about south river federation

Fish Survey Results Are In!

This Summer, David Lanier, our Restoration Project Manager, led our band of summer interns and assorted volunteers to survey the fish populations at our current or potential restoration sites. Fish surveying is hot, hard work, lugging heavy gear through tick-infested shrubs. Thank you to all who participated.

This year the Federation changed it’s survey protocol to align with MD Department of Natural Resources’ Biological Stream Survey protocol (http://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Publications/R4Manual.pdf), where a 75 meter representative stretch of stream is chosen.

2018 fish survey table 2

We were very pleased with the preliminary results of the fish survey at our Church Creek Headwaters site off Rt. 665. There was so much underwater grass and such great fish habitat, that we were unable to properly survey it! However, last year while we saw an increase in fish, they still had a lot of fungi and parasites on them. This year the fish all looked healthy.

More Science Needed

Weirdly, the fish at Annapolis Harbor Center disappeared. Last year, using a different protocol we found 248 mosquito fish in the lower half of the stream restoration project. This year, in a stretch a third of the size, we only found 8. The restoration could have led to a significant predator moving in and causing a dent in the population. There was also construction last year on the stormwater pond immediately above the stream section. However, a couple months later, staff saw about 30 minnows swimming in just one 6 foot pool a couple hundred yards upstream of the survey site. So, it looks like more scientific surveys are needed!

Church Creek Restoration Sites # fish caught during 3 passes total number of species caught during 3 passes
Church Creek RT 665 (2014) 141 5
Wilelinor (2003) 119 9
Annapolis Harbour Center (2016) 8 1
Bywater (2017) 1 1
Allen Apartments (2017) 0 0
Broad Creek Pre-Restoration Sites    
Broad Creek Valley 70 10
Broad Creek Park 328 12
Camp Woodlands 53 4


With only one year of data under the new protocol, it is impossible to draw any conclusions looking at the data. However, it seems interesting that the Broad Creek sites, even impaired and in need of restoration, are able to sustain a community of freshwater fish. It might be a coincidence, but out of the restored sites on Church Creek, the older restoration sites seem to be able to sustain a community of freshwater fish.