Garrett County has excellent fishing opportunities year-round! So grab a fishing pole and see what you can catch!
Fishing is a great sport for the entire family, all age groups, and skill levels. Our area offers fishing opportunities throughout all four seasons. The State of Maryland requires all anglers who are 16 years of age and older to have a fishing license. Licenses can be purchase at local sport shops or on the DNR website. For vacationers, a 3-day/7-day fishing license can be purchased during the time of your stay. A trout stamp will be needed if you intend to fish for trout.
Garrett County has a diverse variety of fish species and numerous kinds of waterways available. From small streams to large rivers and all sizes of lakes, there is a place for everyone! Please check all closure dates and rules before fishing at each location.
- Accident Community Pond, Accident – This pond is located in the small town of Accident. Stocked trout and bluegill primarily can be found amongst the cattails.
- Bear Creek, Accident & Friendsville – Flowing from Accident to Friendsville in a wooded setting makes this stream popular for trout fishing. This stream is trout stocked during certain times of the year.
- Broadford Lake, Oakland – This small lake only allows non-gasoline powered engines and has docks perfect for fishing. Yellow perch, stocked trout, bluegill, catfish, and other species can be found.
- Casselman River, Grantsville – This river snakes through the Casselman River Bridge State Park and is popular for fly fishing. Both Route 40 and Interstate 68 crosses the river. This river is trout stocked during certain times of the year.
- Deep Creek Lake – This lake in the heart of the county has all of the native fish species with large populations of stocked trout, walleye, bass, and yellow perch. Deep Creek Lake State Park offers a boat launch and designated fishing areas. Another popular spot is along the Deep Creek Lake Bridge where parking is available and access to public restrooms.
- Herrington Manor Lake, Oakland – This lake is located in the heart of Garrett State Forest with docks for fishing. Stocked trout, bluegill, perch, and bass can be found.
- New Germany Lake, Grantsville – This small lake is located in New Germany State Park and offers level banks for easy fishing access. Bass, catfish, bluegill, and stocked trout can be found.
- Piney Reservoir, Grantsville – This small lake allows only non-gasoline powered engines and offers a wide variety of fish species including stock trout, bluegill, perch, and bass.
- Savage River & Reservoir, Swanton – This large reservoir is located in the Big Run State Forest and the river flows through the eastern part of the county to Westernport. Both bodies of water have stocked trout, perch, bluegill, and bass.
- Yough River & Reservoir, Friendsville – The reservoir is located in Friendsville and river flows from Oakland to Friendsville allows for many fishing locations. This body of water has all of the native fish species including perch, bluegill, northern pike, bass, walleye, and stocked trout.
What is on the end of your fishing pole is important for successfully catching fish. There are several types to choose from and a sport shop salesperson will be able to assist you in finding the correct type for your fishing experience.
- An artificial fly replicates an insect that will attract the fish to bite the hook. These are made from natural or synthetic materials and are usually used on a fly rod.
- An artificial lure is designed to catch a fish’s attention and naturally simulate their food sources in the water. These can be spoons, spinners, plugs, streamers, and molded worms, insects, or small fish. Lures come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, and all have a hook.
- Bait is defined as anything that emits a scent to lure fish to bite the hook. Examples of bait used in Garrett County would be worms, minnows, crayfish, doughballs/bread, insects (grasshoppers, crickets, millworms, etc.), cheese, marshmallows, meat, powerbait, and salmon eggs. Maryland DNR recommends using a non-offset circle or barbless hooks when using bait or artificial bait respectively.
When fishing, it is important that you handle any fish with care for your safety and for the fish’s safety if you intend on releasing the fish back into the water. Some of Garrett County’s waterways have catch and release rules.
- Please do not hold the fish out of the water for more than 30 seconds. Always hold the fish over the water in case the fish would fall.
- Use both hands to support the fish. One hand should be holding the lip of the fish (unless it is unsafe to do) and the other hand supporting the body.
- It is recommended to use a wet rag or gloves when handling fish to prevent damage to their scales or removing their protective slime. Using a net is recommended for new anglers for easier handling.
- When removing the hook from the fish, use pliers or a de-hooker if needed. If the hook is too deep and cannot be removed, cut the line as close to the mouth as possible and leave the hook inside the fish.
- Gently place the fish back in the water and allow it to acclimate. If a fish is not responsive, open its mouth and force it forward in the water to allow oxygen into the gills.
- Immediately clean any cuts and seal with a waterproof bandage to avoid infection. Using gloves will prevent cuts and scrapes on your hands. Please seek medical attention if you think an infection has occurred.
During the winter, ice fishing can be safe, relaxing, and enjoyable as long as precaution is used. Ice fishing is permitted on Deep Creek Lake when there is at least 4 inches of clear and solid ice.
- Be cautious when snow is on top of the ice as cracks are hidden, and the snow naturally insulates the ice and can make it soft.
- Always venture onto the ice with a partner for safety.
- Early and late winter ice is usually unstable. Always ice fish in the middle of the winter season.
- Avoid fishing under or near the Deep Creek Lake and Glendale Road Bridges due to road salt runoff making the lake ice unstable underneath.
- Deep Creek Lake is spring fed by numerous streams where the moving water rarely freezes solid. Avoid fishing in any inlets or coves.
- Maryland DNR suggests wearing a life jacket under your winter clothing.
Please keep our waterways clean during and after your fishing adventure. Leave no trace that you have been there so others can continue to enjoy the waterways as well in the future.
- Do not litter and take all trash with you, including unused bait.
- Clean your fish at home and not along the water.
- Do not leave flies, lures, and fishing line behind.
- Avoid making any changes to the banks of a lake, streams, or rivers.
Remember, hooks are dangerous! Please use caution when baiting a hook, attaching a hook to a fishing pole, make sure all anglers have plenty of space for casting, and be aware of where your hook is at all times. Please seek medical attention if a person has a hook imbedded in their skin.
Please visit the Maryland DNR website for all fishing rules, catch limits, regulations, and licensing.