Little Hunting Creek - Catch and Return Trout Fishing Area

Located in Frederick County

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Little Hunting Creek

Physical/ Habitat Description - Little Hunting Creek begins as one of several headwater streams located within the Catoctin Mountains in northern Frederick County, flowing through both private property and Cunningham State Park before eventually flowing into Big Hunting Creek. Substrate consists primarily of boulder and cobble with numerous plunge pools, runs, and woody cover.​

Fish Species - Little Hunting Creek is managed for wild trout; no stocking occurs. Anglers will find predominantly naturalized brown trout with native brook trout in the headwaters.

Restrictions - Little Hunting Creek has been managed for wild trout since 1994. Since that time, no hatchery trout have been stocked. Within the Cunningham Falls State Park Manor Area, Catch and Return, Artificial Lures Only regulations apply. All trout must be ​immediately released.

History - Prior to 1994 Little Hunting Creek was managed as a Put and Take trout fishery within the Cunningham Falls State Park Manor Area. Private property restricted access to the confines of the park. Since 1994, Little Hunting Creek within the park has been managed for wild trout and stocking ceased. Catch and Return, Artificial Lures Only regulations were established to protect the wild trout populations maintained solely by natural reproduction. Under the new protections, the wild trout populations flourished and expanded. Based on the positive response of the wild trout to Catch-and-Return regulations, the special regulation area (Catch and Return, Artificial Lures Only) was extended approximately 0.8 km downstream in 2002. A private parcel of property, located directly upstream of the Manor Area, was purchased by the State of Maryland in 2013 and is managed by the State Park. Anglers should be aware that a 40 acre inholding along Little Hunting Creek was retained. Nevertheless, this property acquisition resulted in the addition of approximately 1.2 km of angler access both upstream and downstream of the inholding. The section of stream flowing through the Manor Area is easily accessed and anglers can expect to encounter activity from adjacent picnic areas.

Contact Us - Comments and questions regarding fishery management of Little Hunting Creek can be directed to:

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

    ​Little Hunting Creek