On the Wild Side!
E-Newsletter for the Chesapeake Bay Field Office


Dam Removal Will Open Brook Trout Stream in Frederick County, Maryland

Top, Clifford dam. Bottom, Clifford Dam coming down. Photos by Conor Bell, USFWS.
Top, Clifford dam. Bottom, Clifford Dam coming down

The Clifford Branch dam was constructed originally to provide a source of drinking water for the City of Frederick. Although the facility no longer actively withdraws water, the dam is currently intact and still constricts and alters water levels and is a barrier to fish passage.

This restoration project will remove the dam, remove/replace the inlet structure and return the adjacent stream to a stable, self-maintaining state by the use of Natural Channel Design techniques.

Removing the dam will open approximately 3 miles of habitat for brook trout, other resident fish and local aquatic wildlife. Brook trout, the only native trout in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, are a prized game fish, especially for fly fishers.

Although highly valued as a recreational fish, brook trout are also very significant biologically. Since they require pristine, stable waterways, brook trout are indicators of good stream quality. 

Partners include: Potomac Conservancy, City of Frederick, Frederick County, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office.


Funding for this project was provided by grants from FishAmerica Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Trust.

For more information contact:
Ben Hutzell


Last updated: September 28, 2012