Outdoor Notes -- Aug. 6

·3 min read

Aug. 6—Steven L. Bittner Memorial Preservation Fund established

A new fund has been created, by family of the late Steven Bittner, with the Community Foundation of Washington County that supports environmental initiatives, natural resources, sustainability, and parks and recreation. The Steven L. Bittner Memorial Preservation Fund honors the Williamsport native and his love for the great outdoors. Bittner grew up outside of Pittsburgh with a love of the outdoors. He cherished hunting weekends at the family farm in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. He always knew he wanted a career tied to his passion for wildlife and the outdoors, according to a news release from the Community Foundation. He received his bachelor's degree in wildlife management from West Virginia University and master's degree in wildlife biology from Frostburg State University. Bittner was employed by the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service for over 30 years and his past duties ranged from being a field biologist to associate director for administration. During his career he also served as the department's black bear biologist for more than five years. He was a responsible hunter with a vast knowledge of nature and environmental issues. Donations to the fund can be made by visiting cfwcmd.org. Checks may also be made out to "Community Foundation of Washington County" with this fund's name written in the memo space and mailed to Community Foundation of Washington County, 37 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

DNR proposes change in trout fishing opening day start time

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is scoping possible regulatory changes on several topics, including fishing hours for trout. DNR would like to change the start time for trout fishing on the opening day of trout season from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. on the Closure 1 and Closure 2 put-and-take trout areas. Other areas, which are not subject to closure, would not be affected. According to the summary, "a number of constituents have voiced concern about the 5:30 a.m. start time being too dark for fishing" in some very crowded streams on opening day. If approved this change could be effective in the spring of 2023. The department is also considering adding a youth-only (ages 15 and under) fishing day for trout on the Saturday prior to the traditional opening day (last Saturday in March), beginning at 6:30 a.m. This change would be limited to the Closure 1 put-and-take trout areas and have a creel of two fish per day. To comment during the scoping process of these and other proposed changes, visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries.

Dam 4 Winch House pedestrian bridge closed

The C&O Canal National Historical Park has closed the pedestrian bridge at Dam 4 Winch House, near Sharpsburg at mile marker 84.6, to all traffic. During a recent inspection it was discovered that the walkway's support beams have been severely corroded. The bridge is pedestrian access from the parking area off Dam No. 4 Road, over the historic stone-gap and canal to the left abutment of Dam 4. The park and amenities, such as the parking lot at Dam 4, remain open to recreational use. Alternative access to this area is available via the towpath, with parking available 1 mile upstream at Big Slackwater Boat Ramp parking area. Details at 301-739-4200 or nps.gov/choh.

Untold stories of Patuxent to be told

You may know that the military once trained in the area of Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel. At 2 p.m. Aug. 13, on the North Tract, 230 Bald Eagle Drive, learn the rest of the story in a program led by former Refuge Manager Brad Knudson on this driving tour of Wildlife Way. Deals struck with beavers? Generals almost losing their heads? Find out on Aug. 13. For ages 10 and older, no registration required. 301-497-5887 or fws.gov/refuge/patuxent-research.

— Susan Guynn