New Report on Acidity in Maryland Streams
The 1990 Amendments to the federal Clean Air Act and other air quality regulations have reduced the deposition of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, the precursors of acidic precipitation (acid rain), in Maryland. In 2012, DNR repeated a 1987 stream chemistry survey, 25 years later, in two regions of the State: Appalachian and Southern Coastal Plain. The purpose of the 2012 survey was to answer this question: Have Maryland streams responded to reduced deposition of sulfur and nitrogen compounds? For findings of the 2012 survey, go to this link.
Recent study finds macroinvertebrates sensitive to nutrients in Maryland’s headwater streams.
Excessive nutrient concentrations in streams flow into tidal rivers and estuaries, which affects the health of Chesapeake Bay. Millions of dollars have been spent to intercept and reduce nutrients on the land and in streams, but little is known about how these conditions might influence stream health. A recent study of Maryland Biological Stream Survey data published in the scientific journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment found a handful of macroinvertebrate taxa were indicative of a streams nutrient concentration. Other key conclusions were that 1) additional factors, like stream habitat or chemistry, did not affect these sensitive organisms as much as nutrients and 2) the index of biological integrity, a common measure of stream health, was not strongly related to nutrients, as were other regularly used measures.
Ashton, M.J., R.P. Morgan, and S.A. Stranko. Relations between macroinvertebrates, nutrients, and water quality criteria in wadeable streams of Maryland, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3447-1
Follow this link to view the document online.
The Effects of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms on Stormwater Runoff and Maryland’s Streams
During the summer of 2011, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee combined to drop a large amount of rain on Maryland. Stormwater runoff is a natural occurence, but its effects can be worsened by urbanization and an increase in impervious surfaces. The Maryland Biolgical Stream Survey made extra trips to see if there were any adverse reprecussions from this influx of heavy rains.
Check out this short fact sheet on stormwater, runoff, and its affects on Maryland streams.
The MBSS and Hydro-ecological Assessment
The Department of Natural Resources’ Monitoring and Non-Tidal Assessment Division is one of several agencies (Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Geological Survey, and U.S. Geological Survey) participating in a study of ground and surface waters in the Fractured-Rock area of Maryland. This study is being conducted because watersheds in the Fractured-Rock area are showing signs of having limited availability to providing water for human consumption without causing adverse impact to streams.
To learn more about research on flow changes due to droughts, go here.
For more information, check out this fact sheet
Monitoring Fish Passage on the Patapsco River
The Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS), in collaboration with American Rivers, NOAA, and the Maryland Fisheries Service, is performing biological monitoring in the Lower North Branch Patapsco River as part of the removal of Simkins and Union Dams. The goals of this project are to determine the potential impacts of dam removal on American eel (Anguilla rostrata) distribution as well as fish, benthic macroinvertebrate, and freshwater mussel communities of the Patapsco River.
Learn more in this fact sheet.
Gear Cleaning, Does it Make a Difference?
That is a question that many people ask when they learn that they are being asked to carefully clean their gear after each use. After all, many people reason, ‘I really don’t do anything that makes me especially different and, I am in a hurry to get home after fishing and after all, I really don’t see why cleaning is so important’. The truth is that any one of us could be the one to transport a devastating new species to our favorite water. Proof that we need to clean is well documented and cleaning is something we all should do every time.
Things to Remember
- Anglers and water monitors pick up mud on their boots
- Mud can carry invasive species
- Anglers and water monitors are highly mobile
- Felt-soled boots are known vectors for invasive species
- Don’t use felt-soled boots
- Inspect, Clean & Dry should be a routine practice for anglers and water monitors
Learn more in this .pdf file