The Gunpowder Falls, also known as “Gunpowder” begins in Southern Pennsylvania and flows into Pettyboy Reservoir located in Northern Baltimore County. Prettyboy Reservoir is maintained by the City of Baltimore to provide drinking water to Baltimore County and surrounding areas. After flowing from Prettyboy Dam, the river flows for almost 20 miles until it reaches Loch Raven Reservoir.
Below Pettyboy Reservoir, there are about 7 miles of Catch and Release that are part of Gunpowder State Park and regulated by Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR).
In this upper section of the river, visitors will encounter rapids and pools with large boulders strewn over parts above Falls Road to flat meandering meadow sections in the Masemore Road access area.
The river runs on the colder side compared to surrounding bodies of water due the controlled releases from Pettyboy Reservoir Dam. Flows can range from 35 CFS (cubic feet per second) to higher springtime flows after a wet and snowy winter upwards of 300 CFS. It should be noted that wading the river above 200 CFS can be a bit tricky and visitors and anglers alike should use caution.
Below the 7 mile stretch of Catch and Release section which ends at Blue Mount Road Bridge, the river is managed as a two fish per day fishery. This area is not stocked and the number of trout per mile are fewer than upper stretches, however, one will find that they may be the only one there while other parking lots appear full upstream. Little Falls confluence with Gunpowder Falls is located just below the Blue Mount Road bridge and can provide great fishing action when Gunpowder Falls flows are on the low side.
Further downstream after flowing past Monkton Station, the Gunpowder reaches Corbett Road Bridge where not too much further downstream becomes a put and take fishery. This section all the way down to Loch Raven Reservoir is manages as a five fish per day fishery. Since this is a managed Put and Take Regulated area, anglers should check with MD DNR prior to fishing as there are closure dates during active stocking times when fishing is not allowed. Consult the MD DNR Fisheries website for more information. dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries or by calling 1-877-620-8367.