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Blackwater River Habitat RestorationCatch in the Blackwater River

The headwaters of the Blackwater River once supported spawning populations of herring, white perch, yellow perch, and other freshwater species. Stewart's Canal, created in the early 1800's for timber transport, artificially connected the brackish waters of the Little Choptank River via Parsons Creek to what was historically the the freshwater headwaters of the Blackwater River on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and partners recently constructed a weir to block saltwater being conveyed from the Little Choptank River via the canal. This project will likely restore migratory fish populations to freshwater spawning habitat on the Blackwater River.

Following construction of a weir system to block saltwater being conveyed through Stewart's Canal into the headwaters of the Blackwater River, fish populations and water quality were monitored in the Blackwater River and a control, the Little Blackwater River. The Maryland Fisheries Resource Office (MFRO) surveyed three sites monthly to monitor species composition, and weekly during the anadromous fish spawning season. MFRO will continue monitoring to determine if the newly constructed weir system is successful in excluding saltwater from the headwater of the Blackwater River.

Last updated: January 30, 2013
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