Patterson Park Boat Lake
John Kirk, Recreation Programmer
Eastern and Milton Avenues
Baltimore, Md. 21224
The Patterson Park Boat Lake is one of the true gems of Baltimore city. Nestled about 100 yards inside the park, the 2.5-acre lake is a combination of open water and a wetland habitat for fish, waterfowl and songbirds. The lake is used for extensive fishing and environmental studies. BCRP also hosts a variety of family-oriented fishing activities during the spring, summer and fall.
It's not unusual to hear a native Baltimorean say of the lake, “That's where I caught my first fish!”
The Boat Lake was created during Civil War grading operations in 1864, when extensive earth-moving work was performed to remove military emplacements and fill ravines. When Baltimoreans began using the lake as a skating pond, the Board of Public Park Commission recognized the worthiness of expanding the lake to accommodate skating as well as boating. Completed in 1875, this work enlarged the lake to its present size and included a brick retaining wall around the lake’s edge, an island and plantings of trees and shrubs—all of which remain today.
After being deepened in 1984, the lake was dredged and renovated in 2003 to include wetlands planting and adding environmental signage. Nature lovers will spot Mallard Ducks, American Coots and occasional Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Heron, Gadwall, Pie-billed Grebe, White-winged Scoter and Great Egrets. Of course, there are many frogs and turtles around, the lake, too.
The lake features a spawning population of largemouth bass and Bluegill that were stocked as fingerlings after the 2003 renovation. Every three years, the lake is stocked with corrective size bass (7 to 9 inches) so the bluegill don’t over populate. This stocking is done by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. Bass is the largest predatory fish.
The lake is a catch-and-release for all fish except rainbow trout. Anglers are allowed to keep two trout per day. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout twice a year by Maryland DNR, normally in late March and late October.
A Maryland Fishing license is required for anglers 16 and over.
For more information, contact the Boat Lake or the Friends of Patterson Park.