Reel Report: There’s something for everyone right now

If you didn’t get a chance to take advantage of Maryland’s last free fishing day on the Fourth of July, you should most certainly get yourself a license and hit the water this weekend because there’s something for everyone right now in every fishing hole from the lakes and reservoirs to Ocean City’s shores.

 Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, manager at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, said that with the extreme heat there hasn’t been much fishing activity going on.

Fishing early and late with topwater lures is a great way to target bass right now. During the heat of the day, most bass will find the nearest drop-off from shore and hold near available cover. Fishing around low trees and docks with lightly weighted soft plastic baits, jig-and-craw combos or creature-type baits is your best bet.

The bluegill are eager to eat small pieces of nightcrawler or live crickets. Fishing for bluegill early and late in shallow water is productive as they’ll also move to deeper, cooler water during the heat of the day.

Just a reminder that the park opens at 7 a.m. on weekends and 7:30 a.m. during the weekdays. The park closes seven days a week at 8 p.m.

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Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County continue to see record tourism increases

McHENRY — Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County have seen record increases in tourism during fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) with a 6.3-percent increase in county accommodations sales, a 12.2-percent increase in heads on beds, a 3.9-percent increase in Admissions & Amusement collections, an 11.5-percent increase in visitors to the Chamber’s website, visitdeepcreek.com, and an 18.8-percent increase in Visitor Guide requests. The Chamber attributes much of the continued growth in tourism to their aggressive marketing plan with concentrated efforts and new ad strategies.

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Lakes Protection bill receives Senate approval, stalls in House committee

ANNAPOLIS — Senate Bill 501, State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund — Purpose, Use, and Funding — Alterations, was unanimously approved by the Senate on March 15.

The bill calls for $3 million to be allocated annually to help protect and restore Maryland’s 16 state owned/managed lakes.

“We have gotten this far because of the outpouring of folks concerned about DCL and other state lakes,” Executive Director Barbara Beelar stated in a Friends of Deep Creek Lake newsletter. “Together, we have made a huge impact on decision making in Annapolis.”

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Deep Creek Lake Boating

SAFETY TIPS
• Know and obey the rules.
• Display required dock number plate and use the nearest
number to identify your location in an emergency event.
• Be attentive and look out for others.
• Control your speed and dock slowly—boats have no brakes.
• Navigate carefully into narrow coves and watch for restrictions.
• Watch your wake. You’re responsible for damage it may cause.
• Never swim near a running engine.
• Always sit in a moving boat—never on it.
• Be respectful of Natural Resources Police officers, who are
there for your safety.
• Control personal watercraft speed safely—jet drives have
no steering when you cut power. Keep required distances
from other boats, docks and the shore.
• When overtaking another boat from behind, the boat in
front has the right of way.
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GC Cold Weather Emergency Contact Information

Garrett County Cold Weather Emergency Contact Information Released

The Garrett County Health Department in cooperation with Garrett County Emergency Management warns that extreme cold weather will continue over the next several days and into next week with single digits and below zero temperatures expected.

There is always a concern for seniors, children, homeless persons, and animals. Anyone engaging in outdoor activities (especially children) should be carefully monitored for frostbite and hypothermia.

Neighbors should check on elderly neighbors and others who live alone. All pets/animals should have warm shelter or be brought indoors.

Persons needing emergency fuel assistance can call Community Action at 301-334-9431 (after hours, call 301-334-1926)

Persons needing emergency shelter, call Department of Human Services at 301-533-3000

For assistance with pets or stray animals, call Garrett County Animal Shelter at 301-334-3553

Not sure who to call? Citizens may call the Garrett County Public Safety/Emergency Management non-emergency line at 301-334-1929 for assistance/animals should have warm shelter or be brought indoors.

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Managed Goose and Waterfowl Hunts Set for Garrett County

OAKLAND — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that it is continuing the Canada goose hunt on Deep Creek Lake and waterfowl hunt at Broadford Lake.

Canada goose and waterfowl hunting is by permit and reservation only during select days of the season (Nov. 20-22). Interested hunters can apply for a permit online.

Hunters can apply to hunt one of three blind sites on Deep Creek Lake and one of four blind sites on Broadford Lake. Hunters must be within 50 feet of the stake or buoy marking the designated blind site except for the purpose of retrieving game.

For more information, one can call 301-743-5161 or 301-334-4255.

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Garrett County tourism is ‘off to a good start’ in FY 2018

MCHENRY — The first quarter of fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 — June 30, 2018) is off to a good start for tourism in the Deep Creek lake area and other areas of the county, with a 5.9 percent increase in county accommodations sales, according to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

There is also a 19.6 percent increase in “heads on beds,” a 8.5 percent growth in visitors to the chamber’s website (visitdeepcreek.com), and a 17 percent rise in Visitor Guide requests.

While the chamber attributes much of the continued growth in tourism to “aggressive” marketing efforts and new advertising strategies, the newly implemented post-Labor Day start for Maryland Public Schools is also being credited for the increases.

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‘Adorable Adoptables’ available at Garrett County Animal Shelter

OAKLAND — Numerous “Adorable Adoptable” felines are housed at the Garrett County Animal Shelter this week. They include Debbie, Jenny and Louise.

Debbie, who was given up by her owner, is white with black markings. She is friendly, according to Liz Gibbons, one of the shelter’s animal control officers.

She describes Jenny, a gray tabby who was found in Oakland, as being “very friendly, as well.”

Louise is a black and white tuxedo who was found along Gorman Road.

For more information about these and other cats, as well as dogs, at the shelter, persons are invited to call 301-334-3553.

Located along Oakland Sang Run Road, the county-operated facility is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Commissioners approve 2017 Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan

BITTINGER — The county commissioners have unanimously approved the Garrett County 2017 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). Council signed the resolution during its public meeting Tuesday evening at the Bittinger Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

The commissioners held a public hearing for the plan earlier this month at the courthouse in Oakland. Director Deborah Carpenter, Garrett County Department of Planning and Land Management, reviewed the document at the hearing.

“The Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan is required in order for us to participate in Program Open Space,” she said. “It is required to be updated every five years with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.”

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Fall Foliage and Festival Report October 14 – 15

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

Garrett County’s biggest event of the year, the Autumn Glory Festival, is underway in Oakland and other locations throughout the county. Highlights of the festival include the Maryland State Banjo and Fiddle Championships, Tall Tale Storytelling and Book Festival, Western Maryland Tournament of Bands, parades, a 5K Run, and an authentic Oktoberfest celebration.

For those heading out to the event, the fall foliage will certainly not disappoint! Reports from the region indicate leaf change has really picked up in Garrett County, moving rapidly towards peak with lots of yellow and orange showing. Recent rain did bring a lot of leaves down over the past weekend. Red and sugar maples and hickory species, with their colorful pinkish orange and yellow foliage, are looking pretty good in the county at Big Run State Park, along New Germany Road to Grantsville and east along I-68 to Frostburg. In Allegany County good color change can easily be seen on ridges near and far.

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