|No Photo Fishing group pins hopes on reef
WOOD, Staff Writer
Bobbing in a powerboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, Kevin
McMenamin watched as the crew on the nearby Patricia Campbell
started its work for the day.
The men lowered the vessel's huge crane and fastened it to one of
the concrete balls stacked on the deck on the custom-designed
60-foot oyster restoration boat.
look pretty in the parking lot, but I'm definitely looking forward
to having them in the water," Mr. McMenamin said of the oddly shaped
structures covered with holes like wiffle balls.
Soon enough, one of the Patricia Campbell
crew members called out over the speakers, "Go ahead and set it
A few moments later, the first of
70 "reef balls" was gently lowered to the bottom of the bay, where
hopefully they'll attract marine life, including fish and
The balls got their start about
a month ago at Discovery Village, an educational center in Shady
Side, where volunteers from the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's
Association poured the concrete into molds to create 140
After curing, half of the
reef balls were loaded onto the Patricia Campbell by a team
from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Maryland Environmental
Service, an independent state agency.
ones and twos, the balls were placed a few feet apart yesterday on a
spot called Dolly's Lump off of Hackett's Point, directly south of
the Bay Bridge.
Later this summer, the
rest of the association's reef balls will be added to the site. Then
the area will be monitored twice in the next year to see if the
balls are working as planned.
concrete surface of the reef balls is designed to offer something
for oysters and mussels to attach to and grow. That, in turn, tends
to attract fish - rockfish, white perch, croaker.
The project is intended to help marine life in
the bay and to boost the flagging oyster population. And it also
should help local fishermen, such as association members.
"One of the things you're looking for is
marine growth," said Mr. McMenamin, president of the Annapolis
chapter of the MSSA. "It creates habitat for the big fish, the
bigger fish and the bigger, bigger fish."
The project has been two years in the making,
organized by Mr. McMenamin and past president Pete Abbot.
Inspired by another association chapter that
completed a similar project, the Annapolis club lined up a $22,000
grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the nonprofit group that
distributes the proceeds from the "Treasure the Chesapeake" license
The fishermen also enlisted the
help of Discovery Village in Shady Side, Herrmann Advertising, the
bay foundation, the Maryland Environmental Service and plenty of
- No Jumps-
Published July 28, 2006, The Capital, Annapolis,
Copyright © 2007 The Capital, Annapolis,