With three exceptions, ALL kayaks and canoes stored on
Mallard Bay community property are the personal property of various
Mallard Bay residents and may not be used without the
owners' specific permission.
The three exceptions are:
One green canoe marked "Mallard Bay" (see
photo). It is
stored on the canoe rack next to the Mallard Bay boat launch.
One unmarked green canoe located in canoe storage
position number one in the rack next to the Mallard Bay boat launch.
One unmarked paddleboat located on the northwest side
of the dam for Flyway Lake (the upper reservoir).
These three boats are community property and may be taken for a ride by Mallard Bay
property owners without further permission. After use, all boats
must be returned to where they were found. Life preservers for
these three boats, if
desired, must be supplied by the person or persons using them.
There are 18 numbered slips
available for rent on a yearly basis. Each year, current slip holders may claim priority for assignment of a
slip the following year as long as they indicate a desire to do so and pay the
next year's fee in full by November 1. Any slips for which fees have not
been paid by that date become available for rent.
The Mallard Bay community boat dock is
equipped with 120 volt electrical outlets for use by boat owners to power
tools and temporary chargers. No boats, however, may hook up to
electrical power at the dock on a permanent basis. The dock is also
equipped with fresh water spigots. The dock has no pump-out facilities
and overnight occupancy of boats is not permitted. The
"T" end of the community boat dock is for fishing and for temporary
tie-up of boats belonging to Mallard Bay property owners and their guests.
The community maintains two racks for storage of members' kayaks,
canoes and paddleboards. They are located at the boat launch
area of the main boat dock and close to the community crabbing
pier. Space on one of the racks can be rented for $20 per year
per boat and may be obtained by contacting the Boat Dock Administrator
and filling out the same application form as is used for power boats.
Recently, the boat racks were expanded to accommodate six
additional boats. if you wish to rent rack space at the rate of
$20 per boat, contact Dock Administrator Scott McGuire at
Adjacent to the community boat dock is a separate kayak and crabbing pier,
intended for use in launching small boats such as kayaks, canoes and small
sailboats, as well as for picnics, fishing and crabbing. In order to
provide a safe environment for people using this pier, no boats
equipped with electric, gasoline or diesel motors may tie up at it.
Temporary tie-ups of power boats owned by guests of Mallard Bay property
owners may be accomplished, however, at the
end of the "T" of the community boat dock.
outdoor lights on the crabbing/kayak pier have been installed. Association members are
encouraged to make use of the lights and the additional hours of use they
afford to users. They are controlled by a simple on-off switch located
next to the water hose at the beginning of the pier. Please feel free to
use them, and be sure to turn them off when you are finished using the pier.
has a device at the crabbing pier that makes entering and exiting kayaks much easier. The unit
features two pontoons connected by rollers on the bottom and a cross-over bar
at the top that stabilize the kayak allowing the person to stand up in the boat for balance before sitting down without
receiving a nasty
surprise dunking. When returning from paddling, the kayaker can
pull up into a standing position using the crossover
bar, enabling a graceful and dry exit. During
warm weather, the product, called a Yak-a-Launcher, is tied to the floating pier that is part of the
crab/kayak pier next to the Mallard Bay boat launch ramp.
Here are the manufacturer's
instructions on the launcher's use:
To Launch Your Kayak:
- Tie the
Yak-A-Launcher to your dock and your bow line to the Launcher.
- Step in using the handrail for support and using the pontoon nearest the
dock as a step if needed.
- When seated comfortably, simply roll yourself forward or backward into the
water using the pontoon handles.
To Land Your Kayak:
- Just point
the nose of your craft between the pontoons of the Yak-A-Launcher and glide
in on the roller bars.
- If your momentum doesn't land you completely, use the "self tow
line" or the pontoon handles to pull your kayak fully onto the
- Secure the bow line to the Launcher.
- Grab the handrail, stand up and step back onto dry land using the pontoon
as a step if needed.
People choose to live or have a vacation home in Mallard
Bay for a variety of reasons. The main reason is the access to
water. With three ponds, two lakes and the Great Wicomico River at your
door step, activities on the water are a favorite with our residents. You
will see people on the river boating, sailing or kayaking. Often for the
sheer joy of the activity itself but sometimes as a means to another end,
fishing. The variety of fishing is compelling. The Great Wicomico River has
great fishing and is a watery highway to the Chesapeake Bay, one the greatest
fishing grounds on the East Coast.
Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay is great for the last three
quarters of the year, starting in March with the Croaker coming in. The
Maryland Rockfish season starts in mid April and Virginia starts in early May
and in June the Bluefish start in earnest, as do Spanish Mackerel, Flounder,
Trout, Spadefish, and many other species that are fun to catch. Starting in late
September many species begin to head back out of the bay to warmer water but the
Rockfish make a resurgence to feed before leaving for the winter. This is
the time when big fish are often caught.
Many people like to fish from small boats on the river or
from the dock. Croaker can be caught off the dock from late March until
early September and Spot can be caught throughout the summer. The Rockfish
come in around late September and hang around until the end of October.
These fish and others can be caught up and down the river and are a great way to
spend a sunny day.
The ponds and lakes also provide great fishing. They
have Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Catfish to catch almost all year
long. Take a kid, a fishing pole, a worm and a bobber to one of the ponds and
you will have an afternoon filled with giggles and smiles. The bluegills
are more than willing to cooperate and will keep the adults busy taking them off
and baiting hooks. The Large Mouth Bass are there for the more
accomplished fisherman with bass over eight pounds coming out of the lakes.
A small boat, kayak or canoe will get you into the coves where the big
ones live but many fish can be caught from the shore.
The fishing on the river, on the bay and in our lakes and
ponds is one of our greatest assets. We must nurture it and take care of
it. When fishing the river or the bay keep what you are able to eat and
throw the rest back. Make sure you have a license, know the size and
creel limits of the fish you are catching, and be courteous to others using
these resources. The lakes and ponds are small bodies of water that can
quickly succumb to fishing pressure. Many of us who live and fish on the
lakes and ponds have noticed a significant drop in the number of large fish.
It is exciting to catch a monster and many people want to take this fish
home. Remember this fish has lived a long time and deserves to live many
more years. Take measurements of the fish, take a picture and them let it
go. You can get a plastic replica made to hang on your wall and someone
else can get the rush of catching the big one. - Gary
Lupton - 18 July, 2010