Fishing

Visitors fishing on the refuge - USFWS.

At the water’s edge, potential awaits with every cast. Bluegill, largemouth bass, pumpkin-seed, and catfish can all be found throughout the refuge’s waters. But, the real catch of the day may be the time spent with family and friends.


What You Need:   
You will need a State of Maryland non-tidal fishing license. (Patuxent Parking Passes are no longer needed.)
Children under the age of 16 do not need a license. Visitor are expected to know and follow Maryland regulations and to know the refuge's fishing area boundaries and schedules. 
 
Fishing Areas & Schedules:  

South Tract- Fishing is permitted on all of Cash Lake from March 13th through September. (Do not fish from floating bridges. Masks are required when encountering people not in your party.) Anglers may park at the Visitor Center or at Cash Lake pier.

 

North Tract- Fishing is restricted to designated areas and available from 8 am to 4 pm. Please see North Tract Map. Lake Allen, a popular fishing destination, has a restricted schedule. This area only opens on some weekends. (For updates on the schedule call 301-497-5770. See Schedule 

Fishing in all other areas of the refuge is prohibited.

Permitted Bait & Tackle: 
Hook, line, and tackle as permitted by Maryland law, is allowed on the refuge. Earthworms are the only live bait allowed. Visitors may not gather bait on the refuge. Barbless or circle hooks are encouraged along with the practicing catch and release fishing.
 
Lead Prohibition: 
Due to risk of habitat contamination, possession or use of lead sinkers is prohibited. Learn more. 
 
Refuge & State Regulations: 

 Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing 2021