Merkle Natural Resources Management Area and Visitor Center


Merkle has five fishing ponds open to the public. Guy fishing in 1 of 5 fishing ponds open to public at Merkle State ParkThey are stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and various other species. Along with fishing, visitors can also enjoy wildlife observation and photography as these ponds provide prime habitat for a variety of wildlife.

Merkle ponds open April 1st of every year and close October 1st of every year. Please obey park hours.

If you plan to fish, please sign in at the box located outside of the visitor center. Please obey the special fishing guidelines specified on the sign-in sheet and be sure to follow all department rules and regulations. All vehicles should be parked at the visitor center while fishing at the ponds. Special parking arrangements can be made for those with disabilities who have an Access Maryland pass.

Fishing is regulated to help us manage the fish populations within the pond. Be aware that only two fishing lines may be in a pond at a time. If you have two lines, you are the only one allowed to fish. If someone else has a line in, you may only fish with one fishing line.

Year round fishing of the Patuxent River is offered through the pier on the Critical Area Driving Tour. All fishermen must sign in and obey all department rules and regulations.​