Central Region's fishery responsibilities include non-tidal and tidal freshwater of Gunpowder River, Susquehanna River, Patapsco River, Prettyboy Reservoir, Loch Raven Reservoir, Liberty Reservoir, and Little Seneca Lake. The region includes the following counties: Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery.
Regional Manager: Mark Staley
17400 Annapolis Rock Road
Woodbine, MD 21797
The Central Region staff consists of three biologists responsible for managing freshwater fisheries in Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, Harford, and Baltimore Counties. Baltimore City also falls under the purview of the Central Region. Staff are responsible for stocking over 30 separate freshwater streams and ponds with trout every spring. For a list of stocked areas in the Central Region, consult the 2020 trout stocking schedule
Surveys on naturally reproducing trout streams are conducted during the summer index period of June 1 through Sept. 15. These surveys focus on assessing the health of both brook trout and brown trout fisheries in the region. The Gunpowder River tailwater below Prettyboy Dam is an example of one of these fisheries. It provides 17.5 continuous miles of publicly accessible trout fishing. It is one of the best trout fisheries in the state and is classified as a blue-ribbon trout stream.
A three-day survey of the Gunpowder River is conducted annually during the fall. The 2019 Gunpowder survey yielded a standing crop ranging from 157 kilograms per hectare in the catch and release section above Falls Road to 32 kilograms per hectare in the two trout per day section downstream of Blue Mount Road. These values indicate a very robust trout population in the Gunpowder tailwater.
Management of the tidal black bass fishery in Baltimore and Harford counties is also one of the duties of the Central Region office. The fall 2019 survey consisted of 45 sites split between the tidal Gunpowder River, Susquehanna River, Middle River, and Bush River. Along with largemouth and smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds, staff observed juvenile and adult snakeheads in all river systems. Snakehead lengths ranged from 8 inches up to 32 inches.
Prettyboy, Loch Raven, and Liberty are the three Baltimore City Reservoirs that are managed by Central Region staff. Impoundment management consists of walleye and striped bass stocking, electrofishing surveys and water quality monitoring. Each of these reservoirs are surveyed on a three-year rotation. Each reservoir is sampled over the course of three nights, typically during the month of October. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are the main focus of these studies, however, a thriving chain pickerel fishery in Loch Raven Reservoir has also drawn the attention of staff and anglers alike. Other impoundments such as Little Seneca Lake in Montgomery County and Centennial Lake in Howard County are managed and surveyed by Central Region Staff. Both of these impoundments have received two tiger muskie stockings in the last four years to provide anglers with an additional fishing opportunity.
A new snakehead population was confirmed by biologists in Little Seneca Lake during a summer 2019 sample. Local anglers had sent in pictures of adult snakehead protecting fry balls of juvenile snakehead in 2018, but it wasn’t confirmed in an electrofishing sample until 2019. The largest snakehead observed in the study was 32 inches long and 12.5 pounds.