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Trout stockings approaching

March 01, 2004

One of the most popular early spring fishing opportunities is the put-and-take trout fishing offered throughout our region.

The trout fishing in Washington County is quite varied. You have the lake or impoundment fishing opportunities in Greenbrier Lake, Blairs Valley Lake and Big Pool as well as a lot of stream fishing opportunities. Beaver Creek and Sideling Hill are probably the most popular put-and-take streams.

As has been the case for a number of years, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will use the program of closing most waters for certain periods for stocking. This process is described in department regulations as the closure periods. There are four closure periods this spring.

This process of closing certain waters to fishing during designated periods serves several purposes. Probably the most important is that DNR personnel can complete stocking without interference from fishermen. Another is that it gives the fish a period of time to become familiar with their new surroundings.


In our area a key date to remember is March 27. This is the date when most of the important Washington County waters come off of the first closure period (periods 1 and 2).

The actual dates for the periods follow. Keep in mind that the closures are from 10 p.m. the first date to 5:30 a.m. the second date. That means that streams and impoundments that are part of closure periods 1 and 2 reopen to fishing at 5:30 a.m. on March 27.

The closure period dates this spring are as follows:

  • Period 0: No Closure

  • Period 1: March 7-27

  • Period 2: March 21-27

  • Period 3: April 11-17

  • Period 4: April 18-24

Some of the more important trout waters in Washington County are:

  • Beaver Creek: 8,000 trout, closure periods 1 and 3

  • Greenbrier Lake: 6,000 trout, closure period 2

  • Sideling Hill Creek: 7,500 trout, closure periods 1 and 4

  • Blairs Valley Lake: 5,500 trout, closure period 2

  • Antietam Creek: 4,750 trout, closure period 0

The Maryland DNR will distribute the full trout stocking schedule to license agents and DNR offices. The DNR also has a full overview of the stocking schedule on the department Web site at fisheries/springstocktable.html

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached by e-mail at

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