2022 Watershed Season

The watershed is now open for boating and fishing on the reservoirs. Gates open 1/2 hour before sunrise. If you arrive and a gate is not open, please call our Police at 301-206-8888.

  • As of October 31, 2022 - Due to the receding water level at Triadelphia Reservoir, Big Branch boat ramp is closed. No boat trailer or carry-in boat access.
  • If launching a boat, please consider using alternative boat ramps on Triadelphia Reservoir or T. Howard Duckett Reservoir. Greenbridge and Triadelphia Recreational Area boat ramps are fully accessible.

A sediment removal project on Triadelphia Reservoir is scheduled for later this fall. During that time, all boat ramps will be closed and no boating will be allowed. Additionally, the Greenbridge and Pig Tail recreational areas will be closed to ensure public safety due to the construction activity.

Permits can be purchased online or in person at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center or WSSC Water's headquarters. All boat mooring permits must be purchased in person at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center

If you have any questions please contact Watershedrec@WSSCWater.com.

What is the watershed and the watershed recreation user program?

The Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed is made up of thousands of acres of wooded property that surround the Triadelphia Reservoir - which is created by the Brighton Dam - and the T. Howard Duckett Dam and Reservoir. WSSC Water owns and manages about 6,000 acres of this property, protecting it as a vital source of water (the two reservoirs can store more than 11 billion gallons of water that drain from 132 square miles of the watershed, enough to provide drinking water to more than 600,000 WSSC Water customers).

While it's important to protect the watershed, WSSC Water's watershed recreation user program provides the public with recreational access to the privately owned area. With a permit, visitors can use six recreation areas that include picnic facilities, more than 16 miles of shoreline fishing, and interior recreation trails. The watershed property is considered private property because it was purchased with ratepayer dollars to provide a protective buffer area for the reservoirs.

To learn more about activities that are allowed, see the Watershed Regulations FAQs and the Watershed Regulations page. For helpful information about amenities at and directions to the recreation areas, see the Watershed Maps and Directions page.

Buy Watershed Use permits

  • Buy permits online
  • Buy permits at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center
    2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookville, Maryland 20833
    7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (March 15-Nov. 30, including weekends)
    7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Dec. 1-March 14)
    The Brighton Dam Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
  • WSSC Water​ Headquarters
    14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707
    7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Before buying a permit, please call 301-206-4386 (4FUN) to ensure that the area you want to use is open for recreation.

The watershed recreation user program is coordinated and supervised by members of WSSC Water's Production Team System Control Division. Staff oversee management of the forested properties, maintenance of trails and roads, regulation of the sale of user permits and communication with recreation users. For information about the program, call the Brighton Dam Visitor’s Center at 301-206-7485.

Last Modified: October 31, 2022, 12:17 pm EDT