Rivers and Streams

What is a tributary?

A tributary is a creek, stream or river that flows into a larger body of water. For example, the Susquehanna, Potomac and James rivers are tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

Which rivers and streams flow into the Chesapeake Bay?

The Choptank, James, Nanticoke, Patapsco, Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, Susquehanna and York rivers are just a few of the many rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. These rivers are fed by the hundreds of thousands of streams and creeks that flow through the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

What is the difference between a tidal river and a non-tidal river?

A tidal river is a river or a stretch of river whose flow and level are influenced by tides. For example, the Choptank, Potomac and Patuxent rivers have tidal and non-tidal portions.

What pollutes rivers and streams?

Litter, nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants are some of the common pollutants found in rivers and streams.

How do dams affect rivers and streams?

Dams can block American shad and other migratory fish from reaching their upstream spawning grounds. Dams can also affect the natural flow of rivers and streams.

What is fish passage?

Fish passage is the ability of fish to migrate up rivers, streams and other waterways, often to access spawning or rearing ground. Barriers to fish passage (which include road culverts, dams, dikes and other obstructions) can reduce the distribution and habitat available to American shad and other migratory fish and, in some cases, eliminate fish populations altogether.

How do fish passageways work?

Fish passageways allow American shad and other migratory fish to pass over dams and reach their upstream spawning grounds. There are five major fish passageway designs used in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: denil, steeppass, vertical slot, pool and weir, and fish lifts.

How many rivers and streams are in the Chesapeake Bay region?

Altogether, more than 100,000 streams, creeks and rivers thread through the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Ask a question

Can't find your question in our FAQ? Ask us by filling out the form below. We'll do our best to answer your question in a timely manner. We may even add it to our FAQ!

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.