Beaver Creek

Located in Washington County

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Beaver Creek

Physical/ Habitat Description - Beaver Creek is one of the largest limestone streams in Maryland. Originating as a freestone stream on the west slope of South Mountain, the majority of the flow during the summer months is influenced by the numerous springs in the Hagerstown Valley. The largest spring influencing Beaver Creek is used as the water supply for the Albert Powell Trout Hatchery with an average flow of 3,400 gallons per minute. Upstream of the spring’s influence, Beaver Creek is considered a warm-water stream and several stretches flow underground much of the year due to local Karst geology. As with most spring-influenced streams, the high calcium content and consistent temperature produces large populations of crustaceans such as isopods and amphipods that are a staple in the diet of the resident trout.​

Fish Species - Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services manages Blairs Valley Lake for warmwater fish species, primarily largemouth bass (left photo) and panfish: bluegill, redear sunfish, and black crappie, under statewide regulations. Golden shiners and young panfish species are the primary forage. Adult rainbow trout are stocked during the spring and fall to provide a popular put-and-take fishery.

Restrictions - Beaver Creek is managed under two separate regulations. Put and Take regulations are in effect from the downstream side of the bridges on the private farm lane located below the Albert Powell State Trout Hatchery downstream to the confluence of Black Rock Creek, and from Beaver Creek Road downstream to the confluence with Antietam Creek. Stocking of rainbow trout takes place at various locations with a creel of 5 fish/day. Catch-and-Return/Fly Fishing Only regulations are in effect from the confluence with Black Rock Creek downstream approximately 1 mile to the red post located 0.1 mile above Beaver Creek Road. Please consult the Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing for details.

Access - Parking and access to the Beaver Creek Catch and Return, Fly Fishing Only Area is available at the Beaver Creek-Jackson Fish Management Area and the Beaver Creek Fly Shop


History​ - Beaver Creek has historically been managed as a Put-and-Take trout fishery with a five trout per day creel limit. Effective January 1, 2004, about one mile of Beaver Creek formerly under the purview of the Antietam Fly Anglers was established as a Catch-and-Return/Fly Fishing Only area open to the public. This area extended from the mouth of Black Rock Creek downstream to approximately a tenth of a mile upstream of Beaver Creek Road. Wild young-of-year brown trout (Salmo trutta) were transplanted from the Gunpowder Falls Tailwater from 2002 to 2005 to address inadequate natural reproduction from hatchery stock. Thanks to favorable year round water temperatures and excellent spawning substrate, a reproducing brown trout population developed and flourished. This area is now managed for wild trout. In 2016, the Department of Natural Resources acquired the former Jackson property, a 6.5 acre tract of land with extensive stream frontage. This acquisition secured public fishing access to nearly half of the one mile special Catch-and-Return Fly Fishing Only Trout Management Area. Private landowners graciously allow fishing access along the stream corridor within the special trout management area.

Intensive agricultural operations (dairy and row crop) and other land use practices within the Hagerstown Valley have impacted the aquatic habitat in Beaver Creek. Various stream habitat improvement projects and riparian buffer plantings have been completed throughout the Beaver Creek watershed thanks to the cooperative efforts of state agencies, the Beaver Creek Watershed Association, Washington County Soil Conservation District, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Trout Unlimited, private landowners and volunteers. These efforts have reduced the width - depth ratio, stabilized the banks with vegetation, increased spawning substrate and cover for adult trout.

Beaver CreekContact - Comments and questions regarding fishery management of Beaver Creek can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
10932 Putman Road
Thurmont, Maryland 21788