Author Archives: Theaux Le Gardeur

4th of July Weekend Hours

Eastern Brook Trout
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 104 Cfs is 52f and clear until little falls. While the shop will be closed on the 4th, it will be open this Friday and Sunday. The 4th is the last free fishing day in Maryland this year so be sure to take advantage of it. With cooler weather ahead, plan on a BWO’s.The Sulphurs and caddis are a still a good bet try them in the #16-18 range. We’re also seeing a few ants and beetles making their way into the stream. Long leaders are still the trick. Typically as the water drops mid-summer a 10 foot leader in 6x is a good starting point-add some 7x and you’ll be in the game. Think short cast, long drift and you’ll be on the right track. This shot of a native Brookie Josh Reider released just across the border was too pretty to leave archived as it would give even the best fireworks display a run for the money. Have a safe 4th!

Clear and at a Great Flow after Over Three Inches of Rain

Brian on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is clear and low upstream of Little Fall and flowing at 156 Cfs at 58 degrees F. After over three inches of rain fell in the area yesterday, the river is knee deep at Masemore. Caddis and Sulphurs have been present midday through late afternoon. Spinner falls have been quite late in the day, so be sure to have a flashlight or headlamp along if you’re planning on waiting them out. Avoid York Rd access point after 4 PM today as the Hereford Fourth of July Parade festivities will be ramping up through this evening. Patterns that are most effective this time of year are in the #16-18 range-we have plenty of snowshoe rabbit Sulphur patterns in the muffin tins. Long leaders in the 10-12ft length ending in the 6 and 7x are essential to tricking fish. Thanks to Stephen Knott for the great picture of Brian and his quarry. Incidentally, for those that might be lucky enough to call the Gunpowder their home waters, consider that Brian makes several trips a year from Rochester, NY to visit family. When he stops in the shop he is always beaming before heading out to fly fish the Gunpowder for wild brown trout and with good reason. Family and fishing go hand in hand!

Summer Colors

Brook Trout, Tiger Trout and Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River

Sulphur Mayfly Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 63 Cfs, is 49.5 degrees F and gin clear. Quite a number of brookies have been caught this spring. Fish are looking up and taking a mix of caddis, caddis emergers and Sulphurs. Most of these are in the #16 range and we’ve also had a few midges about. We have Sulphur unusuals, “phunny” emergers and para-spinners from Mike Bachkosky in the muffin tins. With the water low and clear long leaders in the 10 to 12ft range ending in 6 or 7X are making a difference- especially in the flats between Bunkerhill and York. Falls road access has been fishing better in the evenings but we’ll need some warmer evening to fish the spinner falls any earlier than almost dark. Thanks to Ryan for the following photos and stream report.

I spoke with you today after fishing with my dad and asked you to identify a trout I caught above Falls Road on the Gunpowder. You said it was a Tiger Trout and you also said I could email you a photo of it to post on your fishing report. Here are the photos of the Brook Trout and the Tiger Trout.

Thanks very much.

Ryan Jack

Brook Trout Gunpowder River
We’ve had a number of folks stop in over the years and ask us why Brook trout are so significant, and maybe what they’re getting at is they want to know why we still see native fish that have never been stocked still surviving in the Gunpowder watershed. The tiger trout Jack caught below is actually a cross of Brown and a Brook trout that naturally occurs in the Gunpowder because both species spawn in the fall.

Tiger Trout Gunpowder River

For those interested here is a statement from MDDNR on Brook Trout for your review.

Brook trout are Maryland’s only native freshwater trout species and have been a popular recreational angling resource since European colonization of North America.

Brook trout require relatively pristine conditions for survival and typically cannot survive when water temperatures exceed 68F. Anthropogenic alterations to Maryland’environment over the last several centuries including clear cutting of forests, establishing large agricultural areas, and urbanization have resulted in the extirpation of brook trout from 62% of their historic habitat in Maryland. Of the remaining 151 streams where brook trout populations are found, over half are in westernmost Garrett County, the least developed area of Maryland.

The vast majority (82%) of the remaining populations are classified as “greatly reduced”, meaning that within the subwatersheds where they occur they occupy only 1% to 10% of the area that was historically inhabited. A major difficulty in managing the brook trout resource is that only 11% of all brook trout streams and stream miles are fully within state lands, the vast majority of habitat is on private land and a mix of private/public lands.

Of the more immediate threats to brook trout populations in Maryland, urbanization is the most serious. In watersheds where human land use exceeds 18% brook trout populations cannot survive. If impervious surface area is greater than 0.5% in a watershed brook trout will typically be extirpated.

For more information please go to the Fisheries Outreach page on Brook Trout

Marc Steiner Show Covers Columbia/NiSource line-mb Project Halted by Court Order

Listen in today, June 4th at 11 AM on or 88.9 FM on O’Malley’s Environmental Record. The Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER interview on the Columbia / NiSource line-MB project with Marc follows…Thanks to Marc for getting the word out on the new public hearing:

An Excerpt from the MDE website follows; or go to the full notice including the Memorandum & Opinion

Applicant:NiSource / Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC
Application Number: 12-NT-0433 / 201261660

Comment Period:June 1, 2015 to July 8, 2015
Public Informational Hearing Details:
Date: Monday, June 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Poster Session
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Public Informational Hearing
Location: Stevenson University, Owings Mills Campus Rockland Center, Banquet Room
100 Campus Circle Owings Mills, MD 21117

BACKGROUND: On April 21, 2014, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issued Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit Number 12-NT-0433/201261660 to NiSource/Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) authorizing Columbia to impact nontidal wetlands, the 25-foot nontidal wetland buffer, streams, and the 100-year floodplain in connection with the Line MB Extension Project (the Permit). Several petitioners filed judicial review actions in circuit court challenging the Department’s decision to issue the Permit. On April 30, 2015, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order remanding the Permit to MDE to take action on three issues: conducting a more extensive public notice process; providing additional documentation that the project would not affect historic properties; and clarifying MDE’s rationale on water quality issues. In accordance with the public notice component of the Order, MDE is issuing this public notice to inform the public of the proposed regulated impacts associated with the Line MB Extension Project, to solicit comments from the public about the work described below, and to announce a public informational hearing. At this time, MDE has not decided whether to reissue the Permit. MDE is evaluating the proposed regulated activities under Title 5, Subtitle 5 (Waterway Construction) and Title 5, Subtitle 9 (Nontidal Wetlands) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. –Ordered by the Circuit Court.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on June 14

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, June 14th, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $125 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School this Sunday June 7th

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, June 7th, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $125 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Caddis and a Few Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River

Wild Brown on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is clear, low at 46 CFs and 52 degrees F. Hendricksons are still about and caddis and a few sulphurs are just starting to show. Patterns to pick up in the muffin tins include #18-22 X-Caddis, Hendricksons in the #14-16 range , #14 Red Quill spinners and sulphur wets in a #16 to #18. Long leaders 10 to 12 feet in the 6x and 7x range will go along way in tricking wild fish. With most of the River in the shin deep to the knee deep range try to limit your wading. The trees have finally leafed out so seek out shaded banks to find fish tight up against woody debris mid-stream. With warmer days ahead, stop in the shop and pick up a pair of hippies to stay dry and cool. Thanks to Guide Kiki Galvan for the great photo and stream report –proof positive that small flies result in beautiful fish on the Gunpowder River.

I was up fishing the Gunpowder on Friday and look what came to the net! It was around 7 pm when I was walking down river and throwing a x-caddis. The only way the fish would hit was to skitter it across current because the whole day the only action I saw was all the egg laying caddis that were hatching. I saw a few Sulphurs and no Hendricksons. Water levels were a bit low and the diddymo is horrible! A solid 18+ Caught it on my 4wt rod and 6x tippet!

Kiss more fish,

Columbia/NiSource line-mb Project Halted by Court Order

Thanks to Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun for covering the recent Baltimore County Circuit Court decision from Judge Justin King to remand the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Wetlands and Waterways Permit for the Columbia/NiSource line-mb extension project. Despite an 8,915 page record of decision that MDE provided the court to defend the permit, the court’s memorandum and opinion was critical of the permit on several important grounds highlighted in the May 5, front page Sun article and the article was also featured on B’More Green blog titled; Court halts stream crossings by natural gas pipeline in Baltimore County .

An excerpt follows:

A Baltimore County judge stopped completion — at least temporarily — of a 21-mile natural gas pipeline through northern Baltimore and Harford counties, declaring that state regulators failed to do enough to protect environmentally sensitive waterways and historic properties in the controversial project’s path.

Circuit Judge Justin J. King ordered the Maryland Department of the Environment to revise the permit it issued last year to Columbia Gas Transmission to lay a 26-inch pipeline from Owings Mills to Fallston. King said state regulators failed to spell out safeguards the company must follow in crossing rivers and streams, making it impossible to tell if the project meets state and federal water-quality regulations.

The judge also said the state didn’t properly notify affected property owners or give them a chance to weigh in on the $180 million project. And he said the agency made only a cursory check for potential impacts to historic dwellings.

The ruling issued late last week was hailed by environmentalists, who said regulators glossed over how the pipeline would affect the 81 rivers and streams it’s expected to traverse, many of them sources of the Baltimore region’s drinking water and some havens for pollution-sensitive trout.

“It will eventually have MDE and Columbia go back through and make this permit more protective of the waterway resources we’re advocating for,” said Theaux M. Le Gardeur, the Gunpowder Riverkeeper and one of the project opponents who took the case to court. “I can’t really tell folks where the pipeline should go, but if they do put it in, they should put it in in the right way.”

The company sued dozens of Baltimore and Harford county property owners last year, invoking eminent domain so it could do pipeline work on more than 400 acres after failing to reach agreements with the owners on access to their land and compensation for the disturbance.

To date, the pipeline has been laid from Fallston to the eastern edge of Oregon Ridge Park near Shawan and Beaver Dam roads, LeGardeur said, with one of the most pristine streams in the state next to be crossed. Advocates for the 1,000-acre county park had complained that the pipeline will destroy a swath of mature forest, disrupt wildlife and possibly degrade a popular swimming lake.

We cannot continue this challenging work without support from you. Please support Gunpowder Riverkeeper by joining the 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a tax-deductible charitable contribution!

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FERC Public Scoping meeting on Columbia MB-Line Project begs many Questions while Providing few Answers about Potential Water Quality Impacts

Hendricksons on the Gunpowder River

Winston and a Hendrickson The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 75CFs and is 56F. Thanks to Mike Colegrove for this great shot of a Hendrickson on his “Gunpowder Special”-If you’re an early riser, Caddis in the #16-18 range are a safe bet-especially x-caddis. We’ve also been swinging unweighted pheasant tails in the #12-14 range. By Mid-morning we’ve been fishing light Hendricksons in either a #14 or #16. Switching over to the dark Hendricksons after lunch will keep you in the game. Try a rusty spinner through the late afternoon and into the evening. Shad are in the lower Gunpowder and Deer Creek ad we have lots of fly rod darts tied locally in Bel Air, MD from Eric Snyder in the muffin tins.