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From the Center for Watershed Protection Assessment Report
2006 Beaver Creek Watershed Managment Plan.

Beaver Creek, a tributary to Antietam Creek, drains approximately 32 square miles of farmland, forest, and residential area in eastern Washington County, Maryland. From its headwaters on South Mountain, Beaver Creek flows southwest to its confluence with Antietam Creek at Devil's Backbone Park, near Boonsboro, Maryland.

The mainstem of the Beaver Creek is approximately 16 miles long and the watershed contains about 60 miles of streams. The watershed consists of four subwatersheds: Upper Beaver Creek, Black Rock tributary, Little Beaver Creek tributary and lower Beaver Creek. Smithsburg is the largest municipality within the watershed while Boonsboro and Mt. Aetna have jurisdiction over small portions of the watershed. Based on 2002 land cover data, almost 40% of the land use within the watershed is agricultural, roughly 40% is forest, and 16% is residential. Total watershed imperviousness is approximately 5%.

Hagerstown Valley karst geology underlies much of the Beaver Creek watershed. Beaver Creek is one of the largest karst streams in Maryland (MDDNR, 2004a), and as a tributary to the Antietam Creek is listed as a "Key Wildlife Habitat Area" for Limestone Streams, Caves and Springs by the Maryland DNR Wildlife and Heritage Services (MDDNR, 2005). Beaver Creek is classified by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) as a Use IIIP, "Nontidal Cold Water and Public Water Supply" It is an important regional fishery, hosting rainbow and naturally reproducing populations of brown trout. In addition, the Checkered Sculpin and the Pearl Dace, two fish species with highly restricted state distribution, have been found in relatively high numbers during Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) sampling in Beaver Creek. The Checkered Sculpin is highly state rare and is restricted to cold, spring-fed moderate and high gradient streams.

Development and intensive agricultural operations (dairy and row crop) have impacted Beaver Creek. MDE cites two impaired water bodies in the Beaver Creek watershed on its 303(d) list: Black Rock Creek (for biological impairment) and Greenbrier Lake (for nutrients). While there are no Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) listed for Beaver Creek, a TMDL for carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD) and nitrogenous biochemical oxygen demand (NBOD) was approved for the Antietam in 2002 (MDE, 2001). Beaver Creek was listed as one of the major nonpoint source loads of BOD that enter Antietam Creek (MDE, 2001).

Beaver Creek Watershed overview



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