Hunting Creek Lake (Cunningham Falls Reservoir)

Located in Frederick County

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Cunningham Falls Reservoir

Physical/ Habitat Description -

Hunting Creek Lake is a 42 acre impoundment in Cunningham Falls State Park with a maximum depth of approximately 75 feet. The upper one-third is characterized by
relatively shallow (< 15 feet) soft-bottomed flats with a meandering creek channel while the lower two-thirds is characterized by steep, rocky shorelines dropping quickly into deep water. During the summer months the oxycline/thermocline can be found at approximately 18 to 20 ​feet. Rocky banks, fallen trees, beaver lodges and submerged aquatic vegetation provide abundant cover. In addition, some artificial habitats (terra cotta drain tile, Christmas trees, pallet structures, concrete reef balls) have also been constructed in recent years (sonar screenshot at left).

Largemouth BassFish Species - Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Servicesmanages Hunting Creek Lake for warmwater fish
species, primarily largemouth bass (left) and panfish: bluegill (below), redear sunfish, and black crappie (second below), under statewide regulations.  Anglers can expect an abundant population of bass with many large fish present, including trophy size fish.  Bluegills and redear sunfish from eight and ten inches are fairly common.   Adult trout are stocked during the spring and fall to provide a popular put-and-take resource.  ​​​

Restrictions - Gas motors are prohibited; electric motors are permitted.  In addition to shoreline access, a paved boat ramp with a dock and $2.00 launch fee as well as a Crappiehandicapped-accessible fishing pier are available.  Due to the potential for low water levels during the late summer and fall, anglers with trailered boats should call the park before their trip to make sure the ramp is usable. Ice fishing is available and popular with anglers targeting stocked trout and panfish.

History - Cunningham Falls Reservoir was completed during the early 1970s for the Department of Natural Resources to increase recreational opportunities for visitors to Cunningham Falls State Park. Full pool was reached almost immediately thanks to​​ Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The lake is used for swimming, boating and fishing. A c​ampground within the State Park is available near the lake. Big Hunting Creek, one of Maryland's most popular trout fisheries and the only fly-fishing-only, catch-and-return trout fishing area, is also found in the park.

Recent Surveys - Hunting Creek Lake was last surveyed in 2022. Largemouth bass were found to be very abundant with many quality size fish present. ​

​Hunting Creek Lake Largemouth Bass Population Metrics from 2022 Surveys
​​​Number of fish observed during study ​
Population Size Distribution (PSD)
Fish per hour less than 8 inches​17
Fish per hour between 8-12 inches
Fish per hour greater than 12 inches
Total fish per hour

Hunting Creek Lake Fish Species
​​Largemouth bass
Micropterus salmoides
Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus
Redear sunfish
Lepomis microlophus
Black crappie
Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Contact Us - Comments or questions regarding the fishery management of Cunningham Falls Reservoir can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Lewistown Work Center
10932 Putman Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788​​