Summer Flounder Regs Loosened

OCEAN CITY — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service this week announced the 2011 recreational summer flounder regulations including a minimum keeper size one inch smaller than last year.

The DNR Fisheries Service on Tuesday announced the 2011 summer flounder regulations, which include a three fish per angler creel limit, an 18-inch minimum keeper size, which is an inch shorter than last year, and a season that will run from April 15 to Nov. 30. After several years of steadily increasing minimum keeper sizes, local anglers will be able to keep slightly smaller flounder this season.

“Due to continued increases in the coastwide summer flounder stock and Maryland’s success in staying at or below the fishing target in 2010, summer flounder anglers will enjoy increased access to summer flounder in 2011,” said DNR Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “Our choice of regulation is a direct result of our biologists working together with our anglers to enact regulations that work toward the coastwide rebuilding schedule, while providing quality fishing opportunities for our fishermen.”

State School Superintendent Retires

BALTIMORE — Maryland State Superintendent of School Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick this week announced her intention to retire this summer, ending her 20-year tenure at the helm of the nation’s most honored public school system.

Grasmick has served as the State Superintendent in Maryland since 1991 and currently ranks as the nation’s longest-serving appointed state schools chief. She will retire on June 30, creating a void at the top of what is recognized as the nation’s most successful public school system. Already this year, Maryland’s public schools have received several national accolades. For example, Education Week magazine in January named Maryland the number one school system in the country for the third straight year.

“Our students and our schools have made tremendous progress over the past two decades and stand on the edge of even greater progress,” Grasmick said this week. “It has been my great honor and privilege to work with our state’s outstanding educators to provide our children with the educational system they richly deserve.”

Governor Martin O’Malley praised Grasmick for her contributions to the state’s school system.

“I want to thank Dr. Grasmick for her service to the children, parents and educators of our state as she steps down from her role as State Superintendent,” he said. “I wasn’t to wish Dr. Grasmick the very best in her future endeavors and thank her for her years of service to the people of our state.”

Active Hurricane Season Predicted

OCEAN CITY — Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by meteorologist and hurricane forecaster Paul Pastelok, are predicting an active season for 2011 with more impact on the U.S. coastline than last year.

The team is forecasting a total of 15 named tropical storms, eight of which will attain hurricane status and three of which will attain major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher). In a normal year, there are 10 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes and two of which become major hurricanes, or attain winds that exceed 110 mph.

The 2010 hurricane season had a total of 19 named storms and ranks as the third most active season on record, but there was little impact on the United States coastline. Twelve of these storms became hurricanes, five of which were major hurricanes.

“It looks like we’re going to have more impact on the mainland of the U.S. coming up this year compared to last year,” Pastelok said. “We had a lot of storms last year, but not a lot of impact on the U.S.”

In order to project the number of storms and impacts, the team looks at past years that have similar weather variables and patterns that closely resemble the most recent fall, winter and early spring months.

Hazardous Waste, E-cycling Dates Announced

SNOW HILL — The Recycling Division of Worcester County Public Works, in conjunction with Maryland Environmental Services and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), will conduct Household Hazardous Waste, and E-Cycling Collection Day on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Ocean City Park and Ride in West Ocean City.

Residents are urged to gather up old or unusable cans of pesticides, pool chemicals, gas and other fuels, oil-base paints, thinners and everyday hazardous wastes accumulating in and around the home and bring them to the recycling center for safe disposal. Electronic items, such as computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, radios, televisions and VCR’s, will be collected and later recycled.

The event is open to Worcester County residents only. For more information, contact Worcester County Recycling Coordinator Ron Taylor at 410-632-3177.