May 25, 2019

Pound Net Fishermen Protect Their Catch from Sea-Thieves

Message from the Cap’n is a compilation of fishing advice, waterman and weather insights, Chesapeake lore, and ordinary malarkey.

Or, as the Cap’n puts it

News from the folks who keep their feet wet in the Potomac and St. Mary’s

Crazy weather abounds in Southern Maryland: Temp lows of 10°F and a high of 54°F so far this week with snow, rain, and sleet.

Water temperature at the NOAA buoy near Point Lookout is 36°F. That is down several degrees since the Last Message From The Captain.

A warm rain Monday night (air temperature 50° F) has rotted the ice covering the creeks turning it grey in color. The air movement will soon break it up. (Gone Tuesday.)

The Blue Crab fishermen are busy rigging and repairing crab pots for the 2016 season which starts in April ( water temp at 50°F +).  Hopefully one of the big Blue Crab issues (“Ghost Pots”) will get some attention in this off season. It can be addressed by the crabbers themselves. Both Maryland and Virginia have participated in studies about the effects lost or “Ghost Pots” have on the fishery.

ghost potsMinimizing “Ghost Pots” in the Bay will take cooperation from the crab harvesters themselves to curtail the waste that is caused by them. A 2007  survey done in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay estimated that 84,000 pots were lost or abandoned in that year alone. Crab pots can be fitted with escape devices that are biodegradable, so that if they are lost, they will not catch crabs after the panel falls off.

The Pound Net Fishermen are skinning poles, repairing net, and making preparations to start driving their stands of poles for the coming season. Some industrious early starters are already protecting their catch from cormorants, seagulls, and other sea-thieves.

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission is opening several oyster bars  above and below the Gov. Harry Nice Memorial Bridge. A full description of the bars and locations are listed under their NEWS section.

Opening date for Horseshoe Creek and Popes Creek is Feb. 18. They will be opened till March 1.

Swan Point down to Neale Sound will be open for the month of March.

The limit is eight bushels per licensed person and 16 bushels per boat. Hours : 8am to 1 pm, five days a week.

The ospreys are overwintering in Columbia and Brazil. They will start their spring migration by the last of February, always returning to the Chesapeake Bay by St. Patrick’s Day. The ospreys that return here travel the 77th parallel. The earliest that they have been seen on St. George Island is the 26th of February. The purple martins and swallows will follow shortly thereafter.

Waterman lore: The Tide rises and falls with the moon. (The tide rises till the moon gets to the top of its arc and then falls till the moon goes below the horizon.)

Remember: “It’s Our Bay, Let’s Pass It On”

Till next time,

Capt Jack

To learn about tours and trips into the Chesapeake get more information on Fins + Claws’ Leader Member Page.

Comments
One Response to “Pound Net Fishermen Protect Their Catch from Sea-Thieves”
  1. B Kragh says:

    All so interesting!!! Thanks for taking time to share!!

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