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DNR Predicts Great Walleye Fishing In Deep Creek Lake

Today marks season opener

Walleye

Garrett County, Md. (April 16, 2012) - Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries biologists predict great walleye fishing in Deep Creek Lake for today’s opening of the season.

“Walleye are currently the most abundant game fish species in Deep Creek Lake,” said DNR Western Regional Fisheries Manager, Al Klotz. “Our surveys along the State Park shoreline and near the dam returned evidence of diverse size classes and many legal fish, some over 20 inches long.”

The season begins with a 5-fish daily creel limit and a 15-inch minimum size limit. Anglers can also find walleye in the Youghiogheny River Reservoir, Jennings Randolph Lake, Savage River Reservoir, Potomac River and Liberty Reservoir.

“For the past few years we have pushed back the walleye season until mid-April to protect the vulnerable pre-spawn females,” said Klotz. “Over time, this has resulted in robust reproduction and an abundance of quality-size fish. Our 2011 survey showed one of the highest juvenile abundance levels on record.”

The walleye is the largest member of the perch family, with some growing up to 30 inches long and weighing more than 10 pounds. The walleye gets its name from its opaque-looking eyes. Their large, reflective surface gives the walleye a feeding advantage by allowing it to locate prey such as shiners, sunfish, yellow perch and crayfish in low light.

To catch a walleye, Klotz recommends using minnow imitations and jigs fished over rock piles and along the edges of weed beds. Night crawlers or live minnows worked on a slow drift are also a good bet for catching these tasty fighters.

Recreational anglers who register a walleye measuring 26 inches or longer at any of the more than 60 Maryland Angler Award Centers across the State will receive free admission and a chance to win prizes at the 2012 Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale. The event will take place at the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 8. Prizes include tackle packages from Bass Pro Shops and Bill’s Outdoor Center, a boat/trailer package from Tracker Marine, an amazing vacation trip from World Fishing Network, Under Armour apparel. More information on the Maryland Fishing Challenge, which this year honors fishing legend and author Lefty Kreh, lists of eligible fish species, sizes and Angler Award centers are available at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge/index.asp.

DNR invites all anglers to assist in the fisheries management process by participating in the online Volunteer Angler Survey at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/survey/index.asp. DNR is looking for trip information regarding bluefish, blue crab, striped bass, summer flounder, yellow perch and tournament bass.

DNR’s Angler’s Log is a family-friendly fishing report page where anglers share what they are catching, locate hotspots and what techniques are working. Everyone is invited to check it out at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport/log.asp. Anglers can also follow the DNR Fisheries news on Facebook at facebook.com/MDDNRFisheriesService and Twitter @MDDNRFISH.


   April 16, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov