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The Info List - Potomac River


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28.10 feet (8.56 m) on 19 Mar 1936 [3]

The Potomac River
River
watershed covers the District of Columbia
District of Columbia
and parts of four states

The Potomac River
River
(/pəˈtoʊmək/ ( listen)) is located within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States
United States
and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay. The river (main stem and North Branch) is approximately 405 miles (652 km) long,[4] with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles (38,000 km2).[5] In terms of area, this makes the Potomac River
River
the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast of the United States
United States
and the 21st largest in the United States. Over 5 million people live within the Potomac watershed. The river forms part of the borders between Maryland
Maryland
and Washington, D.C., on the left descending bank and West Virginia
West Virginia
and Virginia
Virginia
on the river's right descending bank. The majority of the lower Potomac River
River
is part of Maryland. Exceptions include a small tidal portion within the District of Columbia, and the border with Virginia
Virginia
being delineated from "point to point" (thus various bays and shoreline indentations lie in Virginia). Except for a small portion of its headwaters in West Virginia, the North Branch Potomac River
River
is considered part of Maryland
Maryland
to the low water mark on the opposite bank. The South Branch Potomac River
River
lies completely within the state of West Virginia
West Virginia
except for its headwaters, which lie in Virginia.

Contents

1 Course 2 History 3 Water supply
Water supply
and water quality 4 Legal issues 5 Flora of the Potomac River
River
Basin 6 Fauna of the Potomac River
River
and its Basin

6.1 Fish

6.1.1 Bowfin
Bowfin
(Amiidae) 6.1.2 Catfishes (Ictaluridae) 6.1.3 Eels (Anguillidae) 6.1.4 Gars (Lepisosteidae) 6.1.5 Herrings (Clupeidae) 6.1.6 Killifishes (Fundulidae) 6.1.7 Pupfish (Cyprinodontidae) 6.1.8 Lampreys (Petromyzontidae) 6.1.9 Minnows (Cyprinidae) 6.1.10 Mudminnows (Umbridae) 6.1.11 Perches (Percidae) 6.1.12 Percopsids (Percopsidae) 6.1.13 Pikes (Esocidae) 6.1.14 Pirate perch
Pirate perch
(Aphredoderidae) 6.1.15 Poeciliids (Poeciliidae) 6.1.16 Pupfish (Cyprinodontidae) 6.1.17 Sculpins (Cottidae) 6.1.18 Silversides (Atherinopsidae) 6.1.19 Smelts (Osmeridae) 6.1.20 Snakeheads (Channidae) 6.1.21 Sturgeons (Acipenseridae) 6.1.22 Suckers (Catostomidae) 6.1.23 Sunfishes (Centrarchidae) 6.1.24 Temperate basses (Moronidae) 6.1.25 Trout and whitefish (Salmonidae) 6.1.26 Mullets (Mugilidae) 6.1.27 Drums (Sciaenidae) 6.1.28 Soles (Soleidae) 6.1.29 Sharks (Carcharhinidae)

6.2 Mammals 6.3 Birds 6.4 Reptiles

6.4.1 Turtles 6.4.2 Snakes 6.4.3 Lizards

6.5 Amphibians

6.5.1 Salamanders 6.5.2 Frogs and toads

7 North Branch Potomac River 8 South Branch Potomac River

8.1 South Branch nomenclature 8.2 South Branch headwaters and course 8.3 North Fork South Branch Potomac River 8.4 South Fork South Branch Potomac River

9 Upper Potomac River 10 Tidal Potomac River 11 Images

11.1   Upper Potomac 11.2   Tidal Potomac 11.3   Other

12 See also 13 Notes

13.1 Source notes 13.2 Content notes

14 References 15 External links

Course[edit]

The Potomac River
River
in Washington, D.C., with Arlington Memorial Bridge in the foreground and Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia
Virginia
in the background

The Potomac River
River
runs 405 miles (652 km) from Fairfax Stone Historical Monument State Park in West Virginia
West Virginia
on the Allegheny Plateau to Point Lookout, Maryland, and drains 14,679 square miles (38,020 km2). The length of the river from the junction of its North and South Branches to Point Lookout is 302 miles (486 km).[4] The average daily flow during the water years 1930-2017 was 11,416 cubic feet (323.3 m3) /s.[1] The highest average daily flow ever recorded on the Potomac at Washington, D.C., was in March 1936 when it reached 426,000 cubic feet (12,100 m3) /s.[1] The lowest average daily flow ever recorded at the same location was 601.0 cubic feet (17.02 m3) /s in September 1966 [1] The river has two sources. The source of the North Branch is at the Fairfax Stone
Fairfax Stone
located at the junction of Grant, Tucker, and Preston counties in West Virginia. The source of the South Branch is located near Hightown in northern Highland County, Virginia. The river's two branches converge just east of Green Spring in Hampshire County, West Virginia, to form the Potomac.

The Potomac River from the confluence of its North and South Branches to the Chesapeake Bay

North Branch Potomac River
River
(Maryland/West Virginia)

South Branch Potomac River
River
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Town Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Little Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia)

Fifteenmile Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Paw Paw Bridge; WV 9 and MD 51 ( West Virginia
West Virginia
and Maryland)

Sideling Hill Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia)

Sir Johns Run (West Virginia)

Grasshopper Run (West Virginia)

Hancock Bridge; US 522 ( West Virginia
West Virginia
and Maryland)

Warm Spring Run
Warm Spring Run
(West Virginia)

Tonoloway Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Sleepy Creek
Sleepy Creek
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Licking Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Cherry Run
Cherry Run
(West Virginia)

Back Creek (West Virginia/Virginia)

Little Conococheague Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Conococheague Creek
Conococheague Creek
(Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Williamsport Pike Bridge; US 11 ( West Virginia
West Virginia
and Maryland)

Maryland
Maryland
Veterans Memorial Bridge; I-81 ( West Virginia
West Virginia
and Maryland)

Opequon Creek
Opequon Creek
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Rumsey (Shepherdstown) Bridge; WV 480 and MD 34 (WV and MD)

Rattlesnake Run (West Virginia)

Packhorse Ford; ( West Virginia
West Virginia
and Maryland)

Antietam Creek
Antietam Creek
(Pennsylvania/Maryland)

Shenandoah River
Shenandoah River
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Potomac Water Gap
Potomac Water Gap
between Blue Ridge Mt (VA/WV) and Elk Ridge Mt (MD)

Harpers Ferry Whitewater Pool (Maryland)

White Horse Rapids
White Horse Rapids
(Maryland)

Potomac Water Gap
Potomac Water Gap
between Short Hill Mt (VA) and South Mt (MD)

Sandy Hook Bridge; US 340 ( Virginia
Virginia
and Maryland)

Brunswick Bridge; SR 287 (Virginia) and MD 17 (Maryland)

Israel Creek (Maryland)

Catoctin Creek (Virginia)

Little Catoctin Creek (Maryland)

Catoctin Creek (Maryland)

Potomac Water Gap
Potomac Water Gap
between Furnace Mt (VA) and Pine Rock (MD)

Point of Rocks Bridge; US 15 ( Virginia
Virginia
and Maryland)

Heaters Island WMA (Maryland)

White's Ford; ( Virginia
Virginia
and Maryland)

Nolands Ferry (historic)

Tuscarora Creek (Maryland)

Monocacy River
Monocacy River
(Maryland)

Little Monocacy River
Monocacy River
(Maryland)

Mason Island WMA (Maryland)

White's Ferry; SR 655 (Virginia) and MD 107 (Maryland)

Ball's Bluff
Ball's Bluff
(Virginia) and Harrison Island (Maryland)

Broad Run (Maryland)

Edwards Ferry (historic)

Goose Creek (Virginia)

Selden Island
Selden Island
(Maryland)

Broad Run (Virginia)

Horsepen Creek (Virginia)

Horsepen Branch (Maryland)

McKee-Beshers Wildlife MGT Area (Maryland)

Sharpshin Island
Sharpshin Island
(Maryland)

Sugarland Run (Virginia)

Old Sugarland Run (Virginia)

Rowsers Ford; ( Virginia
Virginia
and Maryland)

Seneca Redstone Quarry (historic) (Maryland)

Seneca Creek (Maryland)

Seneca Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Blockhouse Point Promontory (Maryland)

Muddy Branch
Muddy Branch
(Maryland)

Nichols Run (Virginia)

Watts Branch (Maryland)

Gladys Island (Potomac River) (Maryland)

Cool Spring Branch (Maryland)

Conn's Ferry (historic)

Conn Island (Potomac River) (Maryland)

Limekiln Branch (Maryland)

Aqueduct Dam
Dam
(supplies water to the Washington Aqueduct) AQU[›] (Maryland)

Beginning of Potomac Gorge (Virginia/Maryland)

Great Falls (Maryland)

Carroll Branch (Maryland)

O-Deck Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Olmsted Island
Olmsted Island
and Falls Island (Maryland)

Glade Hill (boulders and sediment left by the ancestral Potomac River)GHL[›] (VA)

Mine Run Branch (Virginia)

Fishladder Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Bear Island and Billy Goat Trail, Section A (Maryland)

Sherwin Island (Maryland)

S-Turn Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Rocky Island Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Rocky Island(s) and Hidden Gorge (Maryland)

Ruins of Matildaville (Virginia)

Beginning of Mather Gorge
Mather Gorge
(Virginia/Maryland)

Wet Bottom Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Sandy Landing (boat ramp; take-out only) (Virginia)

Difficult Run
Difficult Run
(Virginia)

Difficult Run
Difficult Run
Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Cow Hoof Rock and Black Pond (site of most recent paleo-falls >30 kya) BLK[›] (VA)

Offutt Island (Maryland)

Offutt Island Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Bullneck Run (Virginia)

Rock Run (Maryland)

Turkey Island (Maryland)

Calico Rapids-Yellow Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Scott's Run (Virginia)

Scott's Run Nature Preserve
Scott's Run Nature Preserve
(Virginia)

Stubblefield Rapids
Rapids
and Knickpoint
Knickpoint
(paleo falls ~200 kya) (Maryland)

End of Mather Gorge
Mather Gorge
(Virginia/Maryland)

American Legion/Cabin John Bridge; I-495 (Capital Beltway) (VA and MD)

Plummers Island
Plummers Island
(Maryland)

Plummers Island
Plummers Island
Thrust Fault (inactive) PIF[›] (Virginia/Maryland)

Dead Run (Virginia)

Dead Run Rapids
Rapids
(Maryland)

Turkey Run (Potomac River) (Virginia)

Cabin John Creek
Cabin John Creek
(Maryland)

Minnehaha Branch (Maryland)

Sycamore Island (Maryland)

Little Falls Dam
Dam
and Dalecarlia Reservoir
Dalecarlia Reservoir
( Maryland
Maryland
and DC)

High Island (Maryland)

Little Falls (Maryland)

Little Falls Branch
Little Falls Branch
(Maryland)

Western boundary of the Atlantic Seaboard fall line; Potomac Estuary begins PES[›]

Chain Bridge; SR 123(VA) and Canal
Canal
Road(DC) + Clara Barton Pkwy(MD/DC)

Pimmit Run
Pimmit Run
(Virginia)

Gulf Branch
Gulf Branch
(Virginia)

Donaldson Run (Virginia)

Windy Run
Windy Run
(Virginia)

Spout Run (Virginia)

Maddox Branch (District of Columbia)

Three Sisters Island (District of Columbia)

Foundry Branch (District of Columbia)

Ruins of Aqueduct Bridge (District of Columbia)

Francis Scott Key Bridge; US 29 ( Virginia
Virginia
and District of Columbia)

Rock Creek (District of Columbia/Maryland)

End of Potomac Gorge (Virginia/Maryland)

Limit of navigation; Eastern boundary of the Atlantic Seaboard fall line

Theodore Roosevelt IslandTRI[›] (District of Columbia)

Theodore Roosevelt Bridge; I-66 / US 50 ( Virginia
Virginia
and District of Columbia)

Rocky Run (Virginia) (paved over)

Columbia Island (District of Columbia)

Arlington Memorial Bridge
Arlington Memorial Bridge
(District of Columbia)

Tidal Basin
Tidal Basin
and Washington Channel
Washington Channel
(District of Columbia)

George Mason Memorial Bridge; I-395 south / US 1 south (VA and DC)

Rochambeau Memorial Bridge; I-395 (HOV) / US 1 (VA and DC)

Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge; I-395 north / US 1 north (VA and DC)

Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary (Virginia)

Tiber Creek
Tiber Creek
(District of Columbia) (paved over)

Hains Point
Hains Point
(District of Columbia)

Anacostia River
Anacostia River
(District of Columbia/Maryland)

Four Mile Run
Four Mile Run
(Virginia)

Oxon Creek
Oxon Creek
(District of Columbia/Maryland)

Jones Point Light
Jones Point Light
(historic) (Virginia)

Woodrow Wilson Bridge; I-95 / I-495 (Capital Beltway) (VA and MD)

Hunting Creek
Hunting Creek
(Virginia)

Dyke Marsh
Dyke Marsh
Wildlife Preserve (Virginia)

Broad Creek (Potomac River) (Maryland)

Henson Creek (Maryland)

Swan Creek (Maryland)

Piscataway Creek
Piscataway Creek
(Maryland)

Little Hunting Creek
Hunting Creek
(Virginia)

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon
Estate (Virginia)

Dogue Creek (Virginia)

Accotink Creek
Accotink Creek
(Virginia)

Pohick Creek
Pohick Creek
(Virginia)

Pomonkey Creek (Maryland)

Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge (Virginia)

Occoquan River
Occoquan River
(Virginia)

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
(Virginia)

Neabsco Creek (Virginia)

Powells Creek (Virginia)

Mattawoman Creek
Mattawoman Creek
(Maryland)

Chicamuxen Creek (Maryland)

Quantico Creek
Quantico Creek
(Virginia)

Chopawamsic Island
Chopawamsic Island
(Virginia)

Chopawamsic Creek
Chopawamsic Creek
(Virginia)

Tank Creek (Virginia)

Aquia Creek
Aquia Creek
(Virginia)

Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve
Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve
(Virginia)

Potomac Creek
Potomac Creek
(Virginia)

Nanjemoy Creek (Maryland)

Chotank Creek (Virginia)

Port Tobacco River
River
(Maryland)

Popes Creek (Maryland)

Gambo Creek (Virginia)

Clifton Creek (Maryland)

Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge; US 301 ( Virginia
Virginia
and Maryland)

Piccowaxen Creek (Maryland)

Upper Machodoc Creek (Virginia)

Wicomico River
River
(Maryland)

Cobb Island (Maryland)

St. Clement's Island (Maryland)

Monroe Creek (Virginia)

Mattox Creek (Virginia)

Popes Creek (Virginia)

St. Marys River
River
(Maryland)

Yeocomico River
River
(Virginia)

Coan River
River
(Virginia)

Hull Creek (Virginia)

Point Lookout Light
Point Lookout Light
(Maryland)

Smith Point Light
Smith Point Light
(Virginia)

Debouchment of the Potomac Estuary
Estuary
(Maryland)

Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
(Virginia/Maryland)

    

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River
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Once the Potomac drops from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain
Coastal Plain
at Little Falls, tides further influence the river as it passes through Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
and beyond. Salinity
Salinity
in the Potomac River
River
Estuary increases thereafter with distance downstream. The estuary also widens, reaching 11 statute miles (17 km) wide at its mouth, between Point Lookout, Maryland, and Smith Point, Virginia, before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. History[edit]

In 1608, Captain John Smith explored the river now known as the Potomac and made drawings of his observations which were later compiled into a map and published in London in 1612. This detail from that map shows his rendition of the river that the local tribes had told him was called the "Patawomeck".

"Potomac" is a European spelling of Patowmeck, the Algonquian name of a Native American village on its southern bank.[6] Native Americans had different names for different parts of the river, calling the river above Great Falls Cohongarooton, meaning "honking geese"[7][8] and "Patawomke" below the Falls, meaning "river of swans".[9] The spelling of the name has taken many forms over the years from "Patawomeck" (as on Captain John Smith's map) to "Patomake", "Patowmack", and numerous other spellings in the 18th century and now "Potomac".[8] The river's name was officially decided upon as "Potomac" by the Board on Geographic Names
Board on Geographic Names
in 1931.[10]

Tundra swans were the predominant species of swan on the Potomac River when the Algonquins dwelled along its shores, and continue to be the most populous variety today. [11]

The river itself is at least two million years old, likely extending back ten to twenty million years before present when the Atlantic Ocean lowered and exposed coastal sediments along the fall line. This included the area at Great Falls, which eroded into its present form during recent glaciation periods.[12] The Potomac River
River
brings together a variety of cultures throughout the watershed from the coal miners of upstream West Virginia
West Virginia
to the urban residents of the nation's capital and, along the lower Potomac, the watermen of Virginia's Northern Neck.

View of the Potomac from Mount Vernon

Map of the Potomac River
River
and its environs circa 1862 by Robert Knox Sneden.

Being situated in an area rich in American history
American history
and American heritage has led to the Potomac being nicknamed "the Nation's River." George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in, surveyed, and spent most of his life within, the Potomac basin. All of Washington, D.C., the nation's capital city, also lies within the watershed. The 1859 siege of Harper's Ferry at the river's confluence with the Shenandoah was a precursor to numerous epic battles of the American Civil War
American Civil War
in and around the Potomac and its tributaries, such as the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff
Ball's Bluff
and the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
crossed the river, thereby invading the North and threatening Washington, D.C., twice in campaigns climaxing in the battles of Antietam (September 17, 1862) and Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863). Confederate General Jubal Early crossed the river in July 1864 on his attempted raid on the nation's capital. The river not only divided the Union from the Confederacy, but also gave name to the Union's largest army, the Army of the Potomac.[13] The Patowmack Canal
Patowmack Canal
was intended by George Washington
George Washington
to connect the Tidewater region near Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785 on the Virginia
Virginia
side of the river, it was not completed until 1802. Financial troubles led to the closure of the canal in 1830. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
operated along the banks of the Potomac in Maryland
Maryland
from 1831 to 1924 and also connected Cumberland to Washington, D.C.[14] This allowed freight to be transported around the rapids known as the Great Falls of the Potomac River, as well as many other, smaller rapids. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
began using the Potomac as its principal source of drinking water with the opening of the Washington Aqueduct
Washington Aqueduct
in 1864, using a water intake constructed at Great Falls.[15]

This westward-looking aerial photograph shows the Shenandoah River (left) flowing into the Potomac River
River
(right) at Harpers Ferry, WV. The Potomac then continues eastward toward the Chesapeake Bay.

In March 1996 an agreement was signed which made the Potomac a "sister river" of the Ara River, one of the principal rivers of Tokyo.[16] President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
designated the Potomac as one of the American Heritage Rivers in 1998.[17] Water supply
Water supply
and water quality[edit] An average of approximately 486 million US gallons (1,840,000 m3) of water per day is withdrawn daily in the Washington area for water supply.[5]

The Potomac River
River
surges over the deck of Chain Bridge during the historic 1936 Flood. The bridge was so severely damaged by the raging water, and the debris it carried, that its superstructure had to be re-built; the new bridge was opened to traffic in 1939. (This photograph was taken from a vantage point on Glebe Road in Arlington County, Virginia. The houses on the bluffs in the background are located on the Potomac Palisades of Washington, DC.)

As a result of damaging floods in 1936 and 1937, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a series of dams that were intended to regulate the river and to provide a more reliable water supply. One dam was to be built at Little Falls, just north of Washington, backing its pool up to Great Falls. Just above Great Falls, a much larger dam was proposed whose reservoir would extend to Harpers Ferry.[18] Several other dams were proposed for the Potomac and its tributaries. When detailed studies were issued by the Corps in the 1950s, they met sustained opposition, led by U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court
Justice William O. Douglas, resulting in the plans' abandonment.[19] The only dam project that did get built was Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake
on the North Branch. The Corps built a supplementary water intake for the Washington Aqueduct
Washington Aqueduct
at Little Falls in 1959.[20]

This chart displays the Annual Mean Discharge of the Potomac River measured at Little Falls, Maryland
Maryland
for Water Years 1931-2017 (in cubic feet per second). Source of data: USGS[1]

In 1940 Congress passed a law authorizing creation of an interstate compact to coordinate water quality management among states in the Potomac basin. Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia
District of Columbia
agreed to establish the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River
River
Basin. The compact was amended in 1970 to include coordination of water supply issues and land use issues related to water quality.[21]

Eutrophication
Eutrophication
in the Potomac River
River
is evident from this bright green water in Washington, D.C., caused by a dense bloom of cyanobacteria, April 2012

Beginning in the 19th century, with increasing mining and agriculture upstream and urban sewage and runoff downstream, the water quality of the Potomac River
River
deteriorated. This created conditions of severe eutrophication. It is said that President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
used to escape to the highlands on summer nights to escape the river's stench. In the 1960s, with dense green algal blooms covering the river's surface, President Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
declared the river "a national disgrace" and set in motion a long-term effort to reduce pollution from sewage and restore the beauty and ecology of this historic river. One of significant pollution control projects at the time was the expansion of the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves Washington and several surrounding communities.[22] Enactment of the 1972 Clean Water Act
Clean Water Act
led to construction or expansion of additional sewage treatment plants in the Potomac watershed. Controls on phosphorus, one of the principal contributors to eutrophication, were implemented in the 1980s, through sewage plant upgrades and restrictions on phosphorus in detergents.[21] By the end of the 20th century, there was notable success, as massive algal blooms vanished and recreational fishing and boating rebounded. Still, the aquatic habitat of the Potomac River
River
and its tributaries remain vulnerable to eutrophication, heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic chemicals, over-fishing, alien species, and pathogens associated with fecal coliform bacteria and shellfish diseases. In 2005 two federal agencies, the US Geological Survey
US Geological Survey
and the Fish and Wildlife Service, began to identify fish in the Potomac and tributaries that exhibited "intersex" characteristics, as a result of endocrine disruption caused by some form of pollution.[23] On November 13, 2007, the Potomac Conservancy, an environmental group, issued the river a grade of "D-plus", citing high levels of pollution and the reports of "intersex" fish.[24] Since then, the river has improved with a reduction in nutrient runoff, return of fish populations and land protection along the river. As a result, the same group issued a grade of "B-minus" in 2016.[25] Legal issues[edit]

Map of land use in the watershed

For 400 years Maryland
Maryland
and Virginia
Virginia
have disputed control of the Potomac and its North Branch, since both states' original colonial charters grant the entire river rather than half of it as is normally the case with boundary rivers. In its first state constitution adopted in 1776, Virginia
Virginia
ceded its claim to the entire river but reserved free use of it, an act disputed by Maryland. Both states acceded to the Compact of 1785
Compact of 1785
and the 1877 Black-Jenkins Award which grants Maryland
Maryland
the river bank-to-bank from the low water mark on the Virginia
Virginia
side, while permitting Virginia
Virginia
full riparian rights short of obstructing navigation.

Satellite view of the Potomac River
River
passing through two water gaps below Harpers Ferry

Oblique air photo, facing southwest, of the Potomac River
River
flowing through water gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia
Virginia
on the left, Maryland
Maryland
on the right, West Virginia
West Virginia
in upper right, including Harpers Ferry (partially obscured by Maryland
Maryland
Heights of Elk Ridge Mountain) at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

From 1957 to 1996, the Maryland
Maryland
Department of the Environment (MDE) routinely issued permits applied for by Virginia
Virginia
entities concerning use of the Potomac. However, in 1996 the MDE denied a permit submitted by the Fairfax County Water Authority to build a water intake 725 feet (220 m) offshore, citing potential harm to Maryland's interests by an increase in Virginia
Virginia
sprawl caused by the project. After years of failed appeals within the Maryland
Maryland
government's appeal processes, in 2000 Virginia
Virginia
took the case to the Supreme Court of the United States, which exercises original jurisdiction in cases between two states. Maryland
Maryland
claimed Virginia
Virginia
lost its riparian rights by acquiescing to MDE's permit process for 63 years (MDE began its permit process in 1933). A Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate recommended the case be settled in favor of Virginia, citing the language in the 1785 Compact and the 1877 Award. On December 9, 2003, the Court agreed in a 7-2 decision.[26] The original charters are silent as to which branch from the upper Potomac serves as the boundary, but this was settled by the 1785 Compact. When West Virginia
West Virginia
seceded from Virginia
Virginia
in 1863, the question of West Virginia's succession in title to the lands between the branches of the river was raised, as well as title to the river itself. Claims by Maryland
Maryland
to West Virginia
West Virginia
land north of the South Branch (all of Mineral and Grant Counties and parts of Hampshire, Hardy, Tucker and Pendleton Counties) and by West Virginia
West Virginia
to the Potomac's high-water mark were rejected by the Supreme Court in two separate decisions in 1910.[27][28]

Flora of the Potomac River
River
Basin[edit]

Flora of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Virginia
Virginia
Bluebells growing wild on Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Wildflowers of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Blue Ridge Blueberry

Shrubs of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Sugar Maple

Trees of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Broad Cattail

Herbs of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Broomsedge Bluestem

Grasses of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Trumpet Honeysuckle

Vines and Groundcover of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Fauna of the Potomac River
River
and its Basin[edit] Fish[edit]

After an absence lasting many decades, the American Shad
American Shad
has recently returned to the Potomac.

A variety of fish inhabit the Potomac, including bass, muskellunge, pike, walleye. The northern snakehead, an invasive species resembling the native bowfin, lamprey, and American eel, was first seen in 2004.[29][30] Many types of sunfish are also present in the Potomac and its headwaters.[31] Although rare, bull sharks can be found.[32] After having been depressed for many decades, the river's population of American Shad
American Shad
is currently re-bounding as a result of the ICPRB's successful " American Shad
American Shad
Restoration Project" that was begun in 1995. In addition to stocking the river with more than 22 million shad fry, the Project supervised construction of a fishway that was built to facilitate the passage of adults around the Little Falls Dam
Dam
on the way to their traditional spawning grounds upstream. [33]

Freshwater fish of the Potomac River

Bowfin
Bowfin
(Amiidae)[edit]

Bowfin
Bowfin
Amia calva

Catfishes (Ictaluridae)[edit]

White bullhead
White bullhead
catfish Ameiurus catus Yellow bullhead
Yellow bullhead
catfish Ameiurus natalis Brown bullhead
Brown bullhead
catfish Ameiurus nebulosus Channel catfish
Channel catfish
Ictalurus punctatus Tadpole madtom
Tadpole madtom
Noturus gyrinus Margined madtom Noturus insignis Blue catfish* Ictalurus furcatus* Flathead catfish* Pylodictis olivaris*

Eels (Anguillidae)[edit]

American eel
American eel
Anguilla rostrata

Gars (Lepisosteidae)[edit]

Longnose gar
Longnose gar
Lepisosteus osseus

Herrings (Clupeidae)[edit]

Blueback herring
Blueback herring
Alosa aestivalis Hickory shad
Hickory shad
Alosa mediocris Alewife
Alewife
Alosa pseudoharengus American shad
American shad
Alosa sapidissima Gizzard shad
Gizzard shad
Dorosoma cepedianum Threadfin shad
Threadfin shad
Dorosoma petenense

Killifishes (Fundulidae)[edit]

Banded killifish
Banded killifish
Fundulus diaphanus Mummichog
Mummichog
killifish Fundulus heteroclitus Spotfin killifish
Spotfin killifish
Fundulus luciae Striped killifish
Striped killifish
Fundulus majalis Rainwater killifish
Rainwater killifish
Lucania parva

Pupfish (Cyprinodontidae)[edit]

Sheepshead minnow
Sheepshead minnow
Cyprinodon variegatus

Lampreys (Petromyzontidae)[edit]

Least brook lamprey
Least brook lamprey
Lampetra aepyptera American brook lamprey
American brook lamprey
Lampetra appendix Sea lamprey
Sea lamprey
Petromyzon marinus

Minnows (Cyprinidae)[edit]

Central stoneroller
Central stoneroller
Campostoma anomalum Goldfish
Goldfish
Carassius auratus Redside dace
Redside dace
Clinostomus elongatus Rosyside dace
Rosyside dace
Clinostomus funduloides Grass carp
Grass carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella Satinfin shiner
Satinfin shiner
Cyprinella analostana Spotfin shiner
Spotfin shiner
Cyprinella spiloptera Common carp
Common carp
Cyprinus carpio Cutlips minnow
Cutlips minnow
Exoglossum maxillingua Eastern silvery minnow
Eastern silvery minnow
Hybognathus regius Striped shiner
Striped shiner
Luxilus chrysocephalus Common shiner
Common shiner
Luxilus cornutus Allegheny pearl dace
Allegheny pearl dace
Margariscus margarita River
River
chub Nocomis micropogon Golden shiner
Golden shiner
Notemigonus crysoleucas Comely shiner
Comely shiner
Notropis amoenus Emerald shiner
Emerald shiner
Notropis atherinoides Bridle shiner
Bridle shiner
Notropis bifrenatus Silverjaw minnow
Silverjaw minnow
Notropis buccatus Ironcolor shiner
Ironcolor shiner
Notropis chalybaeus Spottail shiner
Spottail shiner
Notropis hudsonius Swallowtail shiner
Swallowtail shiner
Notropis procne Rosyface shiner
Rosyface shiner
Notropis rubellus Bluntnose minnow
Bluntnose minnow
Pimephales notatus Fathead minnow
Fathead minnow
Pimephales promelas Eastern blacknose dace
Eastern blacknose dace
Rhinichthys atratulus Longnose dace
Longnose dace
Rhinichthys cataractae Creek chub
Creek chub
Semotilus atromaculatus Fallfish
Fallfish
Semotilus corporalis Bluehead chub
Bluehead chub
Nocomis leptocephalus Mimic shiner
Mimic shiner
Notropis volucellus

Mudminnows (Umbridae)[edit]

Eastern mudminnow
Eastern mudminnow
Umbra pygmaea

Perches (Percidae)[edit]

Greenside darter
Greenside darter
Etheostoma blennioides Rainbow darter
Rainbow darter
Etheostoma caeruleum Fantail darter
Fantail darter
Etheostoma flabellare Swamp darter
Swamp darter
Etheostoma fusiforme Johnny darter
Johnny darter
Etheostoma nigrum Tessellated darter
Tessellated darter
Etheostoma olmstedi Glassy darter
Glassy darter
Etheostoma vitreum Banded darter Etheostoma zonale Yellow perch
Yellow perch
Perca flavescens Logperch
Logperch
Percina caprodes Stripeback darter
Stripeback darter
Percina notogramma Shield darter
Shield darter
Percina peltata Walleye
Walleye
Sander vitreum

Percopsids (Percopsidae)[edit]

Trout-perch
Trout-perch
Percopsis omiscomaycus

Pikes (Esocidae)[edit]

Redfin pickerel
Redfin pickerel
Esox americanus Northern pike
Northern pike
Esox lucius Muskellunge
Muskellunge
Esox masquinongy Chain pickerel
Chain pickerel
Esox niger

Pirate perch
Pirate perch
(Aphredoderidae)[edit]

Pirate perch
Pirate perch
Aphredoderus sayanus Guppy
Guppy
Poecilia reticulata

Poeciliids (Poeciliidae)[edit]

Eastern mosquitofish
Eastern mosquitofish
Gambusia holbrooki

Pupfish (Cyprinodontidae)[edit]

Sheepshead minnow
Sheepshead minnow
Cyprinodon variegatus

Sculpins (Cottidae)[edit]

Mottled sculpin
Mottled sculpin
Cottus bairdii Blue Ridge sculpin
Blue Ridge sculpin
Cottus caeruleomentum Potomac sculpin
Potomac sculpin
Cottus girardi

Silversides (Atherinopsidae)[edit]

Inland silverside
Inland silverside
Menidia beryllina

Smelts (Osmeridae)[edit]

Rainbow smelt
Rainbow smelt
Osmerus mordax

Snakeheads (Channidae)[edit]

Northern snakehead* Channa argus*

Sturgeons (Acipenseridae)[edit]

Shortnose sturgeon
Shortnose sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum Atlantic sturgeon
Atlantic sturgeon
Acipenser oxyrhinchus

Suckers (Catostomidae)[edit]

Quillback
Quillback
Carpiodes cyprinus White sucker
White sucker
Catostomus commersoni Creek chubsucker
Creek chubsucker
Erimyzon oblongus Northern hogsucker
Northern hogsucker
Hypentelium nigricans Golden redhorse
Golden redhorse
Moxostoma erythrurum Shorthead redhorse
Shorthead redhorse
Moxostoma macrolepidotum Torrent sucker Thoburnia rhothoeca

Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)[edit]

Mud sunfish
Mud sunfish
Acantharcus pomotis Rock bass
Rock bass
Amblopites rupestris Flier sunfish Centrarchus macropterus Blackbanded sunfish Enneacanthus chaetodon Bluespotted sunfish
Bluespotted sunfish
Enneacanthus gloriosus Banded sunfish
Banded sunfish
Enneacanthus obesus Redbreast sunfish
Redbreast sunfish
Lepomis auritus Green sunfish
Green sunfish
Lepomis cyanellus Pumpkinseed
Pumpkinseed
sunfish Lepomis gibbosus Warmouth
Warmouth
sunfish Lepomis gulosus Bluegill
Bluegill
sunfish Lepomis macrochirus Longear sunfish
Longear sunfish
Lepomis megalotis Redear sunfish
Redear sunfish
Lepomis microlophus Smallmouth bass
Smallmouth bass
Micropterus dolomieu Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass
Micropterus salmoides White crappie
White crappie
Pomoxis annularis Black crappie
Black crappie
Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Temperate basses (Moronidae)[edit]

White perch
White perch
Morone americana Striped bass
Striped bass
Morone saxatilis

Trout and whitefish (Salmonidae)[edit]

Rainbow trout
Rainbow trout
(Oncorhynchus mykiss) Brown trout
Brown trout
(Salmo trutta)

  * denotes naturalized species; Sources:

Dnr.state.md: Fish key of native species http://www.potomacriver.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MasterFreshFishList0213.pdf

Tidal freshwater fish of the Potomac River

Mullets (Mugilidae)[edit] Striped mullet
Striped mullet
Mugil cephalus Drums (Sciaenidae)[edit] Spot Leiostomus xanthurus Spotted seatrout
Spotted seatrout
Cynoscion nebulosus Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic Croaker
Micropogonias undulatus Red drum
Red drum
Sciaenops ocellata Soles (Soleidae)[edit] Hogchoker
Hogchoker
Trinectes maculatus Sharks (Carcharhinidae)[edit] Bull shark
Bull shark
Carcharhinus leucas

Sources:

Dnr.state.md: Fish key of native species http://www.potomacriver.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MasterFreshFishList0213.pdf

Mammals[edit]

Several hundred Bottle-nosed Dolphins live six months of the year (from mid-April through mid-October) in the Potomac. Depicted here, a mother with her young.

Mammals of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Bats

Little brown bat
Little brown bat
Myotis lucifugus Indiana bat
Indiana bat
Myotis sodalis Eastern small-footed bat
Eastern small-footed bat
Myotis leibii Northern long-eared bat Myotis septentrionalis Silver-haired bat
Silver-haired bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans Tricolored bat
Tricolored bat
Perimyotis subflavus Big brown bat
Big brown bat
Eptesicus fuscus Red bat Lasiurus borealis Hoary bat
Hoary bat
Lasiurus cinereus Evening bat
Evening bat
Nycticeius humeralis

Bears

Black bear Ursus americanus

Beavers

American beaver
American beaver
Castor canadensis

Cats

Bobcat
Bobcat
Lynx rufus

Foxes and Coyotes

Red fox
Red fox
Vulpes vulpes Gray fox
Gray fox
Urocyon cinereoargenteus Coyote
Coyote
Canis latrans

Hoofed mammals

Sika deer* Cervus nippon * White-tailed deer
White-tailed deer
Odocoileus virginianus American bison
American bison
Bos bison

Jumping Mice

Meadow jumping mouse
Meadow jumping mouse
Zapus hudsonius Woodland jumping mouse
Woodland jumping mouse
Napaeozapus insignis

Lemmings

Southern bog lemming
Southern bog lemming
Synaptomys cooperi

Marine Mammals

Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphin
Tursiops truncatus

Moles

Hairy-tailed mole
Hairy-tailed mole
Parascalops breweri Eastern mole
Eastern mole
Scalopus aquaticus Southeastern star-nosed mole Condylura cristata parva

Muskrats

Muskrat
Muskrat
Ondatra zibethicus

New World Mice and Rats

Marsh rice rat
Marsh rice rat
Oryzomys palustris Deer mouse
Deer mouse
Peromyscus maniculatus White-footed deer mouse Peromyscus leucopus Allegheny woodrat
Allegheny woodrat
Neotoma magister

Nutria

Nutria* Myocastor coypus*

Old World Mice and Rats

Black rat* Rattus rattus* Norway rat* Rattus norvegicus* House mouse* Mus musculus*

Opossums

Virginia
Virginia
opossum Didelphis virginiana

Porcupines

Porcupine
Porcupine
Erethizon dorsatum

Rabbits and Hares

Eastern cottontail
Eastern cottontail
Sylvilagus floridanus Appalachian cottontail
Appalachian cottontail
Sylvilagus obscurus

Raccoons

Raccoon
Raccoon
Procyon lotor

Shrews

Masked shrew
Masked shrew
Sorex cinereus Southeastern shrew
Southeastern shrew
Sorex longirostris Southern Water shrew Sorex palustris punctulatus Smoky shrew
Smoky shrew
Sorex fumeus Long-tailed shrew
Long-tailed shrew
Sorex dispar Southern pygmy shrew Sorex hoyi winnemana Northern short-tailed shrew
Northern short-tailed shrew
Blarina brevicauda Least shrew
Least shrew
Cryptotis parva

Skunks

Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk
Spilogale putorius Striped skunk
Striped skunk
Mephitis mephitis

Squirrels and Chipmunks

Eastern chipmunk
Eastern chipmunk
Tamias striatus Groundhog
Groundhog
(aka Woodchuck) Marmota monax Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern gray squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis Eastern fox squirrel
Eastern fox squirrel
Sciurus niger Delmarva fox squirrel
Delmarva fox squirrel
Sciurus niger cinereus Red squirrel
Red squirrel
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus Southern flying squirrel
Southern flying squirrel
Glaucomys volans

Voles

Southern red-backed vole
Southern red-backed vole
Clethrionomys gapperi Meadow vole
Meadow vole
Microtus pennsylvanicus Southern Rock vole
Rock vole
Microtus chrotorrhinus carolinensis Woodland vole
Woodland vole
Microtus pinetorum

Weasels, Minks and Otters

Fisher Martes pennanti Ermine
Ermine
Mustela erminea Least weasel
Least weasel
Mustela nivalis Long-tailed weasel
Long-tailed weasel
Mustela frenata Mink
Mink
Neovison vison Northern river otter
Northern river otter
Lutra canadensis

  * denotes naturalized species Sources:

Mammals of Maryland; Maryland
Maryland
Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved February 8, 2018.] Mammals of Virginia; Virginia
Virginia
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Retrieved February 8, 2018. Mammals of West Virginia: A Field Checklist (2001); West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Section. Retrieved February 8, 2018.]

Early European colonists who settled along the Potomac found a diversity of large and small mammals living in the dense forests nearby. Bison, elk, wolves and panthers (cougars) were still present at that time, but had been hunted to extirpation by the middle of the 19th century. Among the denizens of the Potomac's banks, beavers and otters met a similar fate, while small populations of minks and martens survived into the 20th century in some secluded areas. There is no record of early settlers having observed marine mammals in the Potomac, but several sightings of bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were reported during the 19th century. In July of 1844. a pod of 14 adults and young was followed up the river by men in boats as high as the Aqueduct Bridge (approximately the same location occupied by Key Bridge today).[34] Since 2015, perhaps as a result of warmer temperatures, rising water levels in the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
and improving water quality in the Potomac, unprecedented numbers of bottle-nosed dolphins have been observed in the river. According to Dr Janet Mann of Georgetown University's Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, more than 500 individual members of the species have been identified in the Potomac during this period.[35] Birds[edit]

A Great Blue Heron

Birds of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Reptiles[edit] Turtles[edit]

Eastern Box Turtles are frequently spotted along the towpath of the C&O Canal.

Turtles of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Bog (=Muhlenberg) turtle Glyptemys (=Clemmys) muhlenbergii Chinese softshell turtle
Chinese softshell turtle
* Pelodiscus sinensis * Coastal plain cooter
Coastal plain cooter
Pseudemys concinna floridana Cumberland slider
Cumberland slider
Trachemys scripta troostii Eastern box turtle
Eastern box turtle
Terrapene carolina carolina Eastern chicken turtle Deirochelys reticularia reticularia Eastern mud turtle
Eastern mud turtle
Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum Eastern musk turtle
Eastern musk turtle
Sternotherus odoratus Eastern painted turtle
Eastern painted turtle
Chrysemys picta picta Eastern river cooter
Eastern river cooter
Pseudemys concinna concinna Eastern spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera spinifera Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtle
Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtle
* Apalone spinifera aspera * Hawksbill sea turtle
Hawksbill sea turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata Kemp's ridley sea turtle
Kemp's ridley sea turtle
Lepidochelys kempii Leatherback sea turtle
Leatherback sea turtle
Dermochelys coriacea Loggerhead sea turtle
Loggerhead sea turtle
Caretta caretta Mississippi map turtle* Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii * Northern map turtle
Northern map turtle
Graptemys geographica Northern diamond-backed terrapin Malaclemys terrapin terrapin Northern red-bellied cooter
Northern red-bellied cooter
Pseudemys rubriventris Red-eared slider
Red-eared slider
* Trachemys scripta elegans * Snapping turtle
Snapping turtle
Chelydra serpentina Spotted turtle
Spotted turtle
Clemmys guttata Striped mud turtle
Striped mud turtle
Kinosternon baurii Stripe-necked musk turtle Sternotherus minor peltifer Wood turtle
Wood turtle
Glyptemys insculpta Yellow-bellied slider
Yellow-bellied slider
Trachemys scripta scripta

  * denotes naturalized species Sources: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/virginia-native-naturalized-species.pdf http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/herpchecklist.pdf

Snakes[edit]

Snakes of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Northern Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen Timber Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus Northern Watersnake
Northern Watersnake
Nerodia sipedon sipedon Red-bellied Watersnake
Red-bellied Watersnake
Nerodia erythrogaster erythrogaster Queen Snake
Queen Snake
Regina septemvittata Eastern Smooth Earthsnake Virginia
Virginia
valeriae valeriae Mountain Earthsnake Virginia
Virginia
valeriae pulchra Northern brown snake
Northern brown snake
Storeria dekayi dekayi Northern Red-bellied Snake Storeria occipitomaculata
Storeria occipitomaculata
occipitomaculata Eastern garter snake
Eastern garter snake
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Common Ribbonsnake Thamnophis sauritus sauritus Southern Ring-necked Snake Diadophis punctatus punctatus Northern Ring-necked Snake Diadophis punctatus edwardsi Eastern worm snake
Eastern worm snake
Carphophis amoenus amoenus Smooth green snake
Smooth green snake
Opheodrys vernalis Northern Rough Greensnake Opheodrys aestivus
Opheodrys aestivus
aestivus Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Heterodon platirhinos Rainbow Snake
Rainbow Snake
Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma Northern Black Racer Coluber constrictor
Coluber constrictor
constrictor Red Cornsnake Pantherophis guttatus Eastern Ratsnake Pantherophis alleghaniensis Mole Kingsnake
Mole Kingsnake
Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata Eastern Kingsnake Lampropeltis getula
Lampropeltis getula
getula Eastern Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum Coastal Plain
Coastal Plain
Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides Northern Scarletsnake Cemophora
Cemophora
coccinea copei

Sources: http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/herpchecklist.pdf A Guide to the Snakes of Virginia
Virginia
( Virginia
Virginia
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Wildlife Diversity Division, Special
Special
Publication No. 2.1) 2002; by Michael J Pinder (Author)

Lizards[edit]

Lizards of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Eastern Fence Lizard
Eastern Fence Lizard
Sceloporus undulatus Eastern Six-lined Racerunner
Eastern Six-lined Racerunner
Aspidoscelis sexlineata sexlineata Little Brown Skink
Little Brown Skink
Scincella lateralis Northern Coal Skink
Coal Skink
Plestiodon anthracinus anthracinus Common Five-lined Skink Plestiodon fasciatus Broad-headed Skink
Broad-headed Skink
Plestiodon laticeps

Sources:

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/virginia-native-naturalized-species.pdf http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/herpchecklist.pdf

Amphibians[edit] Salamanders[edit]

Eastern Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) can be found sheltering under rocks along the banks of the Potomac.

Salamanders of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Common Mudpuppy
Common Mudpuppy
Necturus maculosus maculosus Eastern Hellbender
Eastern Hellbender
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis Marbled Salamander
Marbled Salamander
Ambystoma opacum Jefferson Salamander
Jefferson Salamander
Ambystoma jeffersonianum Spotted Salamander
Spotted Salamander
Ambystoma maculatum Eastern Tiger Salamander
Eastern Tiger Salamander
Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum Red-spotted Newt
Red-spotted Newt
Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens Eastern Red-backed Salamander Plethodon cinereus Wehrle's Salamander
Wehrle's Salamander
Plethodon wehrlei Northern slimy salamander
Northern slimy salamander
Plethodon glutinosus Valley and ridge salamander
Valley and ridge salamander
Plethodon hoffmani Seal Salamander
Seal Salamander
Desmognathus monticola monticola Northern Dusky Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamander
Desmognathus fuscus Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Desmognathus ochrophaeus Northern Red Salamander Pseudotriton ruber ruber Eastern Mud Salamander Pseudotriton montanus montanus Northern Spring Salamander Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus Northern Two-lined Salamander
Northern Two-lined Salamander
Eurycea bislineata Southern Two-lined Salamander
Southern Two-lined Salamander
Eurycea cirrigera Long-tailed salamander
Long-tailed salamander
Eurycea longicauda longicauda Four-toed Salamander
Four-toed Salamander
Hemidactylium scutatum Green Salamander
Green Salamander
Aneides aeneus

Sources:

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/virginia-native-naturalized-species.pdf http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/herpchecklist.pdf

Frogs and toads[edit]

Frogs and toads of the Potomac River
River
Basin

Upland Chorus Frog
Upland Chorus Frog
Pseudacris feriarum New Jersey Chorus Frog Pseudacris kalmi Northern Spring Peeper Pseudacris crucifer Mountain Chorus Frog
Mountain Chorus Frog
Pseudacris brachyphona Eastern Cricket Frog Acris crepitans crepitans Green Treefrog Hyla cinerea Gray Treefrog
Gray Treefrog
Hyla versicolor Cope's Gray Treefrog
Gray Treefrog
Hyla chrysoscelis Barking Treefrog Hyla gratiosa Carpenter Frog
Carpenter Frog
Lithobates virgatipes Wood Frog
Wood Frog
Lithobates sylvaticus Northern Leopard Frog* Lithobates pipiens* Southern Leopard Frog
Southern Leopard Frog
Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius Pickerel Frog
Pickerel Frog
Lithobates palustris Northern Green Frog
Northern Green Frog
Lithobates clamitans melanota American Bullfrog
American Bullfrog
Lithobates catesbeiana Eastern spadefoot toad
Eastern spadefoot toad
Scaphiopus holbrookii Eastern American Toad Anaxyrus americanus americanus Fowler's Toad
Fowler's Toad
Anaxyrus fowleri Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Gastrophryne carolinensis

  * denotes naturalized species Sources:

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/virginia-native-naturalized-species.pdf http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/herpchecklist.pdf

North Branch Potomac River[edit]

The North Branch between Cumberland, Maryland, and Ridgeley, West Virginia, in 2007

The source of the North Branch Potomac River
River
is at the Fairfax Stone located at the junction of Grant, Tucker and Preston counties in West Virginia. From the Fairfax Stone, the North Branch Potomac River
River
flows 27 miles (43 km) to the man-made Jennings Randolph Lake, an impoundment designed for flood control and emergency water supply. Below the dam, the North Branch cuts a serpentine path through the eastern Allegheny Mountains. First, it flows northeast by the communities of Bloomington, Luke, and Westernport in Maryland
Maryland
and then on by Keyser, West Virginia
West Virginia
to Cumberland, Maryland. At Cumberland, the river turns southeast. 103 miles (166 km) downstream from its source,[4] the North Branch is joined by the South Branch between Green Spring and South Branch Depot, West Virginia
West Virginia
from whence it flows past Hancock, Maryland
Maryland
and turns southeast once more on its way toward Washington, D.C., and the Chesapeake Bay. The following table shows the major tributaries of the North Branch Potomac River, listed in order from the source to its mouth. Numerous other tributary creeks exist.

Tributaries of the North Branch of the Potomac River

Stony River
River
(West Virginia) Abram Creek (West Virginia) Savage River
River
(Maryland) Georges Creek (Maryland)

Laurel Run (Maryland)

New Creek
New Creek
(West Virginia) Limestone Run (West Virginia) Warrior Run (Maryland) Wills Creek (Pennsylvania/Maryland)

Brush Creek (Pennsylvania) Little Wills Creek (Pennsylvania)

Evitts Creek ( Maryland
Maryland
and Pennsylvania) Patterson Creek (West Virginia)

Mill Creek (West Virginia)

Dans Run (West Virginia) Green Spring Run (West Virginia)

South Branch Potomac River[edit]

The South Branch near South Branch Depot, West Virginia

Oblique air photo of the confluence of the North and South Branches near Green Spring, West Virginia.

The South Branch Potomac River
River
has its headwaters in northwestern Highland County, Virginia
Virginia
near Hightown along the eastern edge of the Allegheny Front. After a river distance of 139 miles (224 km),[4] the mouth of the South Branch lies east of Green Spring in Hampshire County, West Virginia
West Virginia
where it meets the North Branch Potomac River
River
to form the Potomac.[36] South Branch nomenclature[edit] The Native Americans of the region, and thus the earliest white settlers, referred to the South Branch Potomac River
River
as the Wappatomaka. Variants throughout the river's history included Wappatomica River, Wapacomo River, Wapocomo River, Wappacoma River, Wappatomaka River, South Branch of Potowmac River, and South Fork Potomac River.[37] Places settled in the South Branch valley bearing variants of "Wappatomaka" include Wappocomo farm built in 1774 and the unincorporated hamlet of Wappocomo (sometimes spelled Wapocomo) at Hanging Rocks, both north of Romney on West Virginia
West Virginia
Route 28. South Branch headwaters and course[edit] The exact location of the South Branch's source is northwest of Hightown along U.S. Route 250
U.S. Route 250
on the eastern side of Lantz Mountain (3,934 ft) in Highland County. From Hightown, the South Branch is a small meandering stream that flows northeast along Blue Grass Valley Road through the communities of New Hampden and Blue Grass. At Forks of Waters, the South Branch joins with Strait Creek and flows north across the Virginia/ West Virginia
West Virginia
border into Pendleton County. The river then travels on a northeastern course along the western side of Jack Mountain (4,045 ft), followed by Sandy Ridge (2,297 ft) along U.S. Route 220. North of the confluence of the South Branch with Smith Creek, the river flows along Town Mountain (2,848 ft) around Franklin at the junction of U.S. Route 220
U.S. Route 220
and U.S. Route 33. After Franklin, the South Branch continues north through the Monongahela National Forest
Monongahela National Forest
to Upper Tract where it joins with three sizeable streams: Reeds Creek, Mill Run, and Deer Run. Between Big Mountain (2,582 ft) and Cave Mountain (2,821 ft), the South Branch bends around the Eagle Rock (1,483 ft) outcrop and continues its flow northward into Grant County. Into Grant, the South Branch follows the western side of Cave Mountain through the 20-mile (32 km) long Smoke Hole Canyon, until its confluence with the North Fork at Cabins, where it flows east to Petersburg. At Petersburg, the South Branch is joined with the South Branch Valley Railroad, which it parallels until its mouth at Green Spring.

Canoers at Hanging Rocks
Hanging Rocks
on the South Branch in the 1890s

In its eastern course from Petersburg into Hardy County, the South Branch becomes more navigable allowing for canoes and smaller river vessels. The river splits and forms a series of large islands while it heads northeast to Moorefield. At Moorefield, the South Branch is joined by the South Fork South Branch Potomac River
River
and runs north to Old Fields where it is fed by Anderson Run and Stony Run. At McNeill, the South Branch flows into the Trough where it is bound to its west by Mill Creek Mountain
Mill Creek Mountain
(2,119 ft) and to its east by Sawmill Ridge (1,644 ft). This area is the habitat to bald eagles. The Trough passes into Hampshire County and ends at its confluence with Sawmill Run south of Glebe and Sector. The South Branch continues north parallel to South Branch River
River
Road (County Route 8) toward Romney with a number of historic plantation farms adjoining it. En route to Romney, the river is fed by Buffalo Run, Mill Run, McDowell Run, and Mill Creek at Vanderlip. The South Branch is traversed by the Northwestern Turnpike
Northwestern Turnpike
(U.S. Route 50) and joined by Sulphur Spring Run where it forms Valley View Island
Valley View Island
to the west of town. Flowing north of Romney, the river still follows the eastern side of Mill Creek Mountain until it creates a horseshoe bend at Wappocomo's Hanging Rocks around the George W. Washington plantation, Ridgedale. To the west of Three Churches on the western side of South Branch Mountain, 3,028 feet (923 m), the South Branch creates a series of bends and flows to the northeast by Springfield through Blue's Ford. After two additional horseshoe bends (meanders), the South Branch flows under the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
mainline between Green Spring and South Branch Depot, and joins the North Branch to form the Potomac.

Tributaries of the South Branch of the Potomac River

Big Run (West Virginia) Buffalo Creek (West Virginia) Lunice Creek (West Virginia) Mill Creek (West Virginia) Mill Run (West Virginia) North Fork South Branch Potomac River
River
(West Virginia)

Mill Creek (West Virginia) Seneca Creek (West Virginia)

South Fork South Branch Potomac River
River
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Kettle Creek (West Virginia)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to South Branch Potomac River.

North Fork South Branch Potomac River[edit]

The North Fork South Branch below Seneca Rocks
Seneca Rocks
in Pendleton County, West Virginia

The North Fork South Branch Potomac River, 43.6 miles (70.2 km) long,[4] forms just north of the Virginia/ West Virginia
West Virginia
border in Pendleton County at the confluence of the Laurel Fork and Straight Fork along Big Mountain 3,881 feet (1,183 m). From Circleville, the North Fork flows northeast through Pendleton County between the Fore Knobs 2,949 feet (899 m) to its west and the River
River
Knobs, 2,490 feet (759 m) to its east. At Seneca Rocks, the North Fork is met by Seneca Creek. From Seneca Rocks, the North Fork continues to flow northeast along the western edge of North Fork Mountain
North Fork Mountain
3,389 feet (1033 m) into Grant County. Flowing east through North Fork Gap, the North Fork joins the South Branch Potomac at the town of Cabins, west of Petersburg. South Fork South Branch Potomac River[edit] The South Fork South Branch Potomac River
River
forms just north of U.S. Route 250 in Highland County, Virginia
Virginia
near Monterey, and flows 68.4 miles (110.1 km)[4] north-northeastward to the South Branch Potomac River
River
at Moorefield in Hardy County, West Virginia. From 1896 to 1929, it was named the Moorefield River
River
by the Board on Geographic Names to avoid confusion with the South Branch.

Sunrise view from Jefferson Rock at Harpers Ferry, WV.

Upper Potomac River[edit] This stretch encompasses the section of the Potomac River
River
from the confluence of the North and South Branches to the beginning of tidewater, just below the Little Falls Branch
Little Falls Branch
in Washington, D.C.

Confluence
Confluence
of Cacapon river (barely visible) with the Potomac

Upper Potomac tributaries

Above the Fall Line

North Branch Potomac River
River
(Maryland/West Virginia) South Branch Potomac River
River
(West Virginia/Virginia) Town Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania) Little Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia)

North Fork Little Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia) South Fork Little Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia)

Sideling Hill Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania) Cacapon River
River
(West Virginia)

Capon Springs Run (West Virginia) Dillons Run
Dillons Run
(West Virginia) Edwards Run
Edwards Run
(West Virginia) Lost River
River
(West Virginia) Mill Branch (West Virginia) North River
River
(West Virginia)

Grassy Lick Run
Grassy Lick Run
(West Virginia) Tearcoat Creek (West Virginia)

Bearwallow Creek (West Virginia)

Trout Run (West Virginia)

Sir Johns Run (West Virginia) Warm Spring Run
Warm Spring Run
(West Virginia) Tonoloway Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania) Fifteenmile Creek (Maryland/Pennsylvania) Sleepy Creek
Sleepy Creek
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Meadow Branch
Meadow Branch
(West Virginia)

Cherry Run
Cherry Run
(West Virginia) Back Creek (West Virginia/Virginia)

Hogue Creek (Virginia) Isaacs Creek (Virginia) Tilhance Creek (West Virginia)

Conococheague Creek
Conococheague Creek
(Maryland/Pennsylvania)

Back Creek (Pennsylvania)

Opequon Creek
Opequon Creek
(West Virginia/Virginia)

Middle Creek (West Virginia) Mill Creek (West Virginia/Virginia) Tuscarora Creek (West Virginia)

Antietam Creek
Antietam Creek
(Pennsylvania/Maryland) Shenandoah River
Shenandoah River
(West Virginia/Virginia)

North Fork Shenandoah River
Shenandoah River
(Virginia)

Cedar Creek (Virginia) Smith Creek (Virginia)

South Fork Shenandoah River
Shenandoah River
(Virginia)

Catoctin Creek (Virginia) Catoctin Creek (Maryland) Tuscarora Creek (Maryland) Monocacy River
Monocacy River
(Maryland)

Bennett Creek (Maryland) Ballenger Creek (Maryland) Bush Creek (Maryland) Linganore Creek
Linganore Creek
(Maryland) Carroll Creek (Maryland) Tuscarora Creek (Maryland) Double Pipe Creek
Double Pipe Creek
(Maryland) Toms Creek (Pennsylvania) Marsh Creek (Pennsylvania/Maryland) Rock Creek (Pennsylvania/Maryland)

Little Monocacy River
Monocacy River
(Maryland) Broad Run (Maryland) Goose Creek (Virginia)

Little River
River
(Virginia) Sycolin Creek (Virginia) Tuscarora Creek (Virginia) Cattail Branch (Virginia)

Broad Run (Virginia)

Horsepen Run (Virginia) Cabin Branch (Virginia) Beaverdam Run (Virginia)

Horsepen Branch (Maryland) Sugarland Run (Virginia) Seneca Creek (Maryland)

Dry Seneca Creek (Maryland) Little Seneca Creek
Little Seneca Creek
(Maryland)

Tenmile Creek (Maryland)

Great Seneca Creek
Great Seneca Creek
(Maryland)

Old Sugarland Run (Virginia) Muddy Branch
Muddy Branch
(Maryland) Nichols Run (Virginia) Watts Branch (Maryland) Limekiln Branch (Maryland) Carroll Branch (Maryland) Pond Run (Virginia) Clarks Branch (Virginia) Mine Run Branch (Virginia) Difficult Run
Difficult Run
(Virginia) Bullneck Run (Virginia) Rock Run (Maryland) Scott Run (Virginia) Dead Run (Virginia) Turkey Run (Virginia) Cabin John Creek
Cabin John Creek
(Maryland) Minnehaha Branch (Maryland) Little Falls Branch
Little Falls Branch
(Maryland)

Tidal Potomac River[edit]

View southwest across the tidal Potomac River
River
from the south end of Cobb Island Road on Cobb Island, Charles County, Maryland

The tidal or Lower Potomac River
River
lies below the Fall Line. This stretch encompasses the Potomac from about one mile (2 km) below the Washington, DC
Washington, DC
- Montgomery County line, just downstream of the Little Falls of the Potomac River
River
where the tidal river begins, to Chesapeake Bay.

Tidal Potomac tributaries

Below the Fall Line

Pimmit Run
Pimmit Run
(Virginia) Gulf Branch
Gulf Branch
(Virginia) Donaldson Run (Virginia) Windy Run
Windy Run
(Virginia) Spout Run (Virginia) Maddox Branch (District of Columbia) Foundry Branch (District of Columbia) Rock Creek (District of Columbia/Maryland) Rocky Run (Virginia) (paved over) Tiber Creek
Tiber Creek
(District of Columbia) (paved over) Roaches Run (Virginia) Washington Channel
Washington Channel
(District of Columbia) Anacostia River
Anacostia River
(District of Columbia/Maryland; Buzzard Point)

Stickfoot Branch (District of Columbia) Pope Branch (District of Columbia) Watts Branch (District of Columbia/Maryland) Hickey Run (District of Columbia) Beaverdam Creek (District of Columbia/Maryland) Northwest Branch Anacostia River
Anacostia River
(Maryland)

Sligo Creek
Sligo Creek
(Maryland)

Northeast Branch Anacostia River
Anacostia River
(Maryland)

Paint Branch
Paint Branch
(Maryland)

Four Mile Run
Four Mile Run
(Virginia)

Lubber Run (Virginia) Long Branch (upper) (Virginia) Doctors Run (Doctors Branch) (Virginia) Lucky Run (Virginia) (paved over) Long Branch (lower) (Virginia)

Oxon Creek
Oxon Creek
(District of Columbia/Maryland) Hunting Creek
Hunting Creek
(Virginia)

Cameron Run
Cameron Run
(Virginia)

Backlick Run (Virginia) Holmes Run
Holmes Run
(Virginia)

Hooff Run (Virginia)

Broad Creek (Maryland) Henson Creek (Maryland) Swan Creek (Maryland) Piscataway Creek
Piscataway Creek
(Maryland) Little Hunting Creek
Hunting Creek
(Virginia) Dogue Creek (Virginia) Accotink Creek
Accotink Creek
(Virginia) Pohick Creek
Pohick Creek
(Virginia) Pomonkey Creek (Maryland) Occoquan River
Occoquan River
(Virginia)

Bull Run (Virginia) Broad Run (Virginia) Cedar Run (Virginia)

Neabsco Creek (Virginia) Powell's Creek (Virginia) Mattawoman Creek
Mattawoman Creek
(Maryland) Chicamuxen Creek (Maryland) Quantico Creek
Quantico Creek
(Virginia) Little Creek (Virginia) Chopawamsic Creek
Chopawamsic Creek
(Virginia) Tank Creek (Virginia) Aquia Creek
Aquia Creek
(Virginia) Potomac Creek
Potomac Creek
(Virginia)

Accokeek Creek (Virginia)

Nanjemoy Creek (Maryland) Port Tobacco River
River
(Maryland) Popes Creek (Maryland) Gambo Creek (Virginia) Piccowaxen Creek (Maryland) Upper Machodoc Creek (Virginia) Cuckold Creek (Maryland) Wicomico River
River
(Maryland) Cobb Island (Maryland) Monroe Creek (Virginia) Mattox Creek (Virginia) Popes Creek (Virginia) Breton Bay, Leonardtown (Maryland) St. Marys River
River
(Maryland) Yeocomico River
River
(Virginia) Coan River
River
(Virginia) Hull Creek (Virginia) Sword's Creek (Maryland)

  Images[edit]

  Upper Potomac[edit]

Potomac River
River
at Goose Creek

  Tidal Potomac[edit]

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
in Washington, D.C., viewed from across the Tidal Basin of the Potomac

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac in the distance

 

  Other[edit]  

See also[edit]

Air Florida Flight 90 List of cities and towns along the Potomac River List of crossings of the Potomac River List of islands on the Potomac River List of rivers of Maryland List of rivers of Virginia List of rivers of West Virginia List of tributaries of the Potomac River List of variant names of the Potomac River Potomac Heritage Trail

Notes[edit] Source notes[edit]

^ a b c d e "USGS 01646500 POTOMAC RIVER NEAR WASH, DC LITTLE FALLS PUMP STA". USGS. 2018. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.  ^ a b "USGS 01646500 POTOMAC RIVER NEAR WASH, DC LITTLE FALLS PUMP STA". USGS. 2018. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ "Potomac River
River
Near Washington DC (Little Falls) (BRKM2)". NOAA. 2018. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ a b c d e f U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived April 5, 2012, at WebCite. Retrieved August 15, 2011 ^ a b "Facts & FAQs". Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), Rockville, MD. September 16, 2009. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-05.  ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 396. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Archived from the original on May 11, 2016.  ^ Legends of Loudoun: An account of the history and homes of a border county of Virginia's Northern Neck, Harrison Williams, p. 26. ^ a b Achenbach, Joel (2004). The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West. Simon and Schuster. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-684-84857-0. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016.  ^ Hagemann, James A. (1988). The Heritage of Virginia. The Donning Company, 2nd edition, 297 p. ISBN 0-89865-255-3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Potomac River ^ "Chesapeake Swan Song exhibition opens April 11 at CBMM". Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. January 26, 2015. Archived from the original on February 28, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.  ^ "THE ORIGIN OF THE POTOMAC RIVER VALLEY AND THE CARVING OF GREAT FALLS". United States
United States
Geological Survey. 2014. Archived from the original on April 9, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2014.  ^ Peck, Garrett (2012). The Potomac River: A History and Guide. Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-60949-600-5.  ^ Hahn, Thomas (1984). The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal: Pathway to the Nation's Capital. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-1732-2.  ^ Ways, Harry C. (1996). The Washington Aqueduct: 1852-1992. (Baltimore, MD: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District) ^ "(Arakawa - Potomac sister rivers)". Interstate Commission on the Potomac River
River
Basin. January 27, 2012. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2016.  ^ "President Clinton: Celebrating America's Rivers". American Heritage Rivers. July 30, 1998. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.  ^ Carey, Frank (December 4, 1963). "Potomac Dam
Dam
Is Opposed By Virginians". Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. Retrieved 2009-11-13.  ^ Joel Achenbach (May 5, 2002). "America's River". The Washington Post. pp. W12. [dead link] ^ Scott, Pamela (2007), "Capital Engineers: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Development of Washington, D.C., 1790-2004." Archived February 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (Washington, DC: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.) Publication No. EP 870-1-67. p. 256. ^ a b ICPRB. "Potomac Timeline." Archived January 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Updated 2008-04-15. ^ District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Water and Sewer Authority. Washington, DC. "History of Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant." Archived March 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2010-09-28. ^ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Annapolis, MD (2009). "Intersex fish: Endocrine disruption in smallmouth bass." Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Fahrenthold, David A. (November 13, 2007). "Potomac Recovery Deemed At Risk". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 1, 2011. Retrieved 2007-11-13.  ^ "Potomac River
River
earns "B-" on latest report card". Chesapeake Bay Program. Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
Program. March 30, 2016. Archived from the original on February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.  ^ U.S. Supreme Court. Virginia
Virginia
v. Maryland, 540 U.S. 56 (2003) ^ Maryland
Maryland
v. West Virginia, 217 U.S. 1 (1910) ^ Maryland
Maryland
v. West Virginia, 217 U.S. 577 (1910) ^ Potomac snakeheads not related to others Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press, Baltimore Sun, April 27, 2007. ^ "Northern Snakehead - Frequently Asked Questions". Virginia Department of Natural Resources. September 9, 2014. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014.  ^ Jim Cummins (2013). "FISHES OF THE FRESHWATER POTOMAC" (PDF). www.potomacriver.org. Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. Retrieved February 27, 2018.  ^ "Sharks! Watermen catch two 8-footers on same day". somdnews.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-17.  ^ "THE POTOMAC RIVER AMERICAN SHAD RESTORATION PROJECT" (PDF). www.potomacriver.org. Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. March 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2018.  ^ "The Mysterious Dolphins of the Potomac". 2017. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2018.  ^ "Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project". 2018. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.  ^ Topographic map of the confluence of the North and South branches of the Potomac River
River
Archived March 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Morrison, Charles (1971), Wappatomaka: A Survey of the History and Geography of the South Branch Valley, McClain Printing Co.: Parsons, W.Va..

Content notes[edit]

^ AQU: The diversion dam at Great Falls, often called the "Aqueduct Dam", was built in the 1850s by the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of the project assigned to them by Congress to supply clean water from above Great Falls to Washington, DC. Water diverted by the dam flows 12 miles through a 9-foot diameter pipeline to Dalecarlia Reservoir
Dalecarlia Reservoir
on the outskirts of the city where it is first allowed to settle and then filtered and purified before being distributed to consumers. Since 1927, potable water from Dalecarlia has also been provided to Arlington County and some other sections of nearby northern Virginia
Virginia
through three 20-inch diameter pipelines that cross the Potomac under the deck of Chain Bridge. In addition, there is nearby a 4-foot diameter conduit constructed in 1967 that traverses the Potomac beneath the riverbed which is used primarily for backup purposes. (Sources: "Water, Water ... " by Larry Van Dyne, Washingtonian Magazine (March 2007), https://archive.is/UNtln and "Sources of Northern Virginia
Virginia
Drinking Water", https://archive.is/yJkP5) ^ GHL: "Evidence of the ancient Potomac River
River
bed can be seen in well-rounded boulders, smoothed surfaces and grooves, and beautifully formed potholes. Look for sandstone boulders along the trail, which were deposited by massive floods. The sandy soils along the river trail, with shells mixed in, are a result of sediment deposits from floods. Some of the oldest sediment deposits in the area can be found on Glade Hill, between the Matildaville and Carriage Road trails. Glade Hill was once an island in the Potomac River, and the deposits found there were left before Mather Gorge
Mather Gorge
formed." (Source: https://www.nps.gov/grfa/learn/nature/geology.htm) ^ PIF: "In the Late Pennsylvanian, the rocks of the Stubblefield Falls domain of the Mather Gorge
Mather Gorge
Formation moved up relative to the Sykesville Formation on the steep, west-dipping Plummers Island
Plummers Island
fault and mylonite zones (Schoenborn, 2001) within an existing Plummers Island
Plummers Island
shear zone (figs. 5, 6). Shearing formed S2 cleavage with below-closure muscovite growth and more pervasive S2 cleavage in the Sykesville Formation. By the earliest Permian, all of the rocks in the Potomac terrane had cooled through 235°C (figs. 3, 5). Apatite fission-track data indicate cooling through ~90°C to 100°C in Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous time, with increasing ages to the east, suggesting kilometer-scale rotation of the Potomac terrane in the Cretaceous and (or) Tertiary, with the west side up." (Source: Kunk (2004)) ^ BLK: "Two samples collected from the terrace dissected by Great Falls indicate that the Falls were established in their current location by 30 ky. A series of 6 samples taken from a vertical transect just below the falls, indicates that vertical incision continued a rate of 0.5 m/ky between 27 and 12 ky, increasing to nearly 1.0 m/ky during the Holocene. These data suggest that the drop over Great Falls is growing with time. A dramatic increase in outcrop weathering and soil depth 3.5 km downstream of the Falls, suggests that prior to establishment of the Great Falls knickzone, a similar feature was likely present near Black Pond. 10-Be data are not yet available for this paleo knick zone; however, a 10-Be model age >200 ky from the top of Plummers island 5 km down stream of Black Pond suggests a much older period of retreat led to the formation of the Black Pond paleo knick zone." (Source: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2004NE/finalprogram/abstract_69763.htm) ^ PES: "The Potomac Estuary: From the Chain Bridge in Washington, DC, to Point Lookout at the confluence with the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac Estuary
Estuary
is a long and narrow estuary—approximately 189 km. With its many tributaries and bays, however, the Potomac Estuary
Estuary
has a shoreline of 1,800 km. The Estuary
Estuary
meanders in a south, southeasterly direction, except for a sharp bend about halfway downriver. The Estuary
Estuary
has three well-defined and distinct zones. The upper zone, from Chain Bridge to Indian Head, is the tidal freshwater reach, with salinities of less than 0.5 parts per thousand (ppt). The middle reach, between Indian Head and the Route 301 Bridge at Morgantown, is the transition zone. The salinity of this zone varies from 0.5 to 7.0 ppt and is often referred to as the zone of maximum turbidity. The lower zone, from the 301 Bridge to Point Lookout, has salinities ranging from 7 to 16 ppt." (Source: http://www.potomacriver.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/NAJ_01_Chap1.pdf) ^ TRI: "The rocky western (upriver) and central portions of the island are part of the Piedmont Plateau, while the southeastern part is within the Atlantic Coastal Plain. At one point opposite Georgetown, the Atlantic Seaboard fall line between the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain
Coastal Plain
can be seen as a natural phenomenon. The island has about 2.5-mile (4.0 km) of shoreline, and the highest area of the island (where the Mason mansion stood) is about 44 feet (13 m) above sea level." (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt_Island#Geography_and_natural_history)

References[edit]

Rice, James D., Nature and History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson. (2009), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; ISBN 0-8018-9032-2; ISBN 978-0-8018-9032-1 Smith, J. Lawrence, The Potomac Naturalist: The Natural History of the Headwaters
Headwaters
of the Historic Potomac (1968), Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Co.; ISBN 0-87012-023-9; ISBN 978-0-87012-023-7

External links[edit]

Find more aboutPotomac Riverat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service - Baltimore/Washington (Sterling, VA) - including Potomac River
River
levels

Potomac River
River
level at Williamsport Potomac River
River
level at Harpers Ferry Potomac River
River
level at Point of Rocks Potomac River
River
level at Little Falls Potomac River
River
level at Wisconsin Avenue

Geology of the National Capital Region: Field Trip Guidebook (2004) edited by Scott Southworth, William Chapin Burton, Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey Interstate Commission on the Potomac River
River
Basin (ICPRB) Potomac Conservancy Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Potomac Riverkeeper Potomac Timeline (focus on water quality) by ICPRB Potomac Watershed Partnership[permanent dead link] Potomac Watershed Roundtable Prince William Conservation Alliance Stewards of the Potomac Highlands South Branch Consortium The River
River
and the Rocks: The Geologic Story of Great Falls and the Potomac River
River
Gorge (Second edition, 1980) by John C. Reed, Jr. et al, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; also available in downloadable pdf format The Seven-Storey River: Geomorphology of the Potomac River
River
Channel Between Blockhouse Point, Maryland, and Georgetown, District of Columbia, With Emphasis on the Gorge Complex Below Great Falls (1997) by E-an Zen, Reston, VA: US Geological Survey West Virginia
West Virginia
Division of Natural Resources West Virginia
West Virginia
Rivers Coalition Trout and Smallmouth Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac Wade and Shoreline Fishing the Potomac River
River
for Smallmouth Bass

v t e

Potomac River
River
system

Cities and towns Bridges Islands Tributaries Variant names District of Columbia Maryland Pennsylvania Virginia West Virginia Streams shown as: Major tributaries

subtributaries (subsubtributaries) (subsubsubtributaries)

Tidal Potomac River

Gulf Branch Donaldson Run Maddox Branch Windy Run Spout Run Foundry Branch Rock Creek

Piney Branch

Boundary Channel Tiber Creek Rocky Run Washington Channel Anacostia River

Pope Branch Watts Branch Hickey Run Northwest Branch

Sligo Creek

Northeast Branch

Paint Branch

Four Mile Run Oxon Creek Hunting Creek

Cameron Run

Broad Creek Henson Creek Swan Creek Piscataway Creek Little Hunting Creek Dogue Creek Accotink Creek

Daniels Run

Pohick Creek Pomonkey Creek Occoquan River

Bull Run Broad Run Cedar Run

Neabsco Creek Powell Creek Mattawoman Creek Chicamuxen Creek Quantico Creek Little Creek Chopawamsic Creek Tank Creek Aquia Creek Potomac Creek

Accokeek Creek

Nanjemoy Creek Port Tobacco River Popes Creek (Maryland) Gambo Creek Piccowaxen Creek Upper Machodoc Creek Cuckold Creek Wicomico River Monroe Creek Mattox Creek Popes Creek (Virginia) St. Marys River Yeocomico River Coan River Hull Creek

Upper Potomac River

North Branch Potomac River South Branch Potomac River Town Creek Little Cacapon River

North Fork Little Cacapon River South Fork Little Cacapon River

Fifteenmile Creek Sideling Hill Creek Cacapon River

Lost River Trout Run Capon Springs Run Dillons Run Edwards Run Mill Branch North River (Grassy Lick Run) (Tearcoat Creek) (Bearwallow Creek)

Sir Johns Run Warm Spring Run Tonoloway Creek

Little Tonoloway Creek

Sleepy Creek Meadow Branch Licking Creek Cherry Run Back Creek Hogue Creek Isaacs Creek Tilhance Creek Little Conococheague Creek Conococheague Creek Back Creek Opequon Creek Abrams Creek Mill Creek Middle Creek Tuscarora Creek (West Virginia) Antietam Creek Shenandoah River Little Catoctin Creek Catoctin Creek (Virginia) Catoctin Creek (Maryland) Tuscarora Creek (Maryland) Monocacy River

Rock Creek Marsh Creek Alloway Creek Toms Creek (Middle Creek) Double Pipe Creek (Big Pipe Creek) (Little Pipe Creek) Owens Creek Tuscarora Creek Carroll Creek Linganore Creek Israel Creek Double Pipe Creek Bush Creek Ballenger Creek Bennett Creek

Little Monocacy River Goose Creek

Little River

Broad Run (Virginia) Sugarland Run Broad Run (Maryland) Seneca Creek

Dry Seneca Creek Little Seneca Creek (Tenmile Creek) Great Seneca Creek

Difficult Run Cabin John Creek Dead Run Little Falls Branch Pimmit Run Rock Run Watts Branch Muddy Branch

Shenandoah River

North Fork Shenandoah River

Cedar Creek Smith Creek

South Fork Shenandoah River

North River (Middle River) South River

North Branch Potomac River

Stony River Abram Creek Savage River Georges Creek Laurel Run New Creek Limestone Run Warrior Run Wills Creek

Brush Creek Little Wills Creek

Evitts Creek Patterson Creek

Mill Creek

Dans Run Green Spring Run

South Branch Potomac River

North Fork South Branch Potomac River

Laurel Fork Mill Creek Seneca Creek

South Fork South Branch Potomac River

Kettle Creek

Lunice Creek Mill Run Mill Creek Big Run Buffalo Creek

Lakes and reservoirs

Lake Accotink Lake Anne Lake Artemesia Lake Bernard Frank Lake Braddock Breckenridge Reservoir Brushy Fork Lake Burke Lake Dalecarlia Reservoir Georgetown Reservoir Jennings Randolph Lake Kingman Lake Little Seneca Lake McMillan Reservoir Mount Storm Lake Lake Needwood Sleepy Creek
Sleepy Creek
Lake Stony River
River
Reservoir Tidal Basin Trout Pond Warden Lake

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Waters of Maryland

Bays/Estuaries

Assawoman Chesapeake Chincoteague Curtis Bay Eastern Fishing Herring Isle of Wight Mallows Newport Pocomoke Sinepuxent Tangier

Rivers

Anacostia Annemessex (Big) Annemessex (Little) Back Bird Blackwater Blackwater (Little) Bohemia Bush Casselman Chester Chicamacomico Choptank Choptank (Little) Christina River Corsica Elk Front Gunpowder Hawlings Jones Falls Magothy Magothy (Little) Manokin Middle Miles Monocacy Monocacy (Little) Nanticoke North North East Patapsco Patuxent Pocomoke Port Tobacco Potomac Rhode St. Martin St. Marys Sassafras Savage Severn South Susquehanna Transquaking Tred Avon Warwick West Wicomico (Potomac) Wicomico Wye Wye East Youghiogheny

Creeks, runs, streams

Antietam Alloway Arundel Cove Ballenger Bear (Patapsco) Bear (Sideling Hill) Bear (Youghiogheny) Beaverdam Bennett Big Hunting Big Pipe Bodkin Bonnie Branch Bread and Cheese Broad (Choptank) Broad (Potomac) Broad (Susquehanna) Broad Run Budds Bush Cabin John Carroll Catoctin Catoctin (Little) Chicamuxen Collington Branch Conococheague Conococheague (Little) Conowingo Cuckold Curtis Deep Run Deer Dividing Dorsey Run Double Pipe Dry Seneca Dueling Dundee Evitts Fifteenmile Fishing Flintstone Frog Mortar Furnace Georges Great Seneca Green Branch Greys Gwynns Falls Harris Henson Herbert Run Herring Run Honga Hunting (Little) Indian (Anacostia) Indian (Patuxent) Israel Laurel Run Licking Linganore Little Falls Branch Little Pipe Little Seneca Lyons Main Marley Marsh Marshyhope Mattawoman Meekins Middle Mill Branch Minnehaha Branch Moores Run Muddy Branch Nanjemoy Nassawango Northeast Branch Anacostia River Northwest Branch Anacostia River Octoraro Owens Oxon Paint Branch Parsons Piney Piscataway Plumtree Branch Pomonkey Principio Rock (Potomac) Rock Run Rockburn Branch Roland Run Romney St. Leonard Saltpeter Sams Sellman Seneca (Middle) Seneca (Potomac) Sideling Hill Slaughter Sligo Soapstone Branch Stony Swanson Tenmile Creek Thoms Cove Toms Tonoloway Town (Patuxent) Town (Potomac) Town (Tred Avon) Towson Run Trappe Tuckahoe Turville Tuscarora (Monocacy) Tuscarora (Potomac) Tuscarora (Little) Watts Branch Western Run Wills Winters Run

Lakes

Allen Pond Artemesia Buckel's Bog Centennial Deep Creek Elkhorn Bernard Frank Jennings Randolph Kittamaqundi Little Seneca Needwood Quarry Lake Roland Woodward Pond Youghiogheny

Reservoirs

Dalecarlia Habeeb Liberty Loch Raven Piney Run Prettyboy Rocky Gorge Triadelphia

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Monongahela National Forest

National Recreation Areas

Spruce Knob- Seneca Rocks
Seneca Rocks
National Recreation Area

Wilderness areas

Big Draft Wilderness Cranberry Wilderness Dolly Sods Wilderness Laurel Fork North Wilderness Laurel Fork South Wilderness Otter Creek Wilderness Roaring Plains West Wilderness Spice Run Wilderness

Mountains and summits

Allegheny Front Allegheny Mountain Back Allegheny Mountain Backbone Mountain Barton Knob Burner Mountain Bickle Knob Champe Rocks Cheat Mountain Gaudineer Knob Mount Porte Crayon North Fork Mountain River
River
Knobs Seneca Rocks Shavers Mountain Spruce Knob Spruce Mountain

Rivers and creeks

Big Run Black Fork Blackwater River Cheat River Cranberry River Dry Fork Elk River Gauley River Glady Fork Greenbrier River Laurel Fork Seneca Creek South Branch Potomac River Shavers Fork Tygart Valley River Williams River

Canyons and valleys

Blackwater Canyon Canaan Valley Germany Valley Smoke Hole Canyon

Lakes and bogs

Lake Sherwood Spruce Knob
Spruce Knob
Lake Summit Lake Cranberry Glades

Observation towers

Bickle Knob Olson Tower

Other features

Bear Rocks Preserve Camp Allegheny Cheat Summit Fort Fernow Experimental Forest Gaudineer Scenic Area Highland Scenic Highway Middle Mountain Cabins Mill Point Federal Prison Sinks of Gandy

US Forest Service

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American Heritage Rivers

Rivers

Blackstone & Woonasquatucket Connecticut Cuyahoga Detroit Hanalei Hudson Lower Mississippi Potomac New Rio Grande St. Johns Upper Mississippi Upper Susquehanna & Lackawanna Willamette

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 315129

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