Physical/ Habitat Description - Blairs Valley Lake is thirty-two acres at normal pool, twenty-two acres at winter pool. The drainage areas totals 2,182 acres and includes both Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Washington County, Maryland. A maximum depth of eighteen feet can be found near the dam riser while the upper half of the lake is generally less than ten feet.
Due to the fertile watershed and the lakes phytoplankton blooms, oxygen becomes depleted below eight feet during the summer months. Therefore, the majority of the lakes volume cannot be utilized by gamefish during the summer season. Submerged aquatic vegetation provides the primary cover for fish. The Wildlife Division and the Fisheries Service periodically add cover in the form of brush piles, Christmas trees and by seeding the exposed lake bottom during winter pool.
Fish Species - Fishing and Boating Services manages the sportfish populations in the lake to provide public angling opportunities. The lake is managed primarily as a warmwater fishery for largemouth bass, tiger muskie, and bluegill and anglers can expect good fishing for these species. In recent years the bass population has shifted from a population dominated by a high density of nine to eleven inch fish to one with a balanced size structure and a desirable percentage of large bass present. Anglers have landed tiger muskie to forty-four inches from Blairs Valley Lake. Anglers may also catch black crappie, redear sunfish, yellow perch, brown bullhead and carp. Golden shiners and young panfish species are the primary forage for predator species. Adult rainbow trout are stocked during the spring and fall to provide a popular put-and-take fishery.
Restrictions - Electric trolling motors are permitted on this lake; gas motors are prohibited. Trophy Bass Regulations (slot limit) are in effect (consult the Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing). Tiger muskie are subject to a thirty-six inch minimum size and a one per day creel limit. A free boat ramp and parking lot are available.
History - The Blairs Valley Dam was constructed during 1967 and 1968 for the Department of Game and Inland Fish, now two separate agencies, for the purpose of recreation. To permit a five-foot winter drawdown for fish and wildlife management activities, the dam was designed and built with a valve at five feet and one at the bottom to permit draining if necessary.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Lewistown Work Center
10932 Putman Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401