Now Available, 2019 Watercraft Permits for Liberty and Prettyboy Reservoirs

Press Release

Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., today announced that boaters can now apply for their 2019 Watercraft Permit for Liberty and Prettyboy Reservoirs.   Boating season at Liberty and Prettyboy runs from March 1 through December 31, weather permitting. Boating permits for Loch Raven Reservoir are issued through the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks.  Boating is allowed at Loch Raven from April 5, 2019 – October 27, 2019.

Baltimore’s reservoirs are open to visitors from sunrise to sunset, and bank fishing is allowed year-round. Boating requires a permit. Fishing requires a Maryland fishing license.

The spread of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) means special regulations apply to boating and fishing at Liberty, Loch Raven and Prettyboy Reservoirs. “Zebra mussels have appeared in Maryland waters, and they damage aquatic ecosystems as well as man-made structures. To help prevent their spread, all rules and regulations regarding boating and fishing at our reservoirs must be followed,” Director Chow stated.

These mollusks can colonize water intake pipes, restricting the water flow to municipal treatment plants. Physical and chemical removal is costly and time-consuming. Zebra mussels also create navigational hazards and damage piers, docks and bridges.  

One of the most common ways for the mussels to spread is by attaching themselves to boats. Those boats can carry the mussels to other bodies of fresh water. 

Prevention is crucial to keeping our reservoirs free of zebra mussels.  

  • If you boat in our reservoirs, you are prohibited from using your watercraft in any other waters, except the three City-owned reservoirs.
  • Only use aquatic bait purchased from a MDNR-certified, zebra mussel-free bait store. Do not use live aquatic bait that you have caught yourself. Do not transfer bait water between bodies of water.
  • Never release wildlife of any sort, land or aquatic, at our reservoirs.

To obtain a boating permit application for Liberty and Prettyboy Reservoirs please visit:, or call 410-795-6150.

To obtain a boating permit for Loch Raven Reservoir please contact the Loch Raven Fishing Center:  [email protected] or call 410-887-7692.

To obtain a Maryland fishing license go to your local bait and tackle store or visit:

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Jeffrey Raymond
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Kurt Kocher
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Jennifer Combs
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After hours, weekends, or holidays please call 410-396-3100 for the duty officer

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.