Posts Tagged ‘fishing piers’

New Chesapeake Bay Public Access Sites

Monday, July 13th, 2015

In 2014, Chesapeake Bay Program partners opened 17 boat ramps, fishing piers, and other sites that allow the public to access rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia opened 14 sites, while Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York each opened one.

This brings the total number of access sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to 1,225. Chesapeake Bay Program partners have a goal to bring the total number of access sites in the watershed to 1,439 by 2025. Since tracking began in 2010, partners have opened 86 new sites, meeting 29 percent of their goal.

Partnerships between local, state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations have been essential in developing these sites: a soft launch for paddlecraft opened on the Chickahominy River with support from the James River Association. Walking trails, wildlife viewing platforms and interpretive signs were built on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land along Mount Landing Creek with support from the Virginia State Park Youth Conservation Corps.

At the Zimmerman Center for Heritage on the Susquehanna River, a boat dock, wildlife viewing platform, pavilion, and fishing access point were established with support from Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, National Park Service and local donors.

source: Chesapeake Bay Program

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

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

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

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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