Regional Fisheries Manager Alan Klotz sent us this very thorough and informative report. The weather in the western region has improved since last week’s snowstorm, and trout streams are flowing at or slightly above normal. Trout anglers have a lot of different opportunities as our hatchery and field staff continues to conduct in-season stockings in the Put and Take, Delayed Harvest and Catch and Release Trout Fishing Areas. Young Ethan Fike proudly holds up a whopping stringer of trout from the Put and Take area of the Savage last Friday while fishing with his dad.
Last week a great group of volunteers led by Gordon Green assisted the MD Fisheries Service with stocking the North Branch Potomac River in both the Put and Take and Catch and Release Areas, and these trout were spread out at many locations to provide good fishing. The Savage River Trophy Trout Fishing Area still is experiencing some spillover from the recent rains; however I did see some Bluequills hatching last week. As soon as the flows back down somewhat, this river will be the place to be for some great dry fly trout fishing for wild brown and brook trout.
Anglers on Deep Creek Lake are anxiously awaiting the walleye season opener on April 16. The walleye in Deep Creek Lake are very abundant, and this season should be a great one. At present catch and release fishermen are reporting catching walleyes in about 4’ to 8’ of water on jerkbaits; the current water temperature is about 45-degrees.We will be conducting our annual spring walleye survey this week as well as working the Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Walleye Tournament – and we will post the highlights in next week’s report. In the meantime, catch and release bass fishing is still good in the shallow ends of coves – as my son Kyle shows off this chunky largemouth he caught on a crank-bait last Saturday morning.
In the afternoon he caught a nice stringer of rainbow trout from Oakland’s Glades Park Pond Youth and Blind Trout Fishing Area. This is a very popular spot with kids and their families, and almost all the other children at the pond were catching trout. Our Albert Powell Hatchery staff raised some nice bluegills at the Lewistown Work Center, and the Western Region received a generous portion of these fish last week – they were stocked in areas that kids enjoy fishing such as Dan Mountain State Park Pond, Frostburg’s Lions Park Pond (Youth, Senior, and Blind), Grantsville’s Parkview Pond (Youth and Blind), Accident Pond, and the Glades Park Pond (Youth and Blind).
Fisheries biologist John Mullican sent in this report from the upper Potomac and about some of the work they are doing. The river is currently in good shape and holding around 51°F. Fishing in general has slowed a bit recently with the changing water levels and cold fronts. More rain is forecast and river levels are predicted to rise again. Always check the river levels before heading out. We have been on the river this spring collecting adult walleye and muskie for hatchery production. These fish are transferred to the hatchery, spawned, and returned back to the river. Both species are scheduled to be stocked into North Branch Potomac River near Cumberland where natural reproduction has not been as strong as the downstream stretches.
There is a bounty of fishing opportunities this week in these two regions that range from tidal river possibilities for a wide variety of fish to the cold reservoirs of Harford Baltimore and Carroll Counties. Fishermen in the tidal Potomac are finding excellent largemouth bass fishing as the male fish are now holding in the shallower spawning areas and are smacking almost any kind of lure that comes their way. The larger females are holding off in slightly deeper water near grass or points and crankbaits seem to be their liking this week. The Bass Masters Northern Open Tournament will be hosted out of the Northeast River later on this week. There are apparently 191 boats entered and they’ll start fishing on Thursday so there will be plenty of activity around the lower Susquehanna and nearby rivers.
Fishermen continue to enjoy fishing for blue catfish in the Fort Washington area of the tidal Potomac, crappie tend to still be schooled up in many areas and the first good shad fishing has started at the Fletchers cove area. Cole Beckstrom holds up his first shad so his dad can take a picture before slipping it back into the river.
Fishermen are also finding good fishing for white perch in the middle to upper reaches of the many tidal rivers and creeks within the two regions as they move down river from the spawning areas. Fishing for channel catfish and chain pickerel is also very good in many of the regions tidal rivers.
The regions numerous lakes, reservoirs and small ponds contain a lot of good largemouth bass fishing opportunities and water temperatures have the bass in a real feeding mood as they prepare for their annual spawning ritual. The males are already staged in the shallower waters and the girls are hanging in deeper water close by. Jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are excellent choices to target the bass holding deeper and most anything has been working on the shallower bass but soft plastics have been a favorite this week. Tommy Waibel used a live bluegill in a Harford County pond to catch and release this 25” largemouth bass while fishing with his dad.
Trout fishing continues to be a good choice this week for many fishermen as stream flows have been bolstered by recent rains and fisheries crews have been busy stocking many of the trout waters within the two regions.
I suspect this would not be a good weekend to look for a little solitude while fishing for largemouth bass in the Sassafras, Elk or Northeast Rivers. There are 191 bass boats with fishermen competing in a Bass Masters Tournament emanating out of the Northeast River. Largemouth bass fishing in the tidal rivers of the middle and lower eastern shore will certainly be a little more peaceful. The largemouth bass are staging to spawn in the regions tidal river and numerous lakes and ponds. The smaller males are already on the spawning beds in most areas and the larger females are holding off in slightly deeper water often near grass. Casting grubs or other soft plastics is a good bet for the shallower bass and fishermen report crankbaits and jerkbaits have been working well for the fish holding in deeper water.
Crappie and chain pickerel offer a nice option in many of the regions lakes and channel catfish and white perch can be a good choice in the upper tidal rivers and creeks. The white perch are moving down the rivers and are feeding all the way.
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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.