Spring is getting closure


February 17, 2008|By BILL ANDERSON

Each spring many anglers look forward to the beginning of the trout-stocking season and the fishing opportunities the stocked trout present. It's one of the signs that spring is here and warmer weather is on the way.

Washington County's fishing opportunities for stocked trout are some of the most varied in the state. Locally, we have lake or impoundment fishing opportunities in places such as Greenbrier Lake, Blair's Valley Lake and Big Pool. If you prefer moving waters, some of the most popular streams are

Beaver Creek or Sideling Hill Creek.

As has been the case for many years, Maryland will use the process of closing many of the major 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. One very important aspect is that it allows DNR personnel to complete stocking without interference from fishermen. Another factor is that the closure period gives the newly stocked trout a period of time to acclimate to their new surroundings.


In our area, a key date to remember is March 29. This is the date when most of the most popular Washington County lakes and streams come off the first closure period (or Periods 1 and 2).

The closure dates are: Period 1 -- March 9-29; Period 2 -- March 23-29; Period 3 -- April 13-19; and Period 4 -- April 20-26.

Keep in mind that the closures are from 10 p.m. of the first date to 5:30 a.m. of the second date of the period. That means that streams and impoundments that are Closure Periods 1 and 2 reopen to fishing at 5:30 a.m. on March 29.

Some of the most popular trout waters in Washington County are: Beaver Creek (5,500 trout, Closure Periods 1 and 3); Greenbrier Lake (5,750 trout, Closure Period 2); Sideling Hill Creek (5,500 trout, Closure Periods 1 and 4); Blairs Valley Lake (5,500 trout, Closure Period 2) and

Antietam Creek (5,000 trout, Closure Periods 1 and 3).

For more information, visit the DNR's Web site at

Record largemouth bass

You usually don't associate the last week of January with prime-time bass fishing, but on Jan. 26 Justin Riley of Woodbine Md., and his father decided they would be willing to break skim ice to fish a deep cove of the tidal Potomac River, near Prince George's County.

The two anglers were fishing jigs in deep water structure when Justin hooked and landed a largemouth that set a new standard in the Chesapeake Bay Division of the Maryland record books. The record fish weighed in at 11 pounds, 2.88 ounces and measured 24 1/4 inches in length.

Riley's record bass also surpasses the largest inland water largemouth bass ever caught, which was an 11-pound, 2-ounce fish caught by Rodney Cockrell in 1984 from a private farm pond in Calvert County.

Riley was able to keep the big fish alive and it now resides in a display tank at the Bass Pro Shop in Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Md.

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

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