Smithville Lake

Located in Caroline County​

Physical/Habitat Descriptions - Because of its long narrow shape, Smithville Lake does not appear as large as the 43 surface acres it measures. Maximum depth 8ft and the average is roughly 3ft. The upper third of the lake is quite shallow with gradual drop-offs, while the lower two-thirds of the lake has steeper banks with sharp drop-offs, particularly the western shoreline. The lower two-thirds of Smithville Lake consists of outstanding fish habitat. A severe ice storm in the early 1990s snapped off treetops, which fell into the lake, providing excellent fish habitat. Fish also inhabit the abundant rooted aquatic vegetation.

Chain Pickerel Fish Species - Smithville Lake supports a standard bass/bluegill fishery (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill) and is managed accordingly. Quality fishing for both of these species exists within the lake. Anglers may also occasionally catch other species including white and black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, chain pickerel, brown bullhead catfish, gizzard shad, golden shiners and chub suckers.

Restrictions - There is no horsepower limitation on the lake, however, the maximum speed limit is 6 knots. Electric trolling motors are preferred. Camping and swimming are not permitted. 

History - Smithville Lake was created when a dam was constructed across a tributary to Marshyhope creek. As is the case with most eastern shore impoundments, Smithville Lake was created to power a grist mill. The mill no longer exists and the lake is now used exclusively for recreation, mainly fishing.

The State of Maryland purchased the lake in 1955 from the Smithville Farm Machinery Company. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services, Freshwater Fisheries Division, owns and manages the lake to provide a public angling resource. Fiscal resources for this work and maintenance of the grounds comes from fishing license sales and the Federal Aid and Restoration Fund (Dingell-Johnson Act).

Contact Us - Any questions, comments or suggestions about the fisheries management on Smithville Lake can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Unicorn Lake Fish Hatchery
110 Fishing Lake Lane, Millington, MD. 21651
Phone 410-928-3643 or