Sponsored by CBF, Coastal Conservation League Maryland Chapter, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association Dorchester Chapter, & Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR)
We're celebrating the beginning of a turn for the better in the Chesapeake’s fish and crab habitat. Oyster restoration is beginning to make a difference.
When an estuary loses 99 percent of its keystone oyster reefs, the change causes fundamental damage. Without essential habitat, whole communities die off, and even the physics of water flow shifts, often in ways that further damage the estuary’s habitat value. This is the situation the Bay and its creatures have faced, especially over the past 150 years.
What was lost? We know from archaeologists that colonists in St. Mary’s City found sheepshead in abundance in the lower Potomac in the 17th century. How about black sea bass? Tautogs? Puppy drum (red and black)? Spadefish? Filefish?
Some of those fish are turning up now in Virginia, mostly around the rocks on the tubes of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Some of them are beginning to show on new reef structures in Maryland, including the reef ball field at Cook’s Point in the mouth of the Choptank.
We want to celebrate this return, keep it growing, and give Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) some data on recreational fishing opportunities around these restoration projects. Join us for a tournament that focuses on three restoration reef areas: the MARI Tilghman Reef just outside Knapps Narrows, the Harris Creek reefs, and the Cook’s Point reef ball field in the mouth of the Choptank. Multiple partners have worked together to build these reefs, including the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and the MD DNR.
This tournament will be a little different. You won’t win just for the biggest fish. Prizes will be awarded for how many species you catch, and then how long your fish are. We’re celebrating variety, and (we hope) the return of some of these great reef species that we’ve been missing. Come join us!
ENTRY FEE: $50 Includes entry, lines out, party food, and giveaways. Register Prior to September 15th to be guaranteed a free fishing tournament shirt.
YOUTH ENTRY: Youth ages 16 and under may participate for free with a participating adult. LINES OUT PARTY ONLY: $10 Includes food and entertainment
TIME: Lines In: 6:45 a.m., Lines Out: 2:30 p.m.
AFTER PARTY & AWARDS LOCATION: From 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. at Lowes Wharf Marina & Inn, 21651 Lowes Wharf Road, Sherwood, Maryland 21665. Shallow water anchorage at Lowes Wharf is encouraged. Water taxi will be available to shuttle boaters to the after party.
FISHING BOUNDARIES: Harris Creek Oyster Sanctuary, Cook’s Point Oyster Sanctuary/ Artificial Reef, Tilghman Island Artificial Reef
SPECIES: Any species may be caught. Catch, photo, and release for all undersize fish. Refer to the restrictions set by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and abide by the law.
DIVISIONS: Powerboat, Kayak, Youth (see registration page for details)
- Grand Prize: Overall Highest Diversity
- Powerboat: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place
- Kayak: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place
- Youth: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place
WAIVER: Each participant must submit a completed waiver to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation prior to fishing on October 7, 2017. Download waiver form.