After years of planning by the Patapsco River Restoration Partnership, Bloede Dam the first blockage on the Patapsco River has been removed! Approximately 60 miles of habitat, including the mainstem and tributaries, are now open to migratory and resident fish. The complex project involved relocating a 42-inch diameter Baltimore County sewer line and a 12-inch diameter Howard County sewer line; the demolition of the fish ladder and dam structure; and the repaving of a section of the Grist Mill Trail.
The construction work has been completed and the work site planted with trees/shrubs to stabilize the bank. Two overlooks have been constructed, one on each side of the river. Informational signage about the history and removal of the dam is being prepared and will be installed at each overlook. The Grist Mill Trail has been reopened. Enjoy the new scenic view of a free-flowing Patapsco River!
Physical and biological monitoring of the site will continue for several years. However, we have already seen migratory fish as far upstream as Daniels Dam, north of Interstate 70!
View a story map of the Bloede Dam Project
This story map created by our partner, American Rivers, guides you through the history of the Bloede Dam, its relationship with the Patapsco River and its ultimate removal.
Problem: The Bloede Dam is located within the Patapsco River State Park and was built in 1907. The dam is a public safety concern (deaths have occurred), an obstacle for fish passage, and it fragments river continuity and aquatic habitats.
Responsibility: Bloede dam is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Process: A feasibility study was commissioned to evaluate the dam's negative impact on the ecology of the Patapsco River and issues of public safety. After a thorough analysis and public input (2011-2012), the Department and project partners made the decision to move forward with the Bloede Dam removal with passive sediment management.
With the removal of Bloede Dam, the department envisions a restored Patapsco River System with a wide range of benefits and long-term cost savings. It is recognized that this decision is not without potential adverse impacts.
A significant historical structure in Patapsco Valley State Park will be lost, there will be short-term impacts to the ecology of the river, fishing and other recreational opportunities will be affected, and there will be temporary inconvenience to park visitors.
However, there will be long-term ecological benefits to the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay, including:
To address the loss of the cultural and historic aspects of the Bloede Dam, the project partners will be developing interpretive displays to be posted on location.
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis MD 21401
Call toll-free in *Maryland* at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)