The pond sits in the middle of the 95 acre Martin Luther King Junior Park. The park is packed with features including a swim center, ball fields, picnic shelters, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. In addition, it is the southern terminal point for the Paint Branch Stream Trail that runs through the adjacent Paint Branch Stream Valley Park. A walk of only a few hundred yards to the east puts you on this additional fishable water. The Paint Branch catch and release section, featuring brown trout, is approximately 1.5 miles upstream at the crossing of Fairland Road. As a side note, brown trout were stocked in the Paint Branch in 1929 and became self-sustaining. Like all wildlife in the heart of a heavily urbanized area, their survival is under pressure from surrounding development. Thankfully, the DNR is monitoring this closely and hopes to protect the spawning habitat.
Unlike the Paint Branch, the pond does not feature a self-sustaining population of brown trout. The only browns swimming in this water are stocked. The pond is mere feet from the parking area and stretches from east to west with an open shoreline, speckled with small bushes at the water’s edge, mostly on the northern bank. There are a few small groves of trees along the southern bank that limit access, but not to the extent to impact the fishing. The best fishing is on the eastern end along the dam since that is where the bottom drops off quickly from the shoreline. Elsewhere in the lake, the bottom undergoes a gradual transition from dry land to the “deep” water in the center of the pond. During the season, there is not an unreasonable amount of shoreline vegetation to clog your cast. Regardless of the shoreline structure, movement around the perimeter of the lake is easy on the four foot wide asphalt trail.
Getting There: From I-495, take Exit 28 north to merge onto MD 650N/New Hampshire Ave toward White Oak. Turn right onto Jackson Road and follow it for a little over 0.5 miles to enter the park. Continue straight (do not turn) until you see the pond on the left.
Access Point: Parking lot next to the pond (39.055487,-76.984754)
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.
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Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore