Deep Creek Lake

Located in Garrett County


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MuskellungeFish Species Managed: 
(Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Chain Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Crappie)
  Deep Creek Lake is known for its large panfish and abundant walleye and smallmouth bass.  Although less abundant than​ smallmouth bass, the largemouth bass population is generally dominated by quality size fish.  Northern pike are common in Deep Creek Lake and provide anglers a unique trophy fishery with fish over 40 inches being cau​ght regularly.  When weather allows, Deep Creek Lake is also Maryland's premier ice fishing destination. 

Summary of Most Recent Survey Results​


Special Fishing Regulations:

Walleye: Closed to Harvest from March 1 through April 15. During Open Season (April 16 through February 28/29), 5 fish daily limit, 10 in possession.​  All other gamefish and panfish are managed under statewide regulations. Click here for the current Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing for fishing regulations.

Boating/Access Restrictions:
Virtually the entire shoreline of Deep Creek Lake is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and access for fishing is permitted once inside the buffer strip. In order to access the public shoreline, anglers should enter at a public access point or obtain written permission from a landowner to cross their property. Shoreline anglers should avoid private boat docks.

With the exception of a small buoyed area at the lake outlet structure, boat fishermen can access the entire lake. The primary access point for boaters is the Deep Creek Lake State Park public boat launch. There is a launch fee to use that facility and is payable through an honor-box located to the right of the ramp. Beaching a boat is not permitted except in emergency situations.

Physical/Habitat Description:

Deep Creek Lake is Maryland's largest impoundment at 3900 acres at a full pool elevation of 2462'. The lake is 13 miles long with 69 miles of shoreline and drains a watershed of 140,000 acres. Maximum depth is about 75' near the dam breast area with an average depth of about 25'. It supports a variety of fish habitat from steep rocky shorelines near the dam breast to silt bottomed shallow coves in the southern end. Deeper areas of the lake maintain cold water for trout year-round. Submerged stumps, large boulders, floating docks and extensive and diverse submerged aquatic vegetation beds provide excellent fish habitat throughout the lake.

Deep Creek Lake State Park is located on the shore of the lake and offers a swim area and beach, boat ramp, picnicking, covered pavilions, and camping opportunities. Click here for more information about the park.


Deep Creek Lake was impounded on Deep Creek in the 1920's and was filled by 1929. It was constructed to power a small-scale hydroelectric plant, but later became a vacation destination with many amenities for tourism. Deep Creek Lake still provides water to generate electricity but is managed to maintain lake level for an array of recreational opportunities including recreational boating and fishing.

Contact Us - Comments and questions regarding fishing in Deep Creek Lake can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
1728 King's Run Road Oakland, Maryland 21550
301-334-8218 or  customerservice.dnr@maryland.gov