Question conowingo dam

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Thread: conowingo dam

  1. #1
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    Default conowingo dam

    I am interested in running my boat up to the conowingo dam and I was wondering how deep the water is and any spots in the river I need to watch out for. I will be running up from Perryville, I have a chart on my phone but it doesn't go up to the dam. Also what are my chances in catching any rock fish under the dam?

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  3. #2
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    They will not allow boats all the way up to the pool below the dam for safety and security reasons. They have sirens and lights that activate prior to when water is released from the dam. Venturing up river past Tomes Marina in Port Deposit should only be done in a jet drive and then you still need to use extreme caution. The river area above Port Deposit is very rocky and just loves destroying fiberglass boats and lower unit's. I have an aluminium bass boat and I will not go far above Tomes on my gas engine. Best way to fish up past Tomes is in a kayak.

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    If you have never done it, don't even think about trying it alone. Find someone familiar with the river and take it from there. This is not the place to do it yourself. It's easier to do when they are running a lot of water, but even then, you need to be extremely careful.

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    You need to go very slow and have a look-out on the bow. Even in a flat bottom tin boat you really gotta be careful...AND GO SLOW. Best bet is to hire a river guide & use his boat. Then you'll know.

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    The person on the front of the boat might what to wear a helmet so he doesn't get so may knots on his head. Got to watch fishing there alot of people have drowned on that section. Picked up 2 out of 3 people there myself when they got swept away by the current of the dam!!!!(they were fortunate to be alive)

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    Not a place to go in your own boat without extensive prior experience in those waters. Charts won't show water depth in the area below the dam because it varies widely depending on how much water has been released over/through the dam. AND water levels can drop or rise quickly. Getting up there is one matter, spotting rocks and being able to take evasive action when going with the current is an even greater challenge. Plus they have lights and alarms that go off when they're going to open the gates, but no alarms when they shut them off. This means that if you get up there and the water level drops, you may not be able to get out via the same route you got in. Also consider the fact that a jet drive requires a fair amount of throttle to elicit a rapid steering response so running WITH the current can provide some real pucker moments when trying to steer around the rocks. Earl Ashenfelder was one of the earliest, if not the earliest folks to guide up there. Welded a pitch fork to the front of his lower unit to help protect the prop.

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    forget the charts use google earth and look for yourself unless youve been on there before i wouldnt advise it .

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    Leave your boat home. Drive your car up to the base of the dam and take your waders. Take a small rod and a surf rod. You'll want some inline trolling sinkers and jigs/plastics of choice, some shallow swimming plugs, rattle trap or two, few small spoons. You can catch Rock, LGM, SM, WP, Walleye, Red eye, Flatheads, Channels and maybe even a Muskie. However you can launch small boats up there, Kayaks and Canoes by hand. When you could fish above the Island we used to take a 10 alum up there all the time. Pay attention to the lights and sirens. 3 mins after the second warning they let the water go and its rises fast. Or they could cut it down and leave ya high and dry w/ no warning. Call the hotline and know the schedule before ya go. 888-457-4076

  10. #9
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    Rocks have a different meaning on that bottom ripping river. Watch OUT!!!

  11. #10
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    Itís doable if you have the right boat. I have been up many times in a small plastic boat. A jon boat will make it too but you will hit rocks on the way back down if you donít have a great memory for where the rocks are. My buddy bought a jet this year. We will start going up in it in a week or two.

    Jerkbait-PA

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