Potomac Riverwatch: June 23 - 29, 2012
RIVER CONDITIONS THIS WEEK
The weekend weather will be sunny and warm throughout much of the watershed,
with mid- to upper 80s bringing some relief from a few days of very hot temperatures. Stream and river levels in much of the basin are low, with clear waters, except for areas showing high levels of algae.
Water temperatures are climbing toward 80 degrees through much of the river. Prepare for on-water activities by checking the weather and water levels just before venturing out, let family and friends know your float plans, and always wear a life vest. Call the National Weather Service at (703) 996-2200 for detailed weather information, or check the online Potomac river gage map here.
The upper Potomac River is running clear and low, and the fish are biting. Several anglers have reported good catches of 12"-plus smallmouth bass. Big channel catfish are being taken off the traditional stinkbaits, and if you don't think cats are predators, they also are hitting spinnerbaits and other lures thrown for smallmouth bass, which also are cooperating. Lander and White's Ferry are yielding excellent catches.
Green blobs of algae are being seen on the Virginia side of the river near Brunswick, Md., and downstream of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Aquatic grass stands, while still noticeably decreased compared to last year, are emerging strongly. Good smallmouth bass and catfish catches have been reported at spots all the way into the District of Columbia.
Fishing in the upper tidal Potomac and the mouths of major tributaries has been excellent. Largemouth bass are being caught in the tidal basin, Washington Channel, and near the mouth of Four Mile Run. Striped bass also are a common catch. Fishing the tidal Potomac means successfully fishing the tides. Many fish are caught at the edges of drop offs in moving water. Tides early in the morning and during the evening are where the fish are. Grass beds and other cover are the targets when the sun is high. Large snakeheads can be seen in shallow areas near shore, and are smacking plastic worms thrown to them. Mattawoman Creek
remains one of the most productive tributaries of the Potomac. Belmont and Pohick bays on the Virginia side also are good bets. Striped bass remain in the area.
Near the river's mouth, striped bass fishing is good. Good catches of spot are being used as bait for stripers and bluefish, and many anglers are chumming for the stripers. Bottom fishing in moving water is bringing anglers catches of flounder. Anglers also are taking large grey trout croaker.
Dragonflies, Sunday, June 24, 9-11:30 a.m., Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Va.-- Learn about the life cycle, behavior, and identification of the many dragonflies that call the park's wetlands The cost
is $6 per person. For more information, call (703) 631-0013.
10th Annual Barge Bash and Hancock Family Canal Reunion,10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, June 23--Hancock, Md. The rewatered part of the C&O Canal in Hancock will feature the annual barge race in the canal, food music and fun. A ball will be held in the evening. For more information, call The C&O Canal Williamsport visitor center at (301) 582-0183.
Savage River Whitewater Release, July 1 and Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. --The river, which hosted the 1989 World Slalom and Whitewater Championships, offers five miles of nearly continuous Class III-IV whitewater. Adventure Sports International of McHenry, MD has been working with the UPRC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NewPage, G&S Coal, Precision Rafting, Savage River State Forest and Garrett College. They have arranged paddler
parking, shuttle service, put-in and take-out access, release of liability for the stake-holders, and removal of dangerous river debris. All expenses related to the shuttle service, registration of private boaters and the removal of dangerous river debris is paid for from donations received from the boaters. Their work deserve the support of all Savage River paddlers; please check in with them and contribute generously to their shuttle operations. For more information, contact ASCI at 301-387-3250.
Potomac Riverwatch is a weekly report from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin on the conditions of the Potomac River and its tributaries. Volunteers throughout the Potomac basin are contacted each week by Commission staff for first-hand
information on their area of the river. Check out the complete calendar of events at www.potomacriver.org.
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