Now to the special part, why could this stream and these Brook Trout be so special?
Well, let's go over so surprising facts that you probably do not know...
Brook Trout were stocked in Maryland waters (streams, lakes, ponds) during the course of 40 years, 1948 - 1988. The Brook Trout were raised at many hatcheries across the state including our local Albert Powell Hatchery on Beaver Creek. Some Brook Trout were also raised and stocked by Federal Hatcheries like Bowden and Paint Bank, and some were raised at Commercial Hatcheries like Kriss Pines. There were fingerling, adult, and some brood Brook Trout stocked into our waters. So, you want to know the areas in Frederick County in which they were stocked...
Big Hunting Creek
Camp David Pond
Cunningham Falls Lake
Frank Bentz Pond
Lewistown Work Center
Little Hunting Creek
Most likely, if you have ever been fishing in one places and caught a Brook Trout, it is a great-great-great (etc.) grandchild of the Stockers that were stocked there a long time ago. I'm not going to get into purebred genes and all of that stuff. I'm just going to say one thing...the Brook Trout in the above places are (most likely) NOT purebred Native Brook Trout. Their ancestors are from stockers which were raised in hatcheries. It's kind of like catching a "wild" Rainbow Trout, most likely it is not a "pure wild" fish because different agencies have stocked Bows that were raised and then they crossbred with other fish and so and so on. Most of the places above do not hold Brookies (anymore) but the ones that do, the fish are most likely not purebreds. For example, Fishing Creek was stocked with 33062 Brook Trout from 1948 - 1988. The fish can move into the tribs. too, Little Fishing Creek could be riddled with grandchildren of Stockers.
That is why this is a special place, never stocked, and the fish that I caught were "pure" Native Brook Trout. I don't think this really makes a difference in terms of native or not, they are Maryland's only native Trout, even if they have been stocked in the past and crossbred. It is really not too important, I thought I might share it though.
If this kind of stuff sparks your interest, or if you just want a great book to read about Rainbows and their introduction into the world...I suggest buying Anders Halverson's "An Etirely Synthetic Fish". There was a presentation in the March Potomac Valley Fly Fishers meeting about the introduction of Rainbows, based partly on his book.
Chart: Shows Brook Trout production statistics in Maryland, by facility, 1948 - 1988 (data presented is only for facilities which could provide data for both numbers and weight).
Facility Number of trout Weight Trout per pound (range)
Bear Creek 63704 15370 4.71 (0.5 to 64.3)
Albert Powell 168145 58886 6.2 (0.3 to 125)
Cushwa 10250 3973 2.5 (2.2 to 2.8)
Federal – not specified 27264 9187 2.5 (2.2 to 2.9)
Bowden – federal 93700 15817 21.6 (2.9 to 495)
Leetown – federal 35957 5146 5.9 (0.3 to 36.8)
Paint Bank – federal 117116 36521 3.0 (0.3 to 9.7)
Reynoldsdale – federal 26000 65 400 (400)
Kriss Pines – commercial 17668 9098 1.9 (1.4 to 2.5)
Summary: Most headwater streams in the Blue Ridge mts. contain some Brookies. Go out and explore, most of the time there is no one on the stream with you...solitude.
Fish Count: 7
Species: 7 Brook Trout
2012 Fish Count: 154