Warmer weather has everyone thinking about getting outdoors, and fishing is often at the top of the list. The yellow perch spawning runs are starting in the upper sections of a number of tidal rivers, and this weekend is a wonderful time for everyone to get in on the action.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is recruiting participants for the shad volunteer angler survey. This brief online survey is smartphone compatible and provides valuable information for the restoration of these prized fish. Anglers are invited to log their shad fishing trips, even if you don’t catch any shad.
Also, please join us on March 11 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, known as MARI. Coordinator Mike Malpezzi will discuss Maryland’s artificial reef program and its importance for the angling community. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.
Enjoy these warm and windy days followed by cooler temperatures, as a typical March weather rollercoaster continues. With these longer and increasingly warmer days, Chesapeake Bay waters will continue to slowly heat up for gamefish such as yellow perch, which are spawning or preparing to spawn in the next couple of weeks. Main Bay surface water temperatures have risen to the mid 40s, although smaller streams and downwind areas will warm faster on a sunny day and can hold temperatures in the upper 40s. Areas with these temperatures and low salinity will be prime locations for spawning yellow perch as they move up from their wintering areas in the downstream portion of rivers. Also, there are still slightly warmer bottom waters so anglers may want to scan these areas for other gamefish.
As a result of above-normal river flows, salinities in the bay are slightly lower than normal. Expect below average clarity for Maryland rivers. To see the latest water clarity conditions, check Eyes on the Bay Satellite Maps. There will be above average tidal currents on Wednesday and Thursday as a result of the upcoming new moon on March 13.
For more detailed and up-to-date fishing conditions in your area of the bay, continue to check out Click Before You Cast. Get regular updates on Maryland’s waters sent to your inbox with our Eyes on the Bay newsletter. Sign up online.