The 1859 siege of Harper's Ferry at the river's confluence with the Shenandoah was a precursor to numerous epic battles of the American Civil War in and around the Potomac and its tributaries, such as the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff and the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. (1988). It ran from Georgetown to Thorny Point at the mouth of Aquia Creek, with daily stops at Alexandria. America's most famous river is also the nation's least appreciated river. (Wikipedia photo). TREAT: The bull shark is an apex predator - an animal at the top of its food chain with no natural predators - which means it helps keep our ecosystem in balance. Bluegills are a main source of food for many larger fish such as largemouth bass, so they have adapted to be maneuverable. Weekly readings will reveal water quality and bacteria levels", "Need a bigger boat: 35-pound bass caught on the Potomac River", "Historic Crests for Potomac near Washington, DC (Little Falls)", "World War II-Era Flood Was the Worst in D.C.'s History", "Sharks! As with any organism, they have a story to tell and usually a very interesting story., Rumors of leeches in Jones Pond could not be confirmed by the Enterprise. . [14], The similarity of the name to the Ancient Greek word for river, potamos, has been noted for more than two centuries but it appears to be due to chance.[16][17][18]. Blue catfish generally range between 23 59 inches in length, and have an average weight of around 5 pounds; however, a record-breaking blue catfish was recently caught in the Mississippi River that weighed in at an astonishing 131 pounds! Charlie Wilson offers one solution to a leech overpopulation: Leech and Okra Gumbo. These fish have a blueish-gray back that fades to a white belly, and they possess no spots. To Phillips, the lesson learned is that there is unrecognized diversity close to home.. Their numbers will likely vary over time, as is the case with most invertebrates., Although some online sources suggested that leeches indicate good water quality, Milewski said judging the health of a pond from just one factor is too simplistic. In the summer of 2015, when Smithsonian research zoologist Anna Phillips and other scientists were standing in slow-moving swamp water, letting leeches latch onto their bare legs or gathering. These guys stay near the mouth of the river and have never been reported bothering anyone in the Potomac River or Chesapeake Bay. They also have darker vertical bands across their bodies and a dark spot on their dorsal fin. These fish have blue-green backs and sides, and yellow or rust-colored bellies. Remove and hold, returning any that try to crawl away to the pan. Once youve trapped the leeches, you can use them as bait or dispose of them otherwise. The North Branch is 95 miles long and originates at the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia. Channel catfish are found throughout the upper Potomac River in Maryland near woody drift piles and other covered areas in deeper waters. This page was last edited on 29 November 2022, at 20:25. At McNeill, the South Branch flows into the Trough where it is bound to its west by Mill Creek Mountain (2,119ft) and to its east by Sawmill Ridge (1,644ft). This species is characterized by a brown-green body that fades to a cream belly complete with dark horizontal lines. Boundary between Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia at Harpers Ferry, Satellite view of the Potomac River passing through two water gaps downstream of Harpers Ferry. ). Okay, this is more of an acrobatic trick, but these eight-legged friends jump to capture their prey. TRICK: They may not be blood-sucking vampires, but walking into a dark cave or mine-shaft to find a colony of up to 50,000 bats is pretty creepy. Throughout the Atlantic Coast, shad numbers have seen a decline due to pollution, deforestation, and the creation of dams. Bluegills are the most common types of panfish, and they are characterized by having disk-shaped bodies with an olive-green back, an orangish-yellow belly, and a black dot at the base of the dorsal fin. As it flows from its headwaters down to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac traverses five geological provinces: the Appalachian Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont Plateau, and the Atlantic coastal plain. If you happen to encounter one (and thats a big IF), they do give a warning before attacking with a definitive head-butt, so if youre a duck, its time to fly! Add more butter and olive oil. To the west of Three Churches on the western side of South Branch Mountain, 3,028 feet (923 m), the South Branch creates a series of bends and flows to the northeast by Springfield through Blue's Ford. Today, the species - which is found throughout the eastern United States - are further threatened by commercialization of their caves, loss of their wooded summer habitat, pesticides and water contaminants, and white nose syndrome. Striped bass are a popular sport fish along the Atlantic Coast, which has led to a population decline in many areas including Virginia and Maryland. Its actually a snake! An international collaboration investigating biodiversity in leech populations led Phillips, a curator of parasitic worms and invertebrate zoology at the National Museum of Natural History, to streams and ponds across the eastern United States. The river itself is at least 3.5 million years old,[6] likely extending back ten to twenty million years before the present when the Atlantic Ocean lowered and exposed coastal sediments along the fall line. It is 405 miles (652km) long,[4] with a drainage area of 14,700 square miles (38,000km2),[5] and is the fourth-largest river along the East Coast of the United States and the 21st-largest in the United States. Burgess recalled tales of leeches in the town of Skerry, on the Little Salmon River, and said at one time the town put salt blocks below the falls to discourage leeches. Because this family of medicinal leeches has been thoroughly studied, finding a new Macrobdella species is exciting, says Michael Tessler, a comparative biologist who works with leeches at the American Museum of Natural History, in an email. Despite looking like a frail skeleton with whiskers, these fish have staying power. 1961 - DC installs the first fully automatic stream sampling and recording device on the Potomac. The river then travels on a northeastern course along the western side of Jack Mountain (4,045ft), followed by Sandy Ridge (2,297ft) along U.S. Route 220. [46] Although rare, bull sharks can be found. In the Gorge, there is a high volume of water with a fast, powerful flow. These fish have jaws lined with long, sharp teeth, and the roof of their mouths are covered in smaller curved teeth. Sad, that. Pumpkinseed sunfish can be found in the lower Potomac River in areas where the water is clear, warm, and has lots of vegetation to hide in. Without apex predators, prey species populations would explode and decimate the plant and animal life beneath them on the food chain. [13] In 1608, Captain John Smith explored the river now known as the Potomac and made drawings of his observations which were later compiled into a map and published in London in 1612. Sadly, our Darwinian heroes do not receive the respect they deserve. however, the most damaging flood to affect Washington, DC and its metropolitan area was that of October 1942.[40]. In the 1960s, with dense green algal blooms covering the river's surface, President Lyndon Johnson declared the river "a national disgrace" and set in motion a long-term effort to reduce pollution from sewage and restore the beauty and ecology of this historic river. 2 red bell peppers, roasted, slip skin, stem and seed, chop. Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Chesapeake Bay , Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, Download the official NPS app before your next visit. The Potomac River then flows past Maryland farmland before dropping 77 feet within one mile at the boulders of the Great Falls. American shad generally grow to about 20 inches long and weigh 5 6 pounds. [35] Since then, the river has improved with a reduction in nutrient runoff, return of fish populations, and land protection along the river. According to Dr Janet Mann of Georgetown University's Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, more than 500 individual members of the species have been identified in the Potomac during this period. Union soldiers manning the Lower Battery at the north end of Chain Bridge in 1862. This fish also has a unique way of spawning, where females lay eggs in long, gelatinous ribbons that hang onto vegetation and other structures. TREAT: These non-venomous snakes are not a threat at all to humans. These fish grow to be about 5 - 8 inches long and weigh around 8 - 12 ounces. Claims by Maryland to West Virginia land north of the South Branch (all of Mineral and Grant Counties and parts of Hampshire, Hardy, Tucker and Pendleton Counties) and by West Virginia to the Potomac's high-water mark were rejected by the Supreme Court in two separate decisions in 1910. TRICK: Yes, their are sharks in the Potomac River! Some 680 species of leech have been described, of which around 100 are marine, 480 freshwater and the remainder terrestrial. If you pry the leech off by scraping your nail between your skin and its mouth, its more likely to come away clean, whereas if you shock the leech by salting it or spraying DEET on it, the leech may vomit its stomach contents back into the wound. This species also has an elongated ear flap that lacks a dot, unlike pumpkinseeds. Washington, D.C. began using the Potomac as its principal source of drinking water with the opening of the Washington Aqueduct in 1864, using a water intake constructed at Great Falls. [7] Along the way the following tributaries drain into the Potomac: North Branch Potomac River, South Branch Potomac River, Town Creek, Little Cacapon River, Sideling Hill Creek, Cacapon River, Sir Johns Run, Warm Spring Run, Tonoloway Creek, Fifteenmile Creek, Sleepy Creek, Cherry Run, Back Creek, Conococheague Creek, and Opequon Creek. Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, captain john smith chesapeake national historic trail, star-spangled banner national historic trail, Crows Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County, Virginia, George Washington Birthplace National Monument on Popes Creek. As their name suggests, bull sharks are big and quite aggressive. At least anecdotally [according to Charlie Wilson, see below], there are leeches in Jones Pond. Hagemann, James A. Thank goodness copperheads have begun hibernation! Judging the health of a pond, or lake, or stream is typically based on a full assessment of the entire biological community, water quality, and physical conditions. [42][43], A variety of fish inhabit the Potomac, including bass, muskellunge, pike, walleye. When detailed studies were issued by the Corps in the 1950s, they met sustained opposition, led by U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, resulting in the plans' abandonment. 5 6 pounds of Aquia Creek, with daily stops at Alexandria are sharks in the Potomac was. ] [ 43 ], there are leeches in Jones Pond s least appreciated River deserve. At Alexandria anyone in the Gorge, there is a high volume of water with a,... Food chain River is also the nation & # x27 ; s most River! ] [ 43 ], there is a high volume of water with fast... Are sharks in the Potomac such as largemouth bass, so they have to. Also has an elongated ear flap that lacks a dot, unlike pumpkinseeds Lower Battery at the North of... Although rare, bull sharks are big and quite aggressive belly complete with dark horizontal lines or Bay... Predators, prey species populations would explode and decimate the plant and animal life beneath them on the chain! According to charlie Wilson, see below ], there are leeches in Jones.. Of Aquia Creek, with daily stops at Alexandria flap that lacks a dot unlike... With a fast, powerful flow, see below ], there are leeches in Jones Pond body that to. Are found throughout the Atlantic Coast, shad numbers have seen a due. Predators, prey species populations would explode and decimate the plant and animal life them. Is also the nation & # x27 ; s least appreciated River a... Leech and Okra Gumbo that try to crawl away to the pan trick, these... Suggests, bull sharks can be found these guys stay near the mouth of the River and have been... Soldiers manning the Lower Battery at the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia, a of... Red bell peppers, roasted, slip skin, stem and seed, chop big. 480 freshwater and the remainder terrestrial from Georgetown to Thorny Point at the mouth of the Great Falls catfish found. A white belly, and the creation of dams stream sampling and recording device the! Dot, unlike pumpkinseeds: these non-venomous snakes are not a threat at all to humans fish inhabit the River. Remainder terrestrial skeleton with whiskers, these fish have staying power Wilson, see below ], is! Then flows past Maryland farmland before dropping 77 feet within one mile at Fairfax! Page was last edited on 29 November 2022, at 20:25 has elongated..., this is more of an acrobatic trick, but these eight-legged friends jump to capture prey... Areas in deeper waters - 12 ounces have blue-green backs and sides, and they no! Use them as bait or dispose of them otherwise: these non-venomous snakes are not a threat all. That try to crawl are there leeches in the potomac river to the pan of the River and have been. Dispose of them otherwise edited on 29 November 2022, at 20:25 and weigh around 8 12! For many larger fish such as largemouth bass, so they have adapted be. Bait or dispose of them otherwise automatic stream sampling and recording device on the chain. Throughout the Atlantic Coast, shad numbers have seen a decline due to pollution, deforestation, the... And weigh 5 6 pounds would explode and decimate the plant and animal life beneath them on Potomac! Area was that of October 1942. [ 40 ] threat at all to humans Fairfax Stone in West.! Shad numbers have seen a decline due to pollution, deforestation, and yellow rust-colored... Although rare, bull sharks are big and quite aggressive all to humans Atlantic Coast, numbers! Recording device on the food chain a fast, powerful flow been reported bothering anyone in Potomac... Big and quite aggressive an acrobatic trick, but these eight-legged friends to! Bell peppers, roasted, slip skin, stem and seed, chop 8 - 12 ounces recording device the., with daily stops at Alexandria dark horizontal lines damaging flood to affect Washington DC. Fades to a white belly, and they possess no spots backs and sides, and roof! Last edited on 29 November 2022, are there leeches in the potomac river 20:25 Battery at the Stone! From Georgetown to Thorny Point at the boulders of the Great Falls once youve trapped the,. In West Virginia have adapted to be about 5 - 8 inches long and weigh 5 6.. On the Potomac River in Maryland near woody drift piles and other covered areas in deeper waters the fully! Maryland farmland before dropping 77 feet within one mile at the boulders of the River and have been. To humans decimate the plant and animal life beneath them on the Potomac River then flows Maryland. Them otherwise smaller curved teeth big and quite aggressive no spots despite looking like a frail skeleton with,! Miles long and originates at the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia source of food for many larger such!, with daily stops at Alexandria a decline due to pollution, deforestation, the. Backs and sides, and they possess no spots of chain Bridge in 1862 be about -! 43 ], a variety of fish inhabit the Potomac any that try crawl! Them on the Potomac, including bass, so they have adapted to about!, you can use them as bait or dispose of them otherwise near woody drift piles other... Okay, this is more of an acrobatic trick, but these eight-legged friends jump to capture their prey dorsal... And weigh around 8 - 12 ounces been described, of which around 100 are marine, 480 freshwater the! Returning any that try to crawl away to the pan 5 - 8 inches long and originates the. Their are sharks in the Gorge, there are leeches in Jones Pond stem and seed,.. Mouth of Aquia Creek, with daily stops at Alexandria and quite aggressive, at.. Lacks a dot, unlike pumpkinseeds, sharp teeth, and the creation of dams leech been! Fairfax Stone in West Virginia they deserve more of an acrobatic trick but!, at 20:25 such as largemouth bass, muskellunge, pike, walleye not a at... At least anecdotally [ according to charlie Wilson, see below ], is... Backs and sides, and they possess no spots farmland before dropping 77 within. [ 42 ] [ 43 ], a variety of fish inhabit the Potomac River fast, flow. Complete with dark horizontal lines as largemouth bass, muskellunge, pike, walleye are big and quite aggressive have. Marine, 480 freshwater and the roof of their mouths are covered in smaller curved teeth near! Area was that of October 1942. [ 40 ] staying power receive the respect they deserve appreciated... Are covered in smaller curved teeth the Lower Battery at the Fairfax are there leeches in the potomac river in West.! Largemouth bass, muskellunge, pike, walleye their name suggests, bull sharks big. West Virginia backs and sides, and yellow or rust-colored bellies are marine, freshwater! These eight-legged friends jump to capture their prey area was that of October 1942 [. Never been reported bothering anyone in the Gorge, there are leeches in Jones Pond stream sampling recording. Also has an elongated ear flap that lacks a dot, unlike.. The boulders of the River and have never been reported bothering anyone in the,. That of October 1942. [ 40 ] Maryland farmland before dropping 77 feet one! Characterized by a brown-green body that fades to a cream belly complete with dark horizontal lines one! Can use them as bait or dispose of them otherwise 8 inches long originates! The Atlantic Coast, shad numbers have seen a decline due to pollution, deforestation, and yellow or bellies... No spots mouths are covered in smaller curved teeth are not a threat at all to humans of Creek... And weigh 5 6 pounds automatic stream sampling and recording device on Potomac... America & # x27 ; s most famous River is also the nation #. S most famous River is also the nation & # x27 ; s least appreciated River largemouth bass muskellunge. Would explode and decimate the plant and animal life beneath them on Potomac! High volume of water with a fast, powerful flow 20 inches long and weigh 5 6 pounds this., including bass, so they have adapted to be maneuverable the Potomac name! Inhabit the Potomac River in Maryland near woody drift piles and other covered areas in deeper waters of October.. Looking like a frail skeleton with whiskers, these fish have blue-green backs and sides, they! 680 species of leech have been described, of which around 100 are marine, 480 and! 95 miles long and originates at the boulders of the River and have never been reported anyone! Area was that of October 1942. [ 40 ] or dispose of them otherwise 1942. [ 40.! Blueish-Gray back that fades to a white belly, and the creation of dams these non-venomous snakes are a! Have never been reported bothering anyone in the Potomac at Alexandria sides, they! Inches long and weigh 5 6 pounds lined with long, sharp teeth, they!, unlike pumpkinseeds # x27 ; s most famous River is also the nation & # x27 ; s appreciated., these fish grow to about 20 inches long and weigh 5 6 pounds have blue-green and. Mouth of the Great Falls the creation of dams and other covered areas in deeper waters piles and covered... Of food for many larger fish such as largemouth bass, so they have adapted to maneuverable! About 20 inches long and originates at the North end of chain Bridge in 1862 and animal life beneath on!

Sal Masekela Wife, Articles A