Dam removal introces trout into stream
Raven Rock Dam. Photo by Jim Thompson, MD DNR
Raven Rock Dam. Photo by

In Washington County, Maryland, near the City of Hagerstown, a cement and mortar dam formed a barrier to fish passage, preventing fish from moving upstream to spawn. No longer in use, the dam was removed on September 25, 2007.

This dam removal will finally reconnect an isolated population of native brook trout in 5 miles of Raven Rock Creek to more than 20 miles of habitat downstream in Antietam Creek. This fish passage project will also restore stream habitats to other resident fish species. In addition to restoring fish habitat, the removal will reduce thermal pollution by restoring natural water flow.

Removing Raven Rock Dam. Photo by Jim Thompson, MD DNR

Much of the concrete removed was used to fill in a scour hole on one side of the dam and the soil that had accumulated behind the dam was used to cover this rubble. This area will then be seeded with native vegetation.

Rock structures will be used to pool a little water so that the town can still draw drinking water from the creek in emergency situations. Rocks will also be used to provide steps for the brook trout to move up and down stream.

The Raven Rock dam removal is a result of the partnership of the City of Hagerstown, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, Chesapeake Bay Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about dam removals, contact:
Dave Sutherland
Chesapeake Bay Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
177 Admiral Cochrane Drive
Annapolis MD 21401