Having fished the Chesapeake Bay in the greater Solomons area, including the lower portions of the Patuxent River for the past 35 years, it has become evident to me that certain portions of these waters have become less productive due to poor water quality. For example, around the Cove Point area, we used to be able to catch our limits of various species of fish including Rockfish, Bluefish, and Sea Trout. But over the last several years, there has been a noticeable reduction in the catch of these fish. Closer to the shorelines of both the Bay and within the Patuxent River, we would drift fish for Croakers, Spot, and Summer Flounder.
But then, we began to see a lot of dead fish floating on the surface at different times of the year. We also started to notice discolored water in the shallow flats and the tell-tail signs of oxygen depletion. All of these factors resulted in poorer catches of sport fish. The same could be said of the Cedar Point Rips, where there was always a good population of smaller Rockfish and Bluefish. Yet, on occasions, these areas failed to produce depending on several environmental factors.
Having worked on various committees trying to protect and manage our resources in the Chesapeake Bay, I understand how difficult it is to impress on the local population the importance of clean water and how it adversely effects our natural resources. I hope that as we become more aware of what can be done to improve the water quality, our natural resources for the future should improve. And by doing so, the next generation [of watermen] will prosper.
--Capt. Bruno, Lusby, MD