Bay Journal

Kathy Reshetiloff

Remnants of bald cypress swamps grace Chesapeake watershed

Towering over coffee-colored waters, a majestic tree, the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), dominates isolated swamps of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Although more common to swamps in the Southeast, stands of bald cypress can still be found in parts of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, where it inhabits areas too wet for many other trees, catching attention with its odd knobby...

Spying a flying squirrel can brighten one’s spirits on the darkest night

​Summer nights in my backyard include the usual wildlife visitors: crickets, toads, bats and the occasional deer. But one particularly steamy August night I was rewarded with a glimpse of a new nocturnal guest. While letting out my dog, I was startled by a small animal hanging on my bird feeder. Its large eyes reflected the glare of the porch light as the small mammal stood...

For a reel good time, nothing beats fishing in the Chesapeake, its rivers

It’s incredible the variety of fish that can be caught around the Chesapeake Bay. Freshwater creeks, brackish rivers and the Bay proper all support different quarry — and different techniques to suit all types of anglers.

This sport isn’t just versatile, it’s also valuable. Fishing helps to conserve our aquatic resources. Excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small...

Grasses the cure for Chesapeake’s ills, once we save the SAV

In the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay, underwater Bay grasses sway in the aquatic breeze of the tides and currents. Also known as submerged aquatic vegetation, or SAV, Bay grasses are an indicator of the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

Like all green plants, Bay grasses produce oxygen, a precious and often decreasing commodity in the Chesapeake. They also help to...

You know spring is around the corner when…

Although the vernal equinox — the official first day of spring — occurs on March 20, changes in our natural world are already heralding the end of winter. These changes are erupting on the land, in the sky and in waterways, as quiet, gray days begin to burst with color and song.

Listen for the haunting call of loons on Bay’s frigid winter waters

Loons are the submarines of the bird world. Webbed feet gracefully propel this bird underwater, giving the impression of submerged flight, as the loon stalks its prey. Diving, sometimes as deep as 200 feet, the loon snatches a fish in its dagger-like bill and returns to the surface to eat.

With their sleek bodies, thick necks and short tails, loons float low in the water and can...

Wildlife watching continues to lure Americans outdoors

Even as our society continues to depend more on technology for everyday activities and recreation, our love of nature and connection with the outdoors continues to be an integral part of our identity as Americans.

This passion for wildlife and wild places is reflected in the preliminary findings of the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation....

Hurricanes no match for Baltimore’s Harriet the Osprey on her fall trek

This spring, a pair of ospreys returned to a webcam nesting platform in Baltimore’s Masonville Cove.

The ospreys, named Frederick and Harriet by osprey cam followers, are determined birds. In 2016, a pair of Canada geese took over their nest. Although Frederick and Harriet built a nest at another platform and laid eggs, unusually cold wet weather in May caused them to abandon...

We must protect bats as if our lives rely on each other, because they do

With Halloween quickly approaching, images of bats are appearing everywhere. It’s a good time to take a look at one of the most incredible animals on this planet.

No other animal compares to the Earth’s only flying mammal. Like all mammals, bats have hair and their young are born live and feed on milk. But unlike other mammals, the fingers in a bat’s hand are elongated and...

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About Kathy Reshetiloff

Kathy Reshetiloff's avatar

Kathryn Reshetiloff is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis.

 

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