June 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 78 F

Coastal Conservation Association Maryland Launches the  Great Chesapeake Invasive Count  at Bay Bridge Boat Show

Coastal Conservation Association(CCA) Maryland has announced the launch of The Great Chesapeake Invasive Count Tournament, an initiative to track and manage invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay.  Running now through March 31, 2025, this event invites participants to support science and have a good time throughout the Bay watershed while competing for monthly prizes.

“We’re excited to expand the Great Chesapeake Invasives Count into a 12-month effort, providing more opportunities for anglers to take advantage of fishing opportunities for northern snakehead, blue catfish, and flathead catfish throughout the watershed.” said David Sikorski, executive director of CCA Maryland.

With the user-friendly iAngler Tournament app, anglers can actively contribute to science-based management efforts by reporting invasive species sightings and logging their catches. This app enables participants to record the length, weight, and even stomach contents of the fish they catch, along with a picture to allow a positive identification of the species. By providing this information, anglers offer valuable data that supports the broader understanding of the geographical distribution of these fish and the impact they may be having. Additionally, each time participants upload a picture of one of those invasives or the stomach contents, their names will be entered into a monthly prize drawing; the more entries accumulated, the greater the chance of winning.

“Using smartphone technology, the Great Chesapeake Invasives Count allows anglers to report what they’re finding on the water while simultaneously enjoying the camaraderie of friendly competition,” said Sikorski. “It is truly a win-win for all!”

To kick off this exciting tournament, CCA Maryland will join other key conservation and Maryland-based organizations at the Bay Bridge Boat Show from April 12 through 14 in the Chesapeake Invasives Corner, presented by FishTalk Magazine. This interactive exhibit will allow attendees to learn all about the invaders threatening our waterways and discover effective strategies for managing them. Through engaging displays and informative presentations, visitors will gain insights into the unique characteristics of Blue Catfish, Flathead Catfish, and Northern Snakehead, and tips on how to prepare them at home. 

Moreover, the Bay Bridge Boat Show will act as a platform to unveil Fish & Hunt Maryland’s new Maryland’s Catfish Trail, a fresh initiative aimed at spotlighting the state’s diverse catfishing opportunities. This trail promises anglers of all skill levels expert guidance on fishing techniques and prime locations, spanning tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River, Upper Bay, and Sassafras Rivers, each offering unparalleled catfishing experiences. With easily accessible public points, charters, and guides, the trail simplifies the exhilarating journey of fishing for these remarkable species. Thanks to Maryland’s Best Seafood, the trail also provides a selection of responsibly sourced blue catfish dishes from restaurants and chefs statewide, thereby supporting local watermen and promoting responsible sourcing from the Bay.

“Through collaboration with Fish & Hunt Maryland, Maryland DNR, Maryland’s Best Seafood, and other partners, we are empowering individuals to make a tangible difference in the fight against invasive species,” said Sikorski. “Together, we can safeguard the ecological integrity of the Chesapeake Bay for future generations.”

For more information on The Great Chesapeake Invasive Count Tournament, visit ccamd.org/count.

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