Owing to spillover, the Gunpowder River is high at 398 Cfs and is 61.5 degrees F. Reasonable, safe wading on the river typically occurs under the 225 CFs mark so watch the Falls Rd USGS Gauge in the sidebar of this site leading up to the weekend and this week give the River, the fish and your legs a rest for a while.
Thanks To Sean for the great stream report and photos from his Spring Forays.
Hey guys.. going to give the stream report a go. I spend enough time on the Gunpowder Watershed drainage… been writing some stuff down recently. This time of year, last 2 weeks in April to the middle of May, is up there for me as being one of my favorite times within the Gunpowder River drainage. Whether it be above the reservoir or below, there is a lot of activity continually moving and growing. On land and in water. This week I concentrated on the Falls portion in the catch and release area. Mayflies are waxing and waning, caddis are getting more consistent and ants are all along on land, hopefully making their way in the water to the fish. The hendrickson hatch has given way to the epic sulphur hatches that we saw last year. The forecast seems great on that front. Last spring and summer we saw some of the more prolific sulphur hatches and especially spinner falls. I suppose the higher water levels created optimal conditions for our iconic mayfly. Im assuming 2019 will be much of the same as our water levels have been now consistently higher.
Streamers, swinging wets/ soft hackles were the way to go on overcast days. However, my best fish this week came in full sun on a small streamer pattern with a really long leader. I have been fishing small weighted streamers on a floating line with a 9 to 10 foot leader, casting directly at and around structure. On the warmest days and in full sun I found some shade and was euro nymphing while letting the presentation turn into a swing before I reset my position to cast. On the swing, as the flies lift toward the surface, the fish down deeper have been giving chase. Sulphur dries in 14 and 18 sizes accounted for fish during the hatches. I fish in the afternoons, so my observations pertain to this time period. But a good presentation, no matter subsurface or on top will net fish.
On a side note for all the birding enthusiasts, this week as like clockwork, has brought the migrating songbirds that make the Gunpowder River their home. During your angling endeavors, pay attention to the prairie warblers passing through and listen for the wood thrushes that have appeared this week. I pay attention to certain birds on the river, with some practice they will hint to you that bugs may be lifting off the water. Fish ON!
Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday May the 11th 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 – 2:00pm. 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.
Want to give back this Earth Day?
Jump over to the Gunpowder Riverkeeper Website to check out the Earth Day Cleanup!
Tax man got you down? Shake off all that math on the Gunpowder River in our turn-key fly fishing schools. Whether you are from D.C., Northern VA, or South Central PA-find out what folks in the Baltimore Metro area already know-the Gunpowder is likely the closest wild trout stream to your doorstep. If you can catch fish here you can catch them anywhere! We have still two openings each in our 11 AM fly fishing schools for April 14th and April 20th. Call us at 410-967-3526 to reserve a little bit of tranquility and learn a lifetime sport! Participants will need a freshwater license and a trout stamp that can be purchased at the shop the day of the school. Here is a shot of Alex McCrickard fly fishing the boulder pools.
The Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship for the Gunpowder River 2019 Criteria and Application Guidelines
What the award is: The Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship is a gift that was established by Terry Newendorp, an avid fisherman and conservationist who with generosity and foresight knew that “protection of the Gunpowder River had to come from future generations.”
Founded in 2018, the Award’s purpose is to assist college-bound high school seniors who excel in their studies and who plan to use their talents and expertise in the service of environmental protection. Each year, one winner will be chosen from among the current year’s graduating class. The award will provide $1,000 towards college costs for students with strong connections to the Gunpowder River Watershed.
Eligibility: Students must reside within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and have a clear connection to the Gunpowder River Watershed. Qualifying connection examples include: A connection to drinking water or recreational, aesthetic, and/or environmental attributes of the Gunpowder River Watershed.
In addition to the above restriction, all applicants must:
a. Plan to major or minor in one of the natural sciences or other appropriate subject, and;
b. Demonstrate a strong personal commitment to protecting the Gunpowder Watershed.
The application procedure: The application must be submitted by the student.
A complete application will include all of the following:
1. The student’s name and complete contact information including phone and e-mail.
2. The name of the school and complete faculty contact information.
3. A short essay (450 words total) written by the student answering all three of the following questions: 1) why the Gunpowder Watershed matters to you; 2. how conservation fits into your future career goals; and 3. what you plan to study in college and why.
4. A copy of the student’s current high school transcripts.
5. A letter of recommendation from a student’s guidance counselor or science teacher.
6. A description of the student’s extracurricular activities regarding environmental / conservation issues (e.g. Environmental Club membership, Scouting merit badges & awards, participation in local conservation efforts, membership in environmental organizations, applicable hobbies, etc.)
Disbursement: In order for the scholarship to be disbursed, the student must have been accepted by an accredited college or university for the Fall 2019 Semester and provide a copy of the letter of acceptance from the college or university where the nominee will be attending to Gunpowder Riverkeeper.
All applications may be accepted between November 15, 2018 and must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2019 and mailed to:
Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship
C/O Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER ™
PO Box 156
Monkton, MD 21111
For questions regarding the scholarship application please contact Theaux Le Gardeur, Gunpowder Riverkeeper at email@example.com
The decision-making process: A panel comprised of Gunpowder Riverkeeper Director, Trustees, and Board Members will review all applications. The winners of this year’s Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship will be chosen no later than May 1, 2019; and the award presented no later than May 30, 2019. If possible, the award will be presented publicly at the school’s annual awards event.
Award Recipient’s Opportunity: For a period of two years after the award a student may take part in an unpaid internship with the Gunpowder Riverkeeper.
Need to fine tune your streamer fishing techniques? Please join us on Sunday March 3 for a streamer clinic with a Backwater Angler Guide on the Gunpowder river. This course will cover gear selection (suitable rods), leader selection and construction, knots, fly selection and their imitations, casting mechanics (casting heavy lines/flies, shooting line) and multiple presentation scenarios and techniques (streamer retrieves and dead drifting). Class is 2 hours long and starts at 2pm. Cost is $100 per person. 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 clinic. Class size is limited to 3 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.
Join us for a nymphing clinic on the Gunpowder river on Sunday, March 3. Even in the worst of conditions, having the ability to nymph effectively can help you bring fish to the net 365 days a year. There is an abundance of literature and theories on nymphing that can be bewildering to anyone deciding to invest time in this. In this clinic a Backwater Angler guide will break down the main techniques on the river that will give you the confidence to catch fish subsurface consistently. This will cover tight lining (euro nymphing) methods, indicator fishing, rig/leader set up, gear and fly selection. Cost is $150 dollars per angler. The clinic is 3 hours long and starts at 10 AM. Group size is limited to 3 anglers per session. Call the shop at 410 357 9557 to reserve a place.
Streamer fishing in Maryland? These beauties including Near Nuff Sculpins, Supper Buggers, Baby Gongas and Slump Busters are ready for a swim! The Gunpowder River is at a steady 245 Cfs and warming to right at 40 degrees. Bring along a sink-tip and some studs and focus on the wood and any jams that you can find. Limit your wading watch those muddy banks-especially while getting in and out and enjoy sunshine and milder weather while it lasts…
Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! We could not have been successful without your generous support. Our work links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Riverkeeper respects the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. Clean water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all.
Unfortunately, we are faced with many environmental threats that harm people’s ability to enjoy the River. The organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems and represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed.
We are asking for your support again in 2019 to address these environmental threats:
In the upper Gunpowder, we are reviewing a consent decree between the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Carroll County Bureau of Utilities Hampstead Waste Water Treatment. Riverkeeper is asking for a Special Environmental Project and fines covering violations of the plant’s discharge permit. Meaningful enforcement will mitigate the harm to Piney Run and downstream waterways from excess Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Bacteria.
In the upper Gunpowder River we also tracked violations of the state temperature standard of 68 Degrees in the Gunpowder River that is protective of coldwater habitat for trout and insects. Spillover this year from Pretty Boy Dam resulted in water temperatures at Falls Rd in the Gorge section as high as 77 Degrees Fahrenheit.
In the lower Gunpowder River, we are tracking complaints from waterfront property owners that have reported high bacteria counts and foul smelling odors in the Joppatowne area. We will undertake a compliance sweep of permitted facilities to find the source(s) of bacteria and take appropriate action to protect the tidal Gunpowder.
A few highlights of our work in 2018 include:
Our settlement between MDE and Carroll County for the Hampstead Waste Water Treatment plant addressed upstream water quality for trout in Piney Run and downstream water quality for 1.5 million metro area residents. The agreement included an accelerated 12 million dollar upgrade of facilities, four years of sampling upstream and downstream of the plant and a programmatic change to MDE permitting procedure that increases transparency related to discharge permit violations from municipally owned Waste Water Treatment Plants statewide.
We saw the closure of the C.P. Crane Powerplant’s coal-fired powerplant after pressuring MDE for stronger permit conditions. The plant has been polluting waters of the state since 1961. It has burned 950,000 tons of coal per year, emitting 2.2 million tons of Carbon Dioxide, discharged up to 271 million gallons of water a day and 170,000 gallons of toxic wet fly ash every two years. The waste stream also included total suspended solids 17 times greater than the Bay pollution diet for the entire Middle River segment.
Additionally, the closure of the coal power generation operation will remove tens of thousands of pounds of pollutants including the following pollutants and pervasive metals:
Sulfate 37,852,470 pounds per year
Bromide 677,707 pounds per year
Aluminum 157, 029 pounds per year
Arsenic 22, 000 pounds per year
Copper 27,000 pounds per year
Selenium 55,000 pounds per year
The Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship is a gift that was established by Terry Newendorp, an avid fisherman and conservationist who with generosity and foresight knew that; “protection of the Gunpowder River had to come from future generations.” Founded in 2018, the Award’s purpose is to assist college-bound high school seniors who excel in their studies and who plan to use their talents and expertise in the service of environmental protection. Each year, one winner will be chosen from among the current year’s graduating class. The award will provide $1,000 towards college costs for students with strong connections to the Gunpowder River Watershed.
The Gunpowder supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.8 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs. Additionally water touches all of our lives-our brains are 75% water! Riverkeeper protects drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.
We need your financial support to keep the River protected now and in the future. Please consider a year-end donation of support to amplify our outreach and advocacy. You may donate at: http://www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org/#support or by sending a check to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111
Thank you for your support,
Theaux M. Le Gardeur
GRK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit categorized by the IRS under Natural Resource Conservation and Protection. Your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the current financial statement of GRK is available by writing P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111 or calling 410-967-3526. Documents submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from: The MD Sec. of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401 (410) 974-5534