Maryland set to close, stock 100 waterways ahead of trout season

06 March 2024- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is set to release thousands of hatchery-raised brown, golden, and rainbow trout across the state in areas temporarily closed to fishing in preparation for opening day on March 30. This year, the start time for fishing in all Closure 1 and Closure 2 areas is 6:30 a.m. 

“Closing dozens of popular put-and-take areas to fishing at the beginning of March allows our hatcheries teams to stock those waterways and prepare for an opening day that provides widespread fishing opportunities to Maryland trout anglers,” said John Mullican, DNR’s director of freshwater fisheries and hatcheries.

A list of closed areas can be found in the 2024 Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing in print or online. Fishing is prohibited in Closure 1 locations from 10 p.m. March 10 to 6:30 a.m. March 30, and Closure 2 areas from 10 p.m. March 24 to 6:30 a.m. March 30, except as provided for by special regulation or where more restrictive fishing hours are posted.

New this year, DNR is offering its first-ever Youth-Only Trout Fishing Day for children under 16 years of age, one week before opening day. On March 23, youth anglers may catch and keep up to two trout (except brook trout) each in Closure 1 and Closure 2 areas. 

Maryland’s coldwater hatcheries​ produce about 290,000 adult rainbow, golden rainbow, and brown trout annually to meet the demands of the put-and-take stocking program. The department stocks more than 100 waterbodies in 19 counties. 

After opening day, a final round of spring stocking will take place through most of April. Anglers can obtain up-to-date stocking information on the DNR website, via email bulletin, on social media, or by calling 800-688-3467 for a recorded weekly update.

Trout stamps are required for anglers who are 16 and older fishing for trout and do not qualify for exemption. Stamps can be purchased online, at a DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center, or from an agent (select tackle shop or outdoor outfitters).