Edit 7/8/2018 – Hyde’s Quarry is now closed. This was a decision made by elected officials. If you care about diving at Hyde’s, write and call the Carroll County Commissioners.
As you may have already heard by now, Carroll County has decided to terminate the lease for diving operations at Hyde’s Quarry. At this time, the last day of Diving will be Sunday, July 8th.
The stated reason for termination of diving operations is that Zebra Mussels were discovered in the quarry earlier this year. Maryland DNR biologists were brought in, and the county was notified. Despite DNR having apparently not made any recommendations to the effect that diving should not continue at Hyde’s the County Commissioners, meeting in closed (non-public) session made the determination that we would no longer be able to dive in the quarry.
DNR has long published protocols for boaters, fishermen, and divers on how to prevent the spread of invasive species such as Zebra Mussels, and we offered to help implement and enforce such practices at Hydes in order to prevent the spread of the species elsewhere. Note that Hydes is nowhere near the first body of water in Maryland (and elsewhere) to have this species established. There is nothing inherently incompatible between diving and the presence of the species, as evidenced by other venues that have long had the mussels established.
What can you do?
Our fate is, as always, in the hands of the Carroll County Commissioners.
Write them, and/or call. If you do, be polite! Make it clear what the availability of Hydes means to you, and be sure to mention the dollars that you spend while in Carroll County.
If you love in Carroll County – Vote, and contribute to those who will look out for the interests of the citizens and small businesses that they represent.
Finally, be a responsible diver. Clean your gear thoroughly before moving between bodies of water, and especially if you’re in one known to contain an invasive species. Let it dry completely. Protect the other diving venues, before they too fall victim.
We are continuing to explore options, but at this time it does not look good.