Trout

Known for its world-class stock, Maryland has some of the best trout fishing opportunities in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. With over 600 miles of freshwater rivers and streams packed with high-quality brook, rainbow, and brown trout, Maryland is the ideal place for your next fishing adventure–regardless of whether you’re a serious angler chasing the trout of a lifetime, or just teaching the kids the basics of fly-fishing.

310Brook trout are native to eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, extending as far west as eastern Minnesota. Their original range also included the Appalachian Mountains, where they are still found in many high elevation streams as far south as Georgia. They have been widely introduced into several western states. Brook trout are the only trout native to Maryland waters.

Rainbow trout were transplanted to Maryland from the west coast of the United States. They are native to the Pacific slope from the mountains in northern Mexico, through the western United States around Alaska and the Bering Sea to the northern regions of Asia. They have been introduced into every state in the Union, as well as introduced worldwide.

Brown trout vary greatly in appearance. Generally, they are olive green to brown on top shading to a creamy, golden-yellow on the sides and an off white along the belly. Most brown trout are covered with black spots along their sides, back and dorsal fin with each spot surrounded by a light halo. Frequently, the spots near the lateral line are red. Unlike brook and rainbow trout, the tails of brown trout have few if any spots.

Looking for the perfect fishing spot? Access Maryland DNR’s Public Fishing Access Map.

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Trout season is open year-round for all species, giving anglers access to our world-class trout throughout the year. However, there are certain dates and locations throughout the year in which closures occur. During closures, catch-and-release policies and/or no fishing is mandated. Please visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website for Closure Dates. Dates and locations for closure periods change frequently, so please check with the regulations before fishing.

Looking for the perfect fishing spot? Access Maryland DNR’s Public Fishing Access Map.

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While some of the best trout fishing opportunities can be found in Maryland’s western quarter, there are great, accessible fishing areas throughout the state. There are nearly 100 streams that support native, self-supporting, world-class populations of brook trout. Concentrations of brook trout streams are found in central and northern Baltimore County, the Catoctin Mountains of Frederick County, and in far western Maryland, mainly in Garrett County.

Rainbow trout are stocked in well over 100 streams and lakes across the state. A naturally reproducing population is also found in Garrett County’s North Branch Potomac River downstream of the Jennings Randolph Lake Dam.

Some of the best wild brown trout fishing is found in Baltimore County in the Gunpowder River watershed, including Bee Tree Run, Little Falls, Western Run, and the entire mainstream of the Gunpowder Falls between Prettyboy and Loch Raven Reservoirs. Other fine naturally reproducing brown trout fisheries include Jones Falls in Baltimore County, Hunting Creek in Frederick County, and the lower Savage River in Garrett County.

If finding the best spots in Maryland appeals to you, hiring a guide is the way to go. Without buying your own license, you can fish all day next to an experienced guide that knows the waters and where the trout are, ensuring that you get the most out of your trip to Maryland.

Looking for the perfect fishing spot? Access Maryland DNR’s Public Fishing Access Map.

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Getting a fishing license in Maryland couldn’t be easier. Download DNR’s app on your smartphone (MD DNR), click Apply for License, and enroll. From here, you can register any catches, post photos, and check for regulations updates. Simple, quick, and at the palm of your hand, DNR’s app is the easiest way to get your Maryland fishing license. Or, you can apply for a license through Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website.

There are a few instances where registering for a license may not be necessary; visit Maryland DNR for a full list of these exceptions. For more information on fishing without a license – and locations where licenses are not required – visit http://dnr2.maryland.gov/Fisheries/Pages/Free-Fishing.aspx.

Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for a complete list of Maryland’s Fishing Regulations.

Money generated from the sale of licenses goes directly to the conservation, protection, and preservation of Maryland’s natural habitat and cherished wildlife. Maryland DNR works tirelessly to maintain a healthy population of trout and the regulations needed to sustain fishing in Maryland. Changes in regulations, dates, and requirements vary year-to-year. Please check with DNR frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Looking for the perfect fishing spot? Access Maryland DNR’s Public Fishing Access Map.

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