Fish Kill Results Deep Creek Lake. Well, there have been a lot of people locally concerned about the recent fish kill here on Deep Creek Lake, and rightfully so. There have been many different stories about the cause of the kill and the health of the lake. I spend a lot of time in the lake and have never been given any signs that the lake is polluted or contaminated in any way, shape or form. I have been waiting to hear facts about the fish kill before raising any concerns or judgments.
Thankfully, it looks like the scientists have found the culprit to be the recent hot weather that we’ve been experiencing this summer. The Maryland State Department of the Environment said Thursday that high air temperatures this month warmed the lake’s surface and created ideal conditions for an infestation of parasitic microorganisms that affect the gills of certain cold-water fish.
The agency said the fish kill is affecting mainly cold-water species such as yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike.
Environmental regulators and the state Department of Natural Resources are still collecting and analyzing water and fish samples.
Wild Ramps Deep Creek Lake. April is here, and for the Mountains surrounding Deep Creek Lake that means that wild ramps, which are classified as wild leeks, are just about ready to harvest. These wild leeks have a very strong and pungent flavor that taste to me like a mixture between onions, garlic and leeks. My favorite way to eat them is to put them in fried potatoes with some salt and pepper. Cooking them tames down the flavor some but understand they always pack a delicious punch. Eating them raw is another matter. Only the hardcore brave eat these wild treats fresh from the ground. The intense flavor will have you committed to its enjoyment for many, many hours…or days. I’m not sure if tooth brushes and toothpaste ever have a chance at getting the bold taste of ramps off your breath, but when you are up here in the Mountains you are among the majority!
News Release…Record Snow Fall at Deep Creek Lake May Result in Unprecedented Spring Melt
Deep Creek Hydroelectric Station to Lower Lake Levels; Lake Users Encouraged to Take Extra Safety Precautions
March 3, 2010, Oakland, MD – Sooner or later the record snow fall at Deep Creek Lake must melt and that could cause a record spring runoff. To a limited extent, Deep Creek Lake levels can be controlled by the Deep Creek Hydroelectric Station which operates under a Water Appropriation and Use permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Under the permit conditions, the Station, which is owned by Brookfield Renewable Power, uses water to generate hydropower, but keeps Lake levels within a defined “rule band” with upper and lower limits. This year’s unprecedented snow fall will likely result in an unprecedented snow melt, particularly if temperatures warm quickly.
To avoid serious and potentially damaging high water conditions at the dam and on the Lake, the Maryland Department of the Environment has approved Brookfield’s request to draw the Lake level down two feet below its permitted March lower limit. The draw down, which began on March 1, will take place gradually, with a maximum of 0.5 feet reduction per day. David Barnhart, General Manager for Brookfield’s Mid-America Operations said, “Together with MDE, we are doing what we can to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of the spring thaw. As this winter proves, you never know what Mother Nature will throw you and an early, sustained thaw may result in higher than usual water levels.”
The lowered water levels beneath the ice cover, combined with warming temperatures, pose unpredictable risks to recreational users of Deep Creek Lake. Carolyn Mathews, Manager of the Deep Creek Lake Recreation Area advises, “People should remember that there are always hazards to recreating on naturally-formed ice. Lowering the Lake to make additional storage space for the anticipated above normal spring runoff may destabilize the Lake’s ice and we urge everyone to take special care to stay safe.”
The MDE, Brookfield, and the Department of Natural Resources continue to monitor the Lake levels and weather conditions to determine whether additional actions for safety of recreational users may be required. Lake levels can be found at www.deepcreekhydro.com.
(Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Brookfield Renewable Power Inc., Maryland Department of the Environment)
Some people that travel to Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County, Maryland say that it’s almost like someone flipped the weather switch once you cross over the Eastern Continental Divide line in the Eastern most part of Garrett County, near Grantsville, MD. And, living in Deep Creek Lakemy entire life, I can attest to that!
Whether you’re commuting to the area from Baltimore, DC or Northern VA you might get the impression on the ride here that there won’t be any fresh snow when you arrive. But, hold on, just as soon as you top the hill at Finzel and again at Keysers Ridge you will come to find that this is not the case at all. The Eastern Continental Divide falls just between these 2 mountain ranges, that’s why many say it’s a landmark for the weather to come ahead. In fact, Garrett County has the highest elevations in Maryland, ranging from 1800-3000 feet in most areas and 3000-4500 feet in a few small spots. See Maryland elevation map courtesy of geology.com: http://geology.com/state-map/maryland.shtml.
The Eastern Continental Divide, in conjunction with other continental divides of North America, demarcates two watersheds of the Atlantic Ocean: the Gulf of Mexico watershed and the Atlantic Seaboard watershed. Prior to 1760, the Divide represented the boundary between the British and French colonial possessions in North America. The ECD runs south-southwest from the Eastern Triple Divide through several Atlantic Seaboard states (and West Virginia) to the watershed of the Florida Bay, which is adjacent to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Continental_Divide)
Find out for yourself. Pack up the family and head as far West as you can go in MD to Maryland’s only ski resort for the weekend, Wisp Resort. You’ll experience Deep Creek Lake in it’s winter wonderland. www.DeepCreekLakeProperty.com
Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake encompassing 3,900 acres with 65 miles of shoreline. Its average depth is 26.5 feet and 72 feet at it’s deepest.
2. What type of activities go on around the lake?
A few…Boating, Swimming, Kayaking, Water-skiing, Alpine-skiing, Rock-climbing, Wake-boarding, Dog-sledding, Whitewater-rafting, Golf, Mountain Coaster, Hiking, Biking, X-country skiing, Snowmobiling, Fishing, Ice-skating, etc. Nearly every outdoor activity you can think of.
3. Does Garrett County have any state parks or forests?
Do we ever! We have 7 state forests and parks. Savage River State Forest is the largest in Maryland. This county has over 90,000 acres of publicly owned lands.
4. What is Wisp Resort?
You haven’t heard about it yet? Wisp Resort is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier four-season resort. It is becoming known as “The Little Tahoe of the East.” There are too many things happening at Wisp to list here: from a world-class whitewater course to the best snow-making capabilities in the world. Call for a complete update on Wisp Resort.
5. How far away is Deep Creek Lake?
Here are some distances from nearby metropolitan areas: Baltimore-177 miles; Washington, DC.-161 miles; Pittsburgh-96 miles; Cleveland-255 miles; Philadelphia-282 miles; Richmond-224 miles; New York-355 miles.