Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area

Located in Garrett County

Use the Public Angler Access Map to get more information on this site.​

Physical/ Habitat Description - The 4-mile long Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area begins at the Deep Creek Lake Power Plant and ends at the Sang Run Bridge. Coldwater releases from the bottom layer of Deep Creek Lake and minimum flow maintenance by the power plant maintain a coldwater habitat for trout during the critical summertime period. River flow rises abruptly during the releases, so call 315- 413-2823 for scheduled flow release information before planning a trip. This is a relatively large river, averaging about 150 ft in width. This stretch of the river has low to moderate gradient, shallow riffles, long runs, and some deep pools. The streambed is consists of cobble, boulders, and some limestone bedrock.

Brown Trout Fish Species - The trout fishery in the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area is supported by annual stockings of brown and rainbow trout. The rainbows that are stocked are a "warm-water strain", being able to tolerate higher temperatures than most other trout. These rainbows grow very well on the abundant aquatic insects found in the Yough and are characterized by having very deep bodies and silvery in color. Brown trout grow to trophy-size in the Yough, with some fish greater than 5 lbs being collected in recent years. Currently, we estimate that there are 1,300 adult trout per mile in the Youghiogheny River catch and release trout fishing area, of which 158 per mile are greater than 12 inches long. Smallmouth bass are also common in the river, and they put up quite a surprising fight when captured on light trout fishing tackle.

Restrictions - Fishing in the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area is restricted to artificial lures and flies only. Please consult the Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing ​for details.

History - Native Americans named the Youghiogheny River, which translates into our language as "a river that flows in a contrary direction" because, as strange as it seems, the river flows from south to north. Life in the river has certainly changed since the early days of the first settlers when they encountered brook trout thriving in the river. By the early 1900s, deforestation and coal mining devastated the river. In 1929 Albert Powell, a fisheries biologist for the state, described a major fish kill: "I observed many numbers of all species of fish floating downstream and collecting in the eddies. I recall rainbow and brook trout, smallmouth bass, sunfish, rock bass, minnows, and mudpuppies (or hellbenders as they were sometimes called)." The fish kill was caused by a slug of very acidic water originating at the Crellin Mine and killing fish as far downstream as Friendsville. Today, the "Yough" is much healthier. The Yough was established as Maryland's first Wild and Scenic River in 1976. The river now offers excellent opportunities to catch trout and smallmouth bass. River otters, mink, and ospreys once again call this river home.

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

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