OVERSIGHT: A group of area conservationists called Chesapeake Earth First plans to monitor the upcoming Maryland gill-net fishery for rockfish when it opens Wednesday. Commercial fishing for rock has been closed for five years in an effort to let stocks rebound from record lows, and net-fishing reopens under strict guidelines and catch quotas imposed by the state.

Ron Huber of Chesapeake Beach, who is helping coordinate the monitoring effort, said the aim is to assure guidelines are observed and quotas are honored. He's looking for volunteers to man checking stations where the daily catch is to be brought in and others with boats willing to go out and watch the gill netters. Call him at (301) 855-2975.

STAMP TIME: The Washington area's legion of fly fishermen will need a $5 stamp to enjoy Pennsylvania's fabled limestone trout waters after Jan. 1. The state requires the new stamp plus a regular freshwater fishing license to fish in all trout and salmon waters, including catch-and-release and special regulated trout areas.

Meantime, local trout fans can take in a slide show on flyfishing the high country of Colorado at 7 p.m. Thursday at National Wildlife Federation Headquarters, 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna.

The slides were taken by Mike Daly of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which is sponsoring the session. The public is welcome.

HIGH RIDERS: West Virginia will host a five-day, staged bicycle race over 447 miles of mountainous country in June, according to an announcement by Gov. Gaston Caperton.

The U.S. Bicycle Classic will have stops in Wheeling, Morgantown, Canaan Valley, Snowshoe and Greenbrier. Competition includes five road races, two time trials and a circuit race, with an overall purse of $100,000. Racing starts June 17 in Wheeling.

DECK THE HULLS: American Mike Plant sailed into Sydney on Christmas morning to finish sixth on the second leg of the BOC 'Round-the-World Singlehanded Race. Plant took 30 days 2 hours 36 minutes to make the 7,000-mile voyage from Cape Town, South Africa, in his 60-foot sloop, Duracell.

The only American in the race, Plant now stands fifth of 21 boats in the 27,000-mile trek. He said the run from Cape Town was "not a lot of fun," with winds lighter than expected.

The 7,000-mile third leg from Sydney to Punta del Este, Uruguay, will begin on Feb. 3.

GOOD DIRT: David Morine, vice president of The Nature Conservancy and author of "Good Dirt: Confessions of a Conservationist," is the featured speaker at the Conservation Roundtable of Washington's monthly luncheon Jan. 10 at the National Press Club. The cost is $20 and reservations are recommended. Call (202) 547-7553.

VOLUNTEERS: The Fairfax Park Authority is looking for volunteers to serve as teachers, naturalists and historians at its facilities. Call (703) 246-5670.