Fishing regulations conform to the license requirements of the respective state where the canal and Potomac River are located. The District of Columbia requires a license for persons 16-65. In Maryland, a person 16 years of age or older must have a valid license to fish that state's non-tidal waters. Virginia requires a license for persons 16 and older. West Virginia requires a license for ages 15-65. For detailed information on state regulations, contact the following:

District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

Northern snakehead

Northern Snakeheads have been appearing in the Potomac River.


Exotic/Invasive species: The Northern Snakehead is an exotic fish species from China that has invaded the Potomac River and other water bodies.Snakeheads feed mainly on fish, including game fish. If you have caught a Northern Snakehead, DO NOT RELEASE the fish alive.Please report catches (with a photo if possible) to

Did You Know?