Dam removal opens up creek and restores wetland
Puckum Branch before dam removal. USFWS photo
Puckum Branch before dam removal

The Chesapeake Bay Field Office in cooperation with Maryland Department of Natural Resources removed an earthen dam on Puckum Branch in Dorchester County, Maryland. 

The removal of the dam and restoration of the adjacent stream channel opened up approximately 4.5 miles of stream channel for fish passage. 

The dam was removed and a natural channel design was used to create a stable stream channel. Soil lifts along with brush layering of native shrubs stabilized the bank and the former dam area was planted with cuttings of native shrubs. 

Puckum Branch with restored wetland. USFWS photo
Puckum Branch with restored sreamside habitat.

The opened stream will provide vital spawning and rearing habitat for resident and migratory fish including American eel, American shad, hickory shad, striped bass, alewife, blueback herring, as well as white perch and yellow perch.

Immediately adjacent to the project area, the tidal hydrology was restored to approximately 4 acres of freshwater emergent tidal wetlands in the former backwater of the dam. 

The restored wetland will provide habitat for songbirds like prothonotary warblers and wood thrushes, for marsh birds like seaside sparrows, black rails, and sedge wrens and for waterfowl such as tundra swans, Canada geese, ruddy ducks, American black ducks, wood ducks, gadwalls, and American wigeons.

For more information about this project, contact
Mark Secrist
Chesapeake Bay Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
177 Admiral Cochrane Drive
Annapolis MD 21401
410.573.4551

Mark_secrist@fws.gov

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