At this time, there is limited data to forecast the success of the 2019 hatch of Atlantic Population migratory Canada geese, but early news is more promising than last year.

The average temperature from the eastern Ungava Peninsula for May 2019 was close to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This was above the long term average (34°F) and well above last year’s abnormally low 23°F.

Gosling production is normally greatest in years when the spring thaw occurs in late May while a mid-June thaw typically forecasts lower productivity.

May temperatures on the western coast of Ungava were somewhat colder than those on the eastern coast; however, snow cover maps from late May show improved conditions compared to last year. Some snow and ice cover remained along the northern Hudson Bay coast while most of the Ungava Bay coast appeared to be relatively snow free.

The annual breeding pair survey, conducted by Canadian Wildlife Service and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, was completed in late June. A report on the breeding pair survey data is expected by mid-August. The number of breeding pairs is an important metric used by the Atlantic Flyway Council and the USFWS when determining hunting parameters (liberal, moderate, restrictive, closed).

AP geese typically hatch around July 1. Banding crews from the U.S. (including two staffers from Maryland DNR) and the Canadian Wildlife Service are scheduled to begin banding efforts around August 3. Biologists track nesting success by calculating a young/adult ratio at banding and a publicized ratio is expected by mid-September.

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Chesapeake Forest comments extended

Maryland’s DNR has extended the time in which staff will accept public comment on a proposal for restructuring the Chesapeake Forest lease program for hunting clubs. Following requests from stakeholders, comments will be accepted online through Aug. 19, a one-month extension.

Maryland Forest Service staff hosted a public meeting on June 18 to present the proposal and begin the public input process. To be considered, all comments must be entered through the department’s website.

Chesapeake Forest lands comprise more than 73,000 acres in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.

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Fishing report

Since striped bass avoid water temperatures above 84 degrees, they are being squeezed into smaller areas with adequate temperature and oxygen. The best fishing areas are typically found at cooler, oxygenated areas with underwater points, hard bottom, drop-offs, and schools of baitfish. Chesapeake Bay surface salinities are well below normal for this time of year but are improving slightly.

Anglers have been positioning boats in front of the Bay Bridge structure and either jigging, drifting soft crab baits, or live-lining spot and white perch, but much of the action has shifted north to Love, Swan, and Podickory points as well as the Key Bridge.

Spot can be found in hard-bottom areas in about 10 feet to 20 feet of water. Some likely locations include Sandy Point, the flats behind Hacketts, the Sands near Black Walnut Point, Eastern Bay, and in front of Chesapeake Beach. Pieces of bloodworm on a simple bottom rig will put you into the action. White perch and catfish will also be found in the same areas.

Casting to structure such as the rocks at Thomas Point with swimshads has been popular in the early morning and late evening hours. The shallow water striped bass fishery continues to provide some action, mostly in the early morning or late evening hours for those casting topwater lures.

Recreational crabbing is improving with larger crabs now. The best crabbing is on the eastern side of the lower Chesapeake and extends up into the middle bay. Chicken necks have been popular but razor clams continue to provide the best catches on trotlines or in collapsible crab traps.

On the freshwater scene, largemouth bass can be found in shallow grass in the early morning or late evening hours. Frogs and buzzbaits can be good lure choices. Most bass will retreat to thick hydrilla and milfoil beds to escape hot sun. Floating stick worms can be a good choice when working the tops of the grass beds. Stick worms rigged to sink through the grass mats can reach bass lurking under the grass. Northern snakeheads are now holding far back in shallow grass beds and can be difficult to find. Frog lures, worked very slowly, are drawing strikes.

On the Atlantic Coast, kingfish are still biting along the surf on pieces of bloodworms or Fishbites on bottom rigs, along with a few spot. Small bluefish are being caught on finger mullet rigs or cut mullet. Casting metal lures can also put some bluefish in the cooler. Those casting large baits of cut menhaden or mullet are catching an occasional larger bluefish and even some cobia. Flounder are being caught in the inlet area and the channels leading to and from the inlet.

Anglers trolling from the inshore shoal areas out to the 30 fathom lumps have been catching a mix of bluefish, Atlantic bonito, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and an occasional yellowfin tuna or dolphin-fish. Anglers farther out at the canyons are enjoying action for a variety of offshore species including yellowfin, bigeye, and Bluefin tuna.

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Duck blind know-it-all

The brown pelican is the smallest of the pelican species and is one of the three species of pelicans that are found in the Americas.

Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at cknauss@stardem.com

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