If you were planning to hit Prettyboy or Liberty reservoirs for some fishing Sunday, you probably know by now that the reservoirs have been closed to boat traffic because of potential problems with zebra mussels.
So, what to do? It's too early to get interested in the NBA -- the season doesn't really get started until the playoffs anyway. The Olympics are over, and, besides, who wants to be indoors?
One might try yellow perch fishing, which is going well in all the tidal tributaries that are open. Remember, barb-less hooks are required through March 15.
There also is a nine-inch minimum size limit in the Patuxent and Wye rivers and Tuckahoe Creek. In other open waters, the minimum size limit is 8 1/2 inches. The creel limit is five per person per day.
The yellow perch fishery is closed in the Chester, Choptank, Magothy, Miles, Nanticoke, Patapsco, Severn, South, West and Rhode rivers. One cannot possess yellow perch in those rivers.
In freshwater, there are no restrictions on size limit, and there are no closed areas.
Another option might be to try some of the tailwater fisheries close to town, below Loch Raven and Prettyboy on the Gunpowder, for example.
Trout fishing has been challenging but enjoyable in the catch-and-return areas below the Prettyboy dam, and, below the Loch Raven dam, the trout and smallmouth bass fishing has been decent as well.
If you are taking the boat out, the Department of Natural Resources has a bit of news that may clear some of the gloom: Marina and slip owners cannot prohibit fishermen in boats from fishing their pilings or even entering empty slips without tying up.
An ad hoc committee studied the matter of fishing boaters' access to marinas after some marinas were declared closed to fishing during the Bass Masters Classic last summer.
In summary, the advice of Assistant Attorney General Sean Coleman to the committee was:
"The public has a right to navigate the waters of the state and to fish these waters. These rights cannot be lost as a result of the state permitting piers to be built over the waters of the state. Therefore, generally, pier owners may not preclude a person in a vessel who is fishing from approaching or even entering unoccupied pier slips."
Remember that if you are going fishing for bass in tidal waters, starting Sunday and through June 15, there is a 15-inch minimum size and a creel limit of five per day. In freshwater, from March 1 through June 15, bass fishing is catch-and-release only.
Stocking of some trout put-and-take areas was to begin last week and there are a about a dozen ponds and lakes throughout the state that may have been stocked and do not have closures. Check the Maryland Freshwater Fishing Guide for details.
Feb. 28-29: National Outdoors Show, South Dorchester County School K-8 in Golden Hill. This is a major show that includes the National Muskrat Skinning Championship as well as competitions in duck and goose calling in addition to hunting and fishing demonstrations and exhibits. The show opens at 5 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Call (410) 397-3517 or (410) 397-3738.
Feb. 29: As part of a leap year celebration, a hike to help plant seedlings in the Hereford area is being organized out of Gunpowder Falls State Park. The hike will take place at Camp Wood and begins at 9 a.m. Call 592-2897.
Planning ahead March 4: Monthly meeting of Free State Fly Fishers. Scheduled speaker is Joe Bruce, owner of the Fisherman's Edge tackle shop, 7:30 p.m., Hillsmere Elementary School in Annapolis.
March 7: Harford Hooksetters annual flea market at American Legion Post 39, 500 Hickory Avenue, Bel Air. New and used fishing tackle, motors, boats, handmade lures, electronics, etc. Admission is $1.50 for those 12 and older. Call (410) 838-2603.
March 8: Mountain Club of Maryland hike through Catonsville, Ellicott City and Illchester. For more information, call 744-7943 or 377-6266.
March 10: Monthly meeting of the Northwest Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishermen's Association at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1010 Frederick Road, Catonsville, 7:30 p.m. Scheduled speakers are Al Engler on marine electronics and Oscar Paquette on wreck fishing.
March 10: Monthly meeting of Northwest Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishermen's Association, featuring the chapter's first annual flea market, 6 p.m., St. Lawrence Church, 5801 Security Boulevard, Woodlawn. Call 747-5886.
March 16: DNR Wildlife Division public meeting on proposed 1992-93 hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits and regulations for upland game, furbearers and forest game, 7 p.m., Mount Savage Fire Hall, Foundry Row, Mount Savage.
March 17: DNR Wildlife Division public meeting on proposed 1992-93 hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits and regulations for upland game, furbearers and forest game, 7 p.m., Loch Raven High School, 1212 Cowpens Avenue, Towson.
March 19: DNR Wildlife Division public meeting on proposed 1992-93 hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits and regulations for upland game, furbearers and forest game, 7 p.m., District Court multi-purpose center, first floor conference room, 201 Baptist Street, Salisbury.
March 20: DNR Wildlife Division public meeting on proposed 1992-1993 hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits and regulations for upland game, furbearers and forest game, 7 p.m., Department of Natural Resources, C-1 conference Room, Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis.
March 21-22: Anglers' Sport and Fishing Expo sponsored by the Anglers of the Miles River Yacht Club. Exhibitors from Talbot County and other areas of the Eastern Shore will be displaying and selling fishing tackle, new and used boats, guide and outfitter services, marinas, marine supplies, sports clothing, etc. Miles River Yacht Club, west of St. Michaels.
March 26: Public meeting at the Bel Air library to discuss regulations on bait and tackle that may be used in the Susquehanna River in the Conowingo Dam area. 6 p.m.
New in print While rummaging through camping gear recently, I came across book that had been sent to me last year and which I had thumbed through on a trip to Pocomoke State Park. Though it is no longer really new in print, it is a valuable work by Dr. Paul G. Gill Jr., who writes a sports medicine column for Outdoor Life.
The book is a "Pocket Guide to Wilderness Medicine" (Simon & Schuster). It is small enough to fit in a side pocket of a backpack or the bottom of a tackle box -- and yet thorough enough to cover the basic treatment for injuries ranging from sprains to fractures, hypothermia to heat illness, snake bites to insect stings.
It is written largely without the typical medicine man's gobbledygook, and therefore is valuable to virtually anyone who can read a newspaper.
There also is a section on wilderness survival and a listing of equipment for a first aid kit.
If you are likely to be away from access to medical facilities, this Pocket Guide to Wilderness Medicine is worth investigating.
Names and places * Bass guide Ken Penrod and Outdoor Life Unlimited are back on the water after having been fully licensed by the United States Coast Guard. Penrod had suspended operations in November because federal regulations require that boats carrying passengers for hire be operated by Coast Guard licensed captains. Penrod and a number of his guides are now fully licensed.
* On Monday night, DNR presented its proposal for the spring rockfish season, which will run from May 1-31 with a limit of one fish 36 inches or longer per person. Public comment, written or oral, will be taken by the DNR until March 10. Interested parties should contact W. P. Jensen, director of fisheries, Tawes State Office Building, C-2, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis 21401.
* J.J. Isler of San Diego and Ed Adams of Newport, R.I., have been named the Rolex yachtswoman and yachtsman of the year. Isler is the current world champion in the 470 class, and Adams is rated No. 1 in the Star class. Isler is among the skippers expected to be town for the Santa Maria Cup from June 11-14.
* A public meeting will be held at the public library in Bel Air on March 26 at 6 p.m. to discuss fishing regulations on bait and tackle for the Susquehanna River are near Conowingo Dam.
* The Department of Natural Resources plans to build oyster reefs from scrap tires -- using 10,000, three-tire units. The initial part of the project was scheduled to be placed off Tilghman Island in an area which once supported oysters but is now barren. In addition to building oyster colonies, which filter and cleanse the bay's waters, the reefs also should draw fish and improve fishing.
* As a result of budget cuts, the Maryland Natural Resources Police have reached an agreement with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary to offer the Maryland Basic Boating Course among their regular courses. Robert Gould of the DNR information office said county recreation departments also are expected to offer the basic boating course. All resident boaters born after July 1, 1972, are required to pass a boating course to operate a vessel in Maryland waters.
(To have an item or question included in the Outdoor Journal, write Outdoors Editor, Baltimore Sun Sports Department, 501 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, Md., 21278.)