Maryland Canoeing Help


I’m new to posting here, I have a canoeing concern and hoped maybe someone here could help provide some information. I recently moved back to Maryland, where I grew up. I’d had to give up my battered old Penobscot a few years ago, so I splurged and got a beautiful Wenonah Escapade. I was preparing to get permits to take it on Maryland’s best lakes, Liberty and particularly Prettyboy reservoirs. These big lakes hardly see any boat traffic because of permit requirements that you don’t take your canoe on any other body of water to avoid spread of zebra mussels- but that’s fine with me. Anyway, lo and behold, there is a minimum WIDTH requirement for canoe permits. Of course the Escapade comes in just under the minimum requirement. Does anyone here have experience with these lakes and the permit process? I don’t understand this bizarre rule, and am seriously considering ahem fibbing on the form about the model of my canoe- it asks for a serial number, as well. Basically I’m wondering why the rule, and whether I could get away with getting a permit. Any relevant input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Take yer beam and…
Take yer beam

and make her seem,

too wide fer Straits Gibraltar,

“Sakes alive,

35-miles wide???”

“Well she shrank sir, but’s how I bought her.”

Going on 5+ years now (“Ah, those $60 permits.”) with a Wenonah Voyager plying Lady Liberty’s lapping shores, listed at their requisite beam-width, I haven’t had any problems. Besides, should you have the misfortune of open-sided-inversion, somewhere out there on the pond, it will likely be a kind fisherman that fishes you out, not a State DNR or Baltimore City Watershed Police Officer, and they usually have tape measures that add 20-to-30% to their length and beam reports.

You’ll be fine listing at their minimum beam. Besides, I’ve seen a few Colemans out there with their sides warped so far inwards they make a Mako surf ski look like a suitable coffin for Cass Elliott.


same here
I’m with CWDH on this one. Just put the width down as 35" - I’m pretty sure that is the minimum allowable width for canoes. I think their primary concern is that the boat is safe, which your canoe definitely is.

I have gone the route of sending in documentation showing that my solo canoes are indeed seaworthy and asking for them to grant a permit even though they didn’t meet minimum specs. They have said yes twice and no twice. The second no was because I said I had paddled my Swift Osprey in some pretty rough conditions and was confident it would be okay on the Baltimore City reservoirs. Their response was that the boat could only be paddled on Liberty and Prettyboy, so since I had paddled it elsewhere, they could not give me a permit. It was an easy dodge for them, but disappointing for me.

As much as I would like to say be 100% legal, I think you would be creating unnecessary problems for yourself if you didn’t list the width as 35". I’ve been paddling there for several years and never had anyone measure my canoes. Hopefully we’ll see you out on the water. They are beautiful places to paddle.

Thank you
OK, thanks to you both. And applause for the verse!

Revelant input…
I have no revelant input…

But if I were you; my Escapade would be one of those “custom made”, 35 inch wide Escapades.

Screw the bureaucrats!


$60/permit CWD…jeez that would send
anyone into iambic pentameter(?)…

This thread
Doth much humor in me make.

Some posts
Arent just helpful, they are works of art.