Upper Gunpowder River Group Trying to Save Maryland’s Brook Trout

Interesting profile in the Baltimore Sun by Mike Klingaman about the Upper Gunpowder Watershed Brook Trout Conservation Partnership. I did not know that this area of Maryland was rich brook trout habitat:

Their goal: to maintain that 38-square mile area, in northern Carroll and Baltimore counties, with its 60 miles of streams that are home to one-fourth of Maryland’s brook trout. Only the Savage River Watershed, in Garrett County, boasts more fish. “This cluster of streams [in the Gunpowder] is one of the last Eastern outposts of brook trout that isn’t in the Appalachian Mountains,” said Mark Staley, central region manager for Inland Fisheries.

The challenge is that most of it is private property and much of it is farmland. On the other hand, the fact that so much brook trout water exists here is proof that something has been done right. Scott Scarfone, coordinator of the Upper Gunpowder Watershed Brook Trout Conservation Partnership, is trying to convince landowners to continue to be good stewards of this area:

“This fish is the canary in the coal mine,” Scarfone said. “Knowing you have a piece of land pristine enough to sustain brook trout tells you that the environment is fairly pure and intact. People see value in that.”

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