Baltimore County Now
By Patrick McDougall
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
Is there any better way to spend a Spring or Summer day than with rod and reel in hand, the fish biting, and dreams of a nice, fat catch at the end of your line? Not in my experience. Fishing is a great way to spend some quality family time, have a day out with the buddies, or just get away from it all for a few hours.
Did you know that there are a multitude of opportunities for great fishing available not far from your own back door? If you want to grab the fishing tackle, set up on a pier, and try your luck along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, or a stocked pond, then Baltimore County is the place for you.
We are home to over a dozen public fishing piers where everyone can bring their rod and reel and see what’s biting. How about a day on the reservoir, trying to hook a trout, walleye, crappie, catfish, or bass from a rented rowboat or electric motor boat? Head to Loch Raven Fishing Center and take advantage of their affordable boat rentals. Have your own trailered boat and need access to the Bay, Middle River, Bear Creek, Patapsco River, or other tidal waterways to spend a day trolling for the big one? Take advantage of Baltimore County’s FREE public boat ramps. Shoreline fishing is also available at most of our waterfront parks, but the best spots are well-guarded secrets that you’ll just have to discover on your own!
If you need information on how to get a fishing license or fishing regulations, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ licensing page. Another great resource for fishing and waterfront information is the Baltimore County Marine Trades Association’s 2012 Waterfront Guide. So grab your fishing rod, gather your tackle, stop at a local bait shop for some fish-enticing victuals, and head out to your soon-to-be-favorite Baltimore County fishin’ spot!
by Vince Gardina
Director of the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability
We all know that the Chesapeake Bay and the many streams and rivers that run to it have been declining for decades, but did you know that Baltimore County has an entire team of scientists and engineers working to help restore the Bay? That's right. Baltimore County's Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability has teams whose sole effort is to evaluate water quality and put in place various practices and construction projects designed to restore water quality by cleaning storm water as it runs off of our houses, buildings, roads and parking lots. The goal is to remove pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment from these waters so that they don't end up in the Bay. You see, these pollutants harm the water and by removing oxygen and sunlight causing fish, crabs, oysters and submerged plants to die.
Baltimore County is working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of Environment to address water quality standards required in the Clean Water Act. This federal law requires that certain polluted waterways meet what are known as Total Maximum Daily Loads for these pollutants. Basically, the pollutant concentrations in the designated waterways must be reduced to acceptable levels that do not affect wildlife or humans. The County is planning to meet these pollutant load reductions by putting in place measures called Best Management Practices. These are defined in a planning document prepared by the County and submitted to Maryland Department of Environment. All of these measures to reduce pollutants must be in place by 2025.
What kind of practices and capital projects will help restore the Bay? There are hundreds, but the most effective ones are stream restorations, storm water management facility upgrades, shoreline stabilization, bioretention systems and tree plantings. However, this isn't just a job for us. Every county resident can help these efforts by applying less lawn fertilizer, using rain barrels to catch storm water, planting trees on their property, building a rain garden, keeping grass at least three inches high, and removing a sidewalk or paved area and replacing it with pavers or stone.
For more information on our efforts to keep the Bay clean and safe, go to http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/environment/monitoring/tmdl.html.