Prettyboy Reservoir Cooperative Wildlife Management Area

Eastern Turkey photo by Maslowski and the National Wild Turkey Federation

The 7,380-acre Prettyboy Reservoir CWMA is owned by the City of Baltimore and is managed to protect the reservoir. The area is open to hiking, rowing or paddle boating, bird watching, horseback riding and nature photography year-round, and for archery hunting during a regulated season. The reservoir is also managed for warm, cool, and cold water fish species and offers fishing opportunities. Prettyboy Reservoir is located primarily in northwestern Baltimore County with a small portion extending into northeastern Carroll County.

The water from Prettyboy Reservoir is transferred to Loch Raven Reservoir via Gunpowder Falls rather than directly to Baltimore. It is then transferred via tunnel from Loch Raven to the Montebello Filtration Plants in Baltimore for treatment and distribution. Prettyboy Dam, completed in 1932, impounds the Gunpowder Falls to create the Reservoir.

The Baltimore Environmental Police safeguard the Baltimore Region’s water supply by protecting the natural resources. In addition, Environmental Police also provide law enforcement services and provide for public safety on all Baltimore City Water Supply Lands and Reservoirs.

Click Here for Map​

Management

Prettyboy Reservoir CWMA hunting access is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The mission of the Wildlife and Heritage Service is to conserve and enhance diverse wildlife populations and associated habitats while providing for public enjoyment of the State’s wildlife resources through hunting and other wildlife-dependent recreation. Prettyboy Reservoir CWMA provides habitat for upland and forest wildlife species, primarily white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and songbirds.

Regulations for All Users

Unless otherwise posted or with a permit issued by the Service or the City of Baltimore it is UNLAWFUL to:

  • Operate or possess a vehicle on roads, trails, or waterways not open to general traffic.
  • Bait or feed wildlife.
  • Use or construct permanent blinds or tree stands. All portable blinds or stands must be removed at the end of the day.
  • Ignite, cause to be ignited, or maintain a fire.
  • Camp
  • Remove, disturb, damage, or destroy any mineral, plant, rock, tree, or nongame animal.
  • Have dogs off leash.
  • Use dogs to chase fox and raccoons.
  • Release any animal or plant.
  • Conduct commercial activities.
  • Place a cache for the purpose of geocaching.
  • Operate, possess, or use combustibles, explosives, or fireworks.
  • Dig for relics and treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use a metal detector without a permit from the Office of Archeology.
  • Deposit litter or refuse including, but not limited to, animal carcasses, appliances, brush, debris, furniture, garbage, hazardous material, tires, waste paper, yard waste, or other litter.
  • Vandalize real property including any blind, building, crop, equipment, gate, habitat, plant, road, sign, trail, vehicle, vessel, or other public property.
  • Graze cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or other domestic animals.
  • Place decoys prior to 1 hour before legal shooting hours, leave decoys overnight, or remove decoys later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.

Hunting

Public hunting on Prettyboy Reservoir CWMA is permitted during legal hunting seasons with restrictions (see below). A free permit is required and available in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or online. Hunting is available for all game except waterfowl in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

  • Click here for the online Archery Hunting Permit for the Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy Reservoirs
  • Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
  • Permitted hunting devices include archery equipment only.
  • Trapping is not allowed.
  • Parking or driving motor vehicles of any description except on hard surfaced roads is prohibited.
  • Hunting is permitted only from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
  • No hunting within 50 feet of the high water shoreline.
  • Hunters must adhere to all regulations established by the Baltimore City Bureau of Water and Wastewater.

Non-Hunting Users

Prettyboy Reservoir CWMA is open year-round to non-hunters. No permit or reservation is needed. Be aware of active hunting seasons. The property is open for the following activities:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Boating (permit required and restrictions apply)
  • Horseback Riding on unpaved fire roads
  • Biking on established trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Nature Photography
  • Swimming is prohibited
  • Pets must be leashed at all times. Pets may not be in the reservoir water at any time.


For a complete guide to reservoir regulations click here.

To contact the reservoirs directly for non-hunting questions or for boating permits click here.

Maryland map showing approximate location of Prettyboy CWMA in north central Maryland

Directions

Prettyboy Reservoir is located primarily in northwestern Baltimore County with a small portion extending into northeastern Carroll County. Numerous public roads provide access points to this area. For additional hunting information or seasonal permits, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife and Heritage Service Office at 410-356-9272.

Acknowledgement: Photograph of Eastern Turkeys, Courtesy of Maslowski and the National Wild Turkey Federation.​​​