Clopper Lake

Clopper LakeLocated in Montgomery County

Owner - Clopper Lake is owned by the Forest and Park Service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

History - Clopper Lake is a 90-acre impoundment on Long Draught Branch within Seneca Creek State Park. The dam was built in 1975 for recreation and flood control. Prior to 1986, statewide black bass regulations applied to Clopper Lake. From 1986 through 1997, Clopper Lake largemouth bass were managed under a 10-inch minimum size regulation as a result of an over-abundance of small bass. The intent of the regulation was for anglers to reduce the number of small bass. Harvest of the small bass would reduce competition and increase growth rates among the remaining bass. Unfortunately, fishing pressure was relatively low and catch-and-return black bass fishing had become popular among bass anglers. The thought of harvesting small bass was not popular even if it could improve the bass population in Clopper Lake. In 1998, the black bass regulation in Clopper Lake was changed back to statewide regulations (5 bass/day, >12 inches).

Physical/ Habitat Description - Clopper Lake averages 18 feet in depth with several shallow coves. The Lake has abundant submerged aquatic vegetation dominated by spiny naiad that can become quite dense during the summer and early fall months. Tree downfalls and beaver huts provide habitat in some areas of the Lake for crappie, sunfish, carp and largemouth bass.

Fish Species - Clopper Lake contains an over-abundance of largemouth bass, however; many nice bass (>12 inches) are available to anglers. Tiger muskie fingerlings, a hybrid cross of northern pike and muskellunge, have been stocked into Clopper Lake. Although fisheries surveys have not yet turned up a tiger muskie, reports from anglers of catching tiger muskies have suggested there was some success with tiger muskie survival in Clopper Lake. Channel catfish have been stocked into Clopper Lake with some large "cats" prowling for prey. Quality size redear sunfish as well as bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are also available for the creel. Black crappie round out the list of popular fish species available to anglers. Other species found in Clopper Lake are brown bullheads and common carp.

Restrictions - Consult your Maryland Freshwater Sportfishing Guide for length and possession limits on black bass, sunfish, crappie, catfish and tiger muskies. There is a closed season on black bass in Maryland from March 1 through June 15. Catch-and-return angling for largemouth bass is permitted during the closure.

Seneca Creek State Park closes daily at sunset. To find out when it opens, call the State Park (see below). A daily use park fee is required to enter the park. Boats can be rented at the boathouse from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A hand launch site for car top boats and canoes is available near the boathouse on weekdays during the same period excluding holidays.

Directions - From I-270, take Route 124 west, Quince Orchard Road. Turn right onto Route 117, Clopper Road. Entrance to Seneca Creek State Park is on left off of Clopper Road.

Contact Us - Comments and questions regarding Clopper Lake can be directed to:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fisheries Service
Patuxent Work Center
17400 Annapolis Rock Road, Woodbine, Maryland 21797
customerservice@dnr.state.md.us

General Seneca Creek State Park information can be found by contacting: 301-924-2127