Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Bill to lower Deep Creek Lake heads to House

Deep Creek Lake, nestled in the heart of Maryland, has long been a focal point for recreation, tourism, and environmental stewardship. However, a recent proposal has stirred up significant debate and concern among stakeholders. Senate Bill 837, slated for a hearing in the Maryland House, seeks to lower Deep Creek Lake periodically over a four-year period during winter months. The aim? To study the impacts of reduced water levels on aquatic vegetation and sedimentation.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike McKay, emphasizes the importance of managing nuisance aquatic vegetation and excess sediment, citing them as key goals outlined in the 2016 Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan. Proponents of the bill argue that lowering the lake levels during colder months could naturally “burn out” problem vegetation without resorting to chemical treatments. They also suggest potential benefits such as improved recreational activities like swimming and easier boat access to the lake’s coves.

However, opposition to the bill is robust, particularly from stakeholders like Brookfield Renewable US, which operates the dam at Deep Creek Lake. Prusha Hasan, the manager of state policy at Brookfield, raises concerns about the potential negative impacts on their operations, including carbon-free power generation, local tax revenues, and recreational opportunities. Dustin Droege, Brookfield’s Director of Operations, further warns that the bill could disrupt downstream uses of the water with little positive impact on the lake itself.

Local voices also weigh in on the matter. Friendsville Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle highlights the importance of whitewater releases for his town’s economy, urging legislators to vote against the bill. Jess Whittemore, a resident and former councilman of Friendsville, expresses skepticism about the bill’s motivations, suggesting that it circumvents proper channels of oversight.

The debate surrounding Senate Bill 837 underscores the complex interplay between environmental conservation, economic interests, and community well-being. As Maryland lawmakers prepare to weigh the merits and drawbacks of the proposed legislation, the future of Deep Creek Lake hangs in the balance.

In conclusion, the fate of Deep Creek Lake rests on the outcome of this legislative battle. Whether the bill passes or not, one thing remains clear: finding a balance between environmental preservation and economic vitality is no easy task, but it’s one that must be tackled with careful consideration and collaboration among all stakeholders involved.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.