away at age 82 on August 10, 2009.

“Bill is an iconic figure in Maryland’s outdoor history, having reported for over 50 years on outdoor opportunities for Maryland citizens,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “The Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park is a wonderful tribute to a man who spent his life’s work sharing information about the bountiful natural resources our state has to offer.”

Portions of the Bill Burton Fishing Pier were closed for several months to replace over 700 broken, cracked and hazardous handrails with new concrete rails. During this time, the Maryland Park Service also upgraded park benches and picnic tables. The Dorchester section of the pier was closed first and reopened, and then the Talbot section of the Pier was closed and reopened Friday for fishing and crabbing.

The Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park is now open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. Both sections of the piers are lighted for night fishing from April 1 through December 31 and the Dorchester County side of the pier is open and lighted year round. The pier adjoins Sailwinds Park via the walkway under the bridge.

Source: MD DNR press release

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DNR Approves Funding for Perryville Pier, Boat Slips

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Improvement Fund has partnered with Perryville to increase tourism and stimulate the local economy, while increasing public access to the Susquehanna River. With $618,950 from the Waterway Improvement Fund, Perryville recently awarded a contract worth approximately $1.14 million to construct a new boating pier and twelve boat slips to Maryland based contractor Dissen and Juhn.

“This is a wonderful project that will both help the local economy as well as expand public access to the Susquehanna,” said DNR Director of Boating Services Bob Gaudette.

The new pier will be 575 feet long, and 10 feet wide, with a gangway connecting to a floating dock system that will provide 12 new boat slips for visiting boaters. Residents will also enjoy access to the pier for nature watching and town events. Construction will begin in December and is expected to be completed by November 2010.

“We view this project as an enhancement to the Lower Susquehanna River trail system, an economic stimulus through increased tourism and additional water access for this river front community,” said Perryville Mayor James L. Eberhardt.

“This project will greatly enhance water access, recreation, heritage tourism and hopefully be the impetus for the economic development of the town’s waterfront as well as the revitalization of the old downtown area,” said Town Commissioner Barbara A. Brown. “I am extremely happy that everyone who has worked with the town to make this project happen will see their efforts pay off.”

The Waterway Improvement Fund is supported by the 5 percent vessel excise tax that is paid when a boat is titled in Maryland. The project is also funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and by Perryville.

source: DNR press release

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