Youghiogheny River Reservoir

Located in Garrett County

Physical/ Habitat Description - The Youghiogheny River Reservoir is approximately 2800 acres, 16 miles long with 38 miles of shoreline. It has an average depth of 54 ft and a maximum depth of 121 ft. The reservoir straddles the Pennsylvania – Maryland border, starting just north of Friendsville MD and extending to the dam in Confluence PA. It supports a variety of fish habitats that include rocky shorelines, sunken trees and stumps, boat docks and shallow vegetated flats that provide excellent spawning habitat. Water fluctuations, depending on annual rainfall, are extreme especially in fall when it’s nearly drawn down.

Northern Pike Fish Species - The Youghiogheny River Reservoir supports a diverse recreational fishery. Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent although largemouth bass are limited. The reservoir has a naturally reproducing walleye population that provoke interest from local fishing clubs which hold open tournaments throughout the year. The reservoir has the ability to produce trophy size fish such as crappie and northern pike. Other species include yellow perch, carp, bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass, brown bullhead, channel catfish, chain pickerel, hybrid striped bass, and alewife.

Restrictions - Fishing regulations are proposed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and summarized in the Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing​. Pennsylvania and Maryland have a cooperative agreement that allows boat anglers to fish the entire lake with either fishing license. Shoreline anglers must possess the appropriate license for that state.

History - The Youghiogheny River Reservoir dam was built in 1944 for the purpose of flood control and hydroelectric power. The reservoir also provides a constant flow in the Youghiogheny River during summer months for white water rafting and canoeing enthusiasts. The 20 mile stretch of river below the reservoir provide some of the best white water rafting in the east, beginning with class I and II rapids for the first 9 miles and ending with a class III and IV section the next 7 miles. Thousands of recreational boaters, jet skis, fisherman, and campers utilize the reservoir each year.

Contact Us - Comments and questions regarding fishing in Youghiogheny River Reservoir can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
1728 Kings Run Road, Oakland, MD 21550
301-334-8218 or