It's time to renew my Maryland Boat registration again. Included in the paperwork was a flyer from the DNR announcing that the presence of Zebra Mussels in Maryland has been confirmed. This really concerns me and it should concern you as well. As with any invasive species, the effects they pose to a fishery is totally unknown. What I do know is that there is some truly awesome angling opportunities found in the three reservoirs we choose to fish. I would hate to see that change.
It has been many years since the City of Baltimore closed the reservoirs to boaters while they evaluated the threat of the Zebra Mussel and how to address the threat. What a horrible time that was for me! Thankfully, they reopened the lakes to boating after their evaluation and the implementation of their plan, most notably the declaration that a boat put on the reservoirs will only be used on the reservoirs..
Science has shown that the Zebra Mussel can survive up to a week out of the water. When you combine the proximity of our reservoirs to the Susquehanna and the unregulated Pennsylvania waters with the waterfowl that moves throughout the watersheds, there is a possibility that their presence in the lakes is inevitable. We have no control over that.
However, we do have the ability to ensure that everyone honors their commitment to the City by not using their vessel on any body of water other than the reservoirs once they get their permits. Sure, there are times I have dreamed how nice it would be to be able to fish at another lake. But the stark reality is that every year I make a pledge to honor the rules set forth by the city, and I stick by that pledge. I am asking that everyone that cares about our wonderful reservoirs rededicates their commitment to this requirement and to honor that promise they make when applying to get a permit for the reservoirs.
Some of our members have a second boat they use on other bodies of water. Sometimes, when each team member has a boat, one team member registers his boat for the reservoirs while the other does not so they have a boat for other lakes. And maybe there is a whole new approach that we can explore. An approach that comes about through the community of this group and the power of our online network. It is conceivable that we could co-op a boat. In other words, if there were enough people interested, we could form a group of people to share the cost of ownership of a boat (or two, or three) specifically for use on other lakes. The collective would share the cost of ownership and each year pay an equal share for the necessary fees and expenses in return for the opportunity to use the boat. If anybody is interested in further exploring this idea, post your comment and perhaps we can "run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes".
Most of you are quite aware of my commitment to these fisheries from reading my blogs. As I return to service in the MRA after a five year hiatus, rest assured I will bring this ideology back to the leadership of the group. I ask for your assistance in preserving and enhancing our reservoirs. We are truly fortunate to have these great lakes and it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure they will be available for all future generations to enjoy.
Thanks for reading!