Freshwater Program - Western I Region

Inland Western I Region Map Western I Region's fishery responsibilities include Deep Creek Lake, Lake Habeeb, Jennings Randolph Lake, Savage Reservoir, the Youghiogheny River, the Savage River and tributaries, the North Branch Potomac River, and many trout streams. The region includes the following counties: Allegany and Garrett.

Regional Manager: Matthew Sell​
1728 Kings Run Road
Oakland, MD 21550
Phone: 301-334-8218

Woman dressed in winter clothes holding a yellow perch.The Western Region District 1 includes Garrett and Allegany Counties. The Inland Fisheries Staff includes Alan Klotz - Regional Manager; Jody Johnson – District Biologist, and Kenneth Wampler – Fisheries Technician. Our main responsibility is to maximize fishing opportunities in Western Maryland by providing public access to waterbodies, applying the best fishery management regulations to optimize the fish populations, improving water quality and preventing water pollution, and to provide diverse fishing opportunities for anglers.

We manage several large lakes and reservoirs including Deep Creek Lake, Jennings Randolph Lake, Savage Reservoir, Lake Habeeb, and the Maryland portion of the Youghiogheny Lake. We also manage several smaller public lakes including Herrington Manor Lake, New Germany Lake, Broadford Lake, Piney Reservoir, and Pleasant Valley Lake.

Biologist holding a walleye at night.

Deep Creek Lake provides diverse fishing opportunities for popular game and panfish species in a mountain setting making it a destination fishery for Maryland residents and visiting anglers from other states. A total of 18 fish species were identified in Deep Creek Lake during the 2016-2017 surveys.  Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye are the most popular gamefish. During the winter, Deep Creek Lake becomes the most popular ice fishing destination in Maryland where anglers target walleye, large yellow perch/panfish and northern pike.

The spring 2017 adult walleye abundance index showed a record high value of 335 walleye per hour of electrofishing effort. . The population was characterized by having diverse size classes from abundant juvenile fish to fish greater than 20 inches. About 74% of the adult walleye collected were greater than or equal to the legal size limit of 15 inches, providing outstanding angling opportunities. The 2016 year-class was considered “strong” at 210 fish per hour of electro-fishing effort and will contribute to this outstanding fishery.

Largemouth bass population indices collected during the fall 2016 showed that relative abundance was greater than the previous five year study period with a catch of 45 largemouth bass per hour of electrofishing. This compares to only 6 largemouth bass per hour of electrofishing obtained during the 2011 survey. Based on bass tournament results reported to the department as part of the tournament permit requirements, the tournament catch rate for Deep Creek Lake compares favorably with other Maryland impoundments. Largemouth bass reproductive success was considered “excellent” in 2016. The smallmouth bass population was characterized by having an abundance of bass in the 11 – 14 inch size increment with a smaller portion of the population larger than 14 inches. Smallmouth bass reproductive success was considered to be “good” in 2016, as determined by shoreline seining surveys.

Yellow perch were the most abundant panfish during the 2016 surveys. Yellow perch were characterized by having a high percentage of 10 inch or larger fish in the population. The largest yellow perch collected in the sample was 14.4 inches. Seining survey results for young of year yellow perch indicated a strong 2016 year-class.  The bluegill population showed a good proportion of of preferred (8 inches) and memorable (10 inches) size fish in the population.

Northern pike have become more common in electrofishing samples. This increase in abundance may be a result of raising the minimum size from 24 inches to 30 inches in 2001. The increase in the minimum size allows the northern pike to reach sexual maturity before reaching harvestable size. Additional population and life history data on the northern pike resource is being gathered to determine if additional management action is warranted to maintain or enhance the pike fishery.​ 

Western Region District 1 staff conduction wild trout population survey.Trout fishing is very popular in Western Maryland. Garrett and Allegany Counties have about 44 streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds that are stocked with rainbow and brown trout​ each spring. There are several different trout fishing areas that all anglers can enjoy including Put and Take; Delayed Harvest; Youth and Blind Persons; Youth, Senior, and Blind Persons; and Catch and Return Fishing Areas. The Western Region also contains some of the larger trout rivers in the State including the North Branch Potomac River, Savage River, and the Youghiogheny River. There are many miles of wild trout streams as well; many of the streams are located on our public state forests. We conduct annual surveys on these streams to ensure the trout populations will provide great fishing for now and for the future generations.

Selected Reports