Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are beginning to venture out on the lake to fish for a variety of fish. Water temperatures are climbing and fishermen are finding good fishing for yellow perch, chain pickerel and largemouth bass in most of the larger coves. This is also an excellent time to fish for northern pike in the cove areas with large golden shiners or by casting lures such as large spoons, spinners or jerkbaits. Small jig/minnow combinations are a good bet for large yellow perch and crappie. Walleye season is closed until April 15th so they must be returned. Glenn Nelson sent in this picture of a 26” walleye he caught and released in the upper Potomac this past Sunday. Glenn mentioned this was the largest of 5 walleyes he caught that day all on a 3” smoke Yamamoto grub.
Trout fishermen were out in force for the traditional opening day of trout season and many of the put and take areas received a lot of attention from fishermen and everyone seemed to have a good time despite the dismal weather on Saturday. Friday’s rain did much to raise the water flows in the regions streams and rivers so fishermen can expect good fishing this week. Additional stocking of trout in the put and take areas will also increase the fishing opportunities in a number of stocked waters. A number of fishermen who don’t put a trout dinner as a priority can enjoy plenty of elbow room and excellent fishing this week in the many catch and release waters in the western region.
Fisheries biologist John Mullican sent in this report for us from the upper Potomac River.
Stormy conditions and some much needed rain greeted anglers last weekend. A few storms packed a punch with lightning, hail, and high winds. Walleye have begun to spawn and the fishing has held up well. Crankbaits and jigs have brought quite a few walleye to the boat recently. Smallmouth action has been very good and should only get better with the higher flows. Twitching jerkbaits and bouncing tubes and grubs behind rock piles and the edges of eddies has been ticket for smallmouth.
The fishing scene is really hopping this week in these two regions based on the good fishing that fishermen reported from this past weekend. The weather wasn’t exactly picture perfect on Saturday but Sunday was beautiful although perhaps a bit windy on some of the larger lakes and reservoirs.
Fishermen were out in force for the traditional opening day of trout season on Saturday; they braved wet overcast conditions and a slight drizzle early Saturday morning. They got wet, muddy and tired but had a great time fishing for stocked trout in local waters. Hsin-Pin Wu is all smiles as her husband Stewart holds up the first rainbow trout she has ever caught. They joined a number of other fishermen on the stocked waters of the Patapsco River in the Avalon area.
Charlie Gougeon sent us this update on the Didymo situation on the Gunpowder Falls River.
One year ago, on April 28, 2008, MD DNR Inland Fisheries biologists discovered the nuisance algae (Didymospenia geminata), commonly known as Didymo or “rock snot”, growing in the Gunpowder Falls River in Baltimore County, MD. The discovery represented the first time the algae had ever been documented in Maryland waters. Anglers have been implicated in the spread of the algae across the continental United States and beyond.
Didymo can form large mats on the bottoms of lakes, rivers and streams. Harmless to humans, it can affect fish and aquatic stream habitats and impair recreational activities. Since the Gunpowder Falls supports a very high quality wild and stocked trout fishery along 17.5 miles of river habitat, Didymo presents some big challenges to fisheries managers in finding ways to prevent the spread of the algae to other waters of the State.
Since the day it was discovered, MD DNR has taken some very aggressive steps to keep the algae confined to the Gunpowder Falls. Disinfection locations (wader wash stations) that use a 5% salt water solution have been placed at six popular angling locations along the Gunpowder Falls that coincide with high concentrations of the algae. In an attempt to protect other vulnerable trout fishing destinations, DNR has placed additional wader wash stations and informational signs about Didymo on select streams across the state. Other educational signs and materials advising anglers and aquatic recreationists about the proper steps to take to help prevent the spread of Didymo and other nuisance and invasive species have also been distributed along with the wader wash stations. In addition, much of the same information has been posted on our web site (www.dnr.Maryland.gov) at several locations.
DNR fully realizes the need to continue the distribution of educational materials and the need for disinfection stations as a way to reach out to stakeholders and educate them on how to prevent the spread of Didymo, as well as other nuisance and non-native invasive species. The DNR remains committed to the educational process and plans to continually prove and expand upon this effort in the coming year and beyond.
Fishing for largemouth bass will continue to be very good this week as warmer water temperatures have spurred the bass into increased feeding activity. Fishermen are using a variety of lures such as small crankbaits, spinnerbaits, grubs and other soft plastics as well as jerkbaits. The bass are beginning to stage near creek mouths and coves in the tidal waters and shallower edges in the regions lakes and reservoirs. The females tend to be holding a little deeper as the males move into shallower waters exploring spawning sites. Craig Walrath holds up a beautiful 6 lb largemouth bass he caught and released in Rocky Gorge Reservoir this past weekend on a jerkbait.
Fishermen will have a good opportunity to catch a mess of fat female white perch this week as these fish move up into the fresh headwaters of the regions tidal creeks and rivers. The smaller male white perch are now in most of the spawning areas and the females are beginning to arrive this week. A simple rig of a small jig or shad dart tipped with a grass shrimp or piece of bloodworm under a bobber is all that is needed; except maybe a good 5-gallon bucket to put your catch in.
Fishermen have also been focusing on crappie this week in a number of the regions reservoirs and tidal rivers. The crappie are still holding deep in about 10’ of water or so and fishermen are using minnows or shiners about 6’ under a bobber to make some impressive catches. Later on this week the crappie will begin to move up higher in the water column and experts tell us that by next week baits should only be about 2’ below the bobber. Charles Oliver, Anthony Alston and Victor T. Johnson took the time to string up their day’s catch of Potomac River crappie at the boat ramp to show us some highly anticipated good eating.
Fishermen also had another great week of fishing for blue catfish in the Fort Washington area of the tidal Potomac River and some real noteworthy fish were taken home for dinner and others were released to fight another day.
Perhaps the most anticipated fishing opportunity in the tidal rivers of the eastern region next to the yellow perch runs is the spawning runs of white perch that are due to peak this week. The males arrived at or near the spawning grounds this past weekend and the females started to show signs of arriving this Tuesday as water temperatures climb into the low 50’s. Fishermen can expect the best chance of catching a mess of large female white perch this week on a high tide and perhaps the action will continue through this coming weekend. Small jigs or shad darts dressed with a grass shrimp and under a bobber so it is close to the bottom is all one needs to catch a mess of white perch this week. A five gallon bucket would also be a good idea to carry your fish out. The prime locations will be getting a lot of traffic this week from anglers and not all of them have the best manners when it comes to littering. If you see litter, please take some out with you so we can continue to have the privilege of fishing in these areas in the future.
Largemouth bass and other species have become very active with warming water temperatures; the regions numerous lakes and ponds are hopping with action. The largemouth bass in the regions tidal rivers are moving into the mouths of creeks and shallow edges of the tidal rivers and creeks. They are beginning to show a pre-spawning mode of behavior where the males are exploring the shallows for spawning sites and the females are holding along the slightly deeper edges.
Fishing for channel catfish is very good this week in many of the regions tidal rivers such as the Chester, Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers. Cut bait such as menhaden, herring or even chicken livers or nightcrawlers are all good choices for bait. Jim Thompson holds up a nice stringer of Chester River channel cats destined for the dinner table.
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.