Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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Chesapeake Bay Field Office Co-Presents at Maryland Seminar Series
Northeast Region, April 14, 2011
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Anacostia River watershed, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Anacostia River watershed, Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Photo Credit: n/a
Brown trout in the Good Hope tributary, USFWS
Brown trout in the Good Hope tributary, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

Chesapeake Bay Field Office biologists Mitch Keiler and Susan Frey joined Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) fisheries biologist Charlie Gougeon in presenting "Mitigating the Effects of Urbanization on a Naturalized Population of Brown Trout" to a variety of resources professionals. The presentation, on April 14, 2011, was part of the MD DNR Monitoring and Non-tidal Assessment Division's MANTA Seminar Series.

Paint Branch, a tributary of the Anacostia River, supports brown trout introduced in 1929. 


Brown trout have not been restocked there since 1938, when the population became self-sustaining. During the last 50 years, development pressures have increased impervious land cover in the watershed above thresholds associated with sustainable trout fisheries. As impervious cover increased, the brown trout population steadily declined. Additionally, Maryland's largest highway construction project crosses the Good Hope tributary, the most productive spawning area for brown trout in the watershed. 


Considerable effort is being expended by local governments, NGOs, and state agencies to protect the Paint Branch watershed through zoning restrictions, land preservation, and storm water retrofits. As part of the compensatory mitigation and environmental stewardship projects required for impacts associated with the Maryland State Highway Administration's Intercounty Connector (ICC) project, numerous urban Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being implemented. 


Good Hope tributary, proposed BMPs, and impervious surfaces were studied for their effectiveness in preserving or enhancing habitat needed to sustain brown trout. Three categories of BMPs are being used: urban water quality, storm water management, and stream channel restoration. This study, focusing on spawning habitat for brown trout, benefited from the long term, pre-disturbance data on stream morphology, water quality, and benthic macroinvertebrate communities collected by the ICC study team. Analysis shows that, while water quality parameters may be improved, the long term adjustments to the stream's morphology and sediment transport are minimal. These relationships have an immediate effect upon the future of consistent and successful brown trout spawning in the Paint Branch watershed.


For more information contact:                                                                                                           

Mitch Keiler




Susan Frey




Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov
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