Located in Washington County
Physical/ Habitat Description - Blairs Valley Lake is thirty-two acres at normal pool. The drainage area 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 generally 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 Fishing and Boating Services periodically add cover in the form of brush piles, Christmas trees, and concrete reef balls.
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 - Electric trolling motors are permitted on this lake; gas motors are prohibited. A free boat ramp and parking lot are available. Fishing is permitted along the entire shoreline. Ice fishing is permitted and is popular for anglers targeting stocked trout and panfish.
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.
Blairs Valley Lake Largemouth Bass Population Metrics from 2019 Electrofishing Survey:
|Number of fish observed during study||50|
|Population Size Distribution (PSD)||31|
|Fish per hour less than 8 inches||66|
Fish per hour between 8-12 inches||64|
|Fish per hour greater than 12 inches||28|
|Total fish per hour||160|
Blairs Valley Lake Species
|Largemouth bass||Micropterus salmoides|
|Redear sunfish||Lepomis microlophus|
|Black crappie||Pomoxis nigromaculatus|
|Channel catfish||Ictalurus punctatus|
|Yellow perch||Perca flavescens|
|Brown bullhead||Ameiurus nebulosus|
|Common carp||Cyprinus carpio|
|Golden shiner||Notemigonus crysoleucas|
- Comments and questions regarding the fishery management of Blairs Valley Lake can be directed to:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Lewistown Work Center
10932 Putman Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788