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The fishing's fine again at Greenbrier Lake

March 25, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENBRIER - The string of three fat rainbow trout that Mike Demart and Charles Brust were showing off Saturday afternoon offered evidence the fishing is good again at Greenbrier Lake.

The lake was drained 18 months ago so crews at Greenbrier State Park on U.S. 40 between Hagerstown and Frederick, Md., could repair a 35-year-old control valve. After that, last year's dry weather never brought enough rain to return the lake water to its normal level.

While fishing was not banned, the low water discouraged sportsmen and forced park officials to ban swimming for the summer. Park attendance dropped by more than half, to about 200,000 visitors, officials said. Revenue also dropped.

The fish survived the drought in a 9-foot deep, three-acre pool.

This winter's snows and spring rains returned the lake to its proper level.

Fishing was banned last week while crews dumped an estimated 3,500 trout into the lake for the 2000 fishing season.

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Demart's and Brust's catch of rainbows were among those.

Brust, 23, of Frederick, Md., said he's glad the lake is back to normal.

"I used to fish here a lot. I work in Boonsboro so I can swing by here on the way home from work," he said.

Diane Grines, 39, of Frederick, and her son, Kevin, 6, were walking along the beach carrying their fishing poles. They had had no luck.

"Nobody around us was catching anything either," she said.

She said she's glad the lake is back.

"We spend a lot of time fishing and swimming here. He has a ball," Grines said.

Kevin was more interested in batting stones into the water with an empty plastic soda bottle than he was in fishing.

"He can only sit so long, He gets fidgety," Grines said.

David Spurling, 54, of Ellicott City, Md., had three lines in the water baited with a peanut-butter like substance he called Powerbait.

"It's about time," he said of the lake's return to normalcy.

"I missed this place last year," he said. "It's a favorite spot.

"Opening day is a spring ritual. It marks the opening of spring for me," Spurling said.

"I didn't know how the lake was going to be, but it's as nice as it's been in years."

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