Seventy-three low-pro reef balls plus pieces of four more were placed on the Memorial Stadium Fishing Reef on May 19th. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation provided the vessel and crew of the Patricia Campbell to deploy the units. Chesapeake Bay Memories Craft, The Seclusion and Larry Simns\rquote Hi Dawn carried about 60 students, parents, teachers, scouts, State Senator Kathy Klausmeier and several MSSA members to witness the event.
Martin Gary, DNR Biologist and his son, Ryan were guests on Joe Zinner's boat. In the vicinity of the western edge of the reef 39 degree 12.453' x 76 degree 18.498' you could easily see the reef balls on the depth finder. Using grass shrimp Ryan hooked and landed two small striped bass and several white perch in just a few drifts over the rough bottom. Various micro-organisms are growing on the reef balls so a healthy habitat is now attracting fish.
Additional units will be added to the east end of the reef by the Tri-Count Scuba Club led by Jerry Leonetti. This group of divers will monitor the reef balls periodically and provide factual data to the DNR. They also plan to build and add more reef balls in the years ahead. The eight acres of Memorial Stadium Rubble has lots of room. A more mass will make a reef more productive. While you will catch fish you may also lose some tackle especially if you hang into a 125 lb or 300 lb reef ball. \par
During the past two years hundreds of people of all ages have become involved in the project. Sandy August has coordinated the delivery of material and equipment to six schools south of Baltimore and arranged to have a truck and crew pick up the completed units and deliver them and help load them on the Patricia Campbell in Shadyside, MD.
Four schools have been productive in Baltimore County the past two years. Two young men working to earn Eagle Scout Badges produced over a dozen units this spring. Ed Klingenstein from Perry Hall was the leader of Troop 443. Andrew Oles, who also resides in Perry Hall, is a member of Troop 247. Andy is in the process of creating a construction manual complete with pictures. It will be an invaluable tool.\par
The Dorchester Chapter, led by Clint Waters has already built 20 reef balls and expects to double that number by this fall when they will be placed on an oyster sanctuary north of the Choptank River Bridge.
The following Perry Hall members have been involved in teaching demonstration lessons, building reef-balls, delivering materials and equipment, transporting reef-balls and loading reef-balls on the Patricia Campbell: Joe Zinner, Bill Schmuck, Jack Kline, Malcolm Niefield, Richard Laubach, Bill Davis (Deceased), Randy Davis, Dennis Yurek and Tom Hetterick.
Special thanks go to Oliver Beach Community members, Joe Gaudosek and Ray Reiner, who built units but especially help with delivery. On May 11th they loaded 46 reef balls on Joe's truck and trailer that Joe drove to Shadyside and helped unload on the 17th. My little brother, Dick, a sailor helped in the loading on the 17th on short notice when one volunteer had to cancel. Lastly, two gentlemen, Niles Mason and Ron Van Norman made generous contributions of chemicals and concrete mix.\par
As for me, I am one lucky guy because I get to meet and know so many generous, devoted, kind and lovely people. My task has become a labor of love.