Regional Roundup

Regional Roundup- Susquehanna’s Bounty

Sandwiched between Harford and Cecil Counties in Northeastern Maryland, the Susquehanna River flows freely for almost 10 miles below the Conowingo Dam before dumping into the Chesapeake Bay at the legendary Susquehanna Flats. This stretch of river is home to a wide spectrum of fish, including rockfish (striped bass), large and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white and yellow perch, carp, American and hickory shad, sunfish, bluegill, and of late, walleye. Anyone who fishes the Susquehanna below Conowingo dam must have a Bay Sport fishing license.
Public access for boaters can be found at Lapidum Landing and Jean Roberts Park in Havre de Grace on the Harford County side of the river. In Cecil County, boats can launch from Port Deposit Boat Ramp and Townsend’s Rock run Landing in Port Deposit and Perryville Community Park in Perryville. Places to launch kayaks abound on both sides (and the plastic navy is often out in full force on the river); just park at any legal parking area in sight of the water and put in. And the best part of this stretch of river is that shore fishermen and those brave enough to wade the unpredictable waters have as good or better opportunities than yakkers and boaters in the upper stretches. Susquehanna State Park and the land owned by PECO (who operates the Conowingo Dam) provide miles of river access to those limited by lack of water craft. Anyone who fishes this stretch of river must be aware of the fluctuations in water level from the dam. Before venturing out, call 1-888-457-4076 for a recording that tells how much water will be released that day. The river rises quickly when the gates open for power generation. When the flood gates are open, the best thing to do is stay off the water.
Susquehanna striped bass

Walleye can be caught virtually all year long, and are the prime targeted species in winter. During the late winter, yellow perch can be found in the lower sections in limited numbers (hopefully the new perch regulations will help increase their numbers). The Susquehanna “season” kicks into high gear in late March or early April, when hickory shad and monster stripers head upriver, followed by American shad and white perch. This time of year, the river sees more anglers than any other. Boats ply the deeper water below Lapidum Landing for the catch and release rockfish season, and bank fishermen line up shoulder to shoulder to catch and release shad. When the shad run ends in May, the smallmouth, white perch, and in the slower, lower sections largemouth, fishing is just starting to heat up. Striper season usually opens in May (check current regulations) although most folks stop fishing for them in July when water temperatures warm into the 70s and 80s. Bass, panfish and catfish angling remains strong throughout the summer, as the white perch slowly move out. Fall fishing can be good for stripers, and as the water cools, the walleye fishing kicks back in and stays strong throughout the winter until the next “Susquehanna season” kicks in. So, no matter what time of year the fishing bug bites, head to the lower Susquehanna for great fishing.