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Liberty, Prettyboy boating season delayed by ice

Dana Seipp of Hampstead drives his boat on to a trailer at the Loch Raven Fishing Center last summer.
Dana Seipp of Hampstead drives his boat on to a trailer at the Loch Raven Fishing Center last summer. (Jonathan Munshaw/Baltimore Sun)

The opening of boating season at Liberty and Prettyboy reservoirs will be delayed indefinitely because of ice accumulation, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works announced last week.

The boating season normally runs from March 1 to Dec. 31 at the two reservoirs.

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At Loch Raven Reservoir, boating season will begin April 3 this year and go to the last Sunday in November, with a limited schedule after Labor Day.

Boating at all three city reservoirs requires a valid boating permit. For information on permits, call DPW Natural Resources at 410-795-6150. Boating and reservoir rules and regulations, as well as watercraft permit applications, are available at http://publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/.

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Midwinter waterfowl survey: Aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently made their annual visual estimates of ducks, geese and swans along Maryland's Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast.

This year, the teams witnessed more than 855,500 waterfowl, slightly lower than the 905,000 birds observed during 2014, but higher than the five-year average of 757,000.

Biologists attributed this year's count to the fact large areas of the bay's tributaries were ice-covered during the survey period, concentrating waterfowl where they were more easily counted.

Overall, dabbling ducks were less abundant (90,800) compared with last winter (128,000). Diving duck numbers (192,000) were similar to last winter's (190,300). The survey estimate for redhead ducks (32,200) was the highest since the mid-1970s. The canvasback count (64,200) was one of the highest since the mid-1960s, and similar to the January 2014 estimate (68,400). Survey teams also observed large numbers of wintering Canada geese (504,700), mainly along the upper Chesapeake Bay.

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Hutchinson honored: Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis was honored Thursday at New York Yacht Club in Manhattan for winning US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Hutchinson, 46, the current Rolex Farr 40 and TP52 world champion, also won the honor in 2008.

He said in his speech that winning a second time was "different because of how it all happened."

"It was quite a hard thing emotionally not going all the way through with the last America's Cup," Hutchinson said. "In some ways, it's not how you get knocked down but how you get back up that's going to be the measure. It's a testament to the owners and their faith and trust in the process that we apply to win races. What they have placed in my hands and what they have provided me as an opportunity to do on their behalf is not taken lightly."

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