Maryland boasts more than 60 significant (greater than 5 acres in size) lakes, all of which are manmade and open to the public. These lakes provide a number of recreational activities, ranging from fishing and swimming to boating and water sports. For example, Maryland’s largest, Deep Creek Lake, is home to 18 species of fish as well as numerous camp sites and boat rental opportunities. Another large lake, Liberty Reservoir, contains striped bass that have reached the 40-pound range. Greenbrier State Park’s 42-acre lake features a swimming beach staffed by lifeguards throughout the summer. For a list of public lakes and ponds in Maryland, click http://www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/public-lakes-ponds/.
Aside from the great year-round recreational and aesthetic pleasures, lakes provide drinking water, irrigation, habitat to plants and animals, help produce energy and food, and serve as a major economic engine. Just like the Chesapeake and coastal bays, major rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, lakes can suffer from poor water quality due to sedimentation, phosphorus and toxic contaminants in sediments or fish. Fortunately, all citizens can play a role in keeping Maryland’s lakes healthy through simple actions, like leaving no trace when visiting a lake, organizing a watershed cleanup effort, planting native trees and vegetation to prevent runoff, and other green landscaping practices located here: http://extension.umd.edu/baywise/home-landscape-best-management-practices.
This nationwide initiative is sponsored by the North American Lake Management Society, a non-profit organization focused partnerships between citizens, scientists, and professionals in order to protect the quality of lakes and reservoirs for the benefit of all who use them.