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Expect new regulations on size and hooks in 2018 rockfish season

       A couple of critical changes are coming to the 2018 recreational rockfish regulations on the Chesapeake. Relax, for the news is good. These changes will have a positive impact on sportfishing in the Bay.
      Baring any complication, these modifications would go into effect May 16 or soon thereafter.
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We have 1,800 volunteer gardeners helping gardeners

      Serving Maryland’s home gardeners are 1,800 volunteer Master Gardeners.
      A program of the Maryland Cooperative Service of the University of Maryland, Master Gardeners have branches in all but Caroline County. The director is Jon Traunfeld, and under his leadership the program has gained nationwide recognition.
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Change species

       I had arrived on this narrow section of the river just after dawn, my breath clearly visible in the still chill morning air. With fingers trembling from the cold, I lip-hooked a small minnow on the shad dart positioned about 18 inches below a small, weighted, orange casting bobber. Yellow perch were on my mind.
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The Frugal Gardener’s advice

      Frugal gardeners save unused seeds from previous years, thinking they’ll save money. 
      Like everything else, the price of seeds increases almost every year. But you don’t save money if the seeds you saved and planted did not germinate or grow as expected.
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Fishing resumes with yellow perch

      Now is the time.
      One of the better tasting fish (tied with white perch for first place), yellow perch are making their spring spawning run as you read. This is the best time to go after them, indeed probably the only time of the year when they are concentrated enough to make them your target. 
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Do seeds like salt and vinegar? 

      A good science project can be conducted within a month’s time if you start with seeds. Such studies do not require much space or special light conditions. Seeds are readily available, inexpensive and will provide the diversity you need to make comparisons. For many studies, quart canning jars with screw lids, paper towels, water, salt or vinegar and measuring tools are all you need to study how seeds germinate in different conditions.
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Ideas, research and preparation

      It’s about that time of year when parents come to me seeking ideas for their child’s science project. Most of the time, they are desperate because their children procrastinated in announcing they had to turn in a project idea yesterday.
       Here’s what I tell them:
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The best comes from your own patch

        Once you have eaten fresh homemade horseradish sauce, you will never want to eat the store-bought brands. It’s even better if the roots come from your own garden.
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The cold-weather cycle opens up ice fishing at Deep Creek Lake

       A number of fish lay scattered upon the ice: slab-sized crappie, a few big northern pike, some nice yellow perch, a beautiful walleye and a few giant bluegills. It was cold, really cold, but the anglers gathered at Deep Creek Lake were glowing with excitement.
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This time of year, a bird eats what it can get

      Great blue herons in the Chesapeake Bay area do not migrate in the winter. They struggle to find food when the waters freeze. They will look to areas of flowing water and sometimes stake out grassy fields to catch mice and small birds. 
      Herons from the snowier north usually migrate to warmer climates.
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