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The Chowan River Basin
Transcript of The Chowan River Basin
October 8 2012
Mr.Latzos Science class General Information
Total miles of streams and rivers: 791
Size: 1,298 squared miles
Population: 61,548 (2010 census) Only
0.9% of NC population.
5 counties within the Basin which include:
75% of the river basin is located in Virginia
Land Uses : mostly used for forestry (ex. paper products) and agriculture
The Chowan River originates where the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers meet.The Chowan river which is 50ft long flows southeast as is passes small towns such as Winton and Colerain before meeting with the Albermarle Sound. The Albermarle Sound is part of the 2nd largest estaury system in the U.S. (Albermarle-Pamlico Estuary). Major tributaries in the Chowan Basin include : Meherrin and Wiccacon Rivers and Potecas, Ahoskie, Bennetts, Indian and Rockyhock creeks.
Merchant's Millpond State Park
The 760 acre millpond nearly 200 years old is filled with many ancient cypress trees and spanish moss.Lilies float and surround the cypress trees on the still black water.The upper part has a grove filled with 800-year-old cypress trees and some of the state's largest water tupelos. More than 200 species of birds have been recored seen here especially during winter months. Other animals that live here are water moccasins, alligators, black bears, minks, gray foxes and river otters.
Many people love the beautiful scenery and wildlife, so
naturally many come for paddling and just for a walk through the many trails. Meherrin River The Meherrin River is 92 ft long and
flows through Virginia and North Carolina.
It begins in central Virginia 5o miles north of Emporia and runs southeast ino the Chowan River.
Ahoskie creek and many others run together
to form Wiccacon River just above Ahoskie. The
Wiccacon River is a black water river and varies from swamp to 35ft high, shortly before running
into the Chowan River. Ahoskie Creek and Wiccacon River Potecasi Creek is the largest tributary that feeds into the Mehherin River in North Carolina just east to the Roanoke River watershed. Also the Mehherin River is home to Parker's Ferry. Potecasi Creek and Mehherin River Rocky Hock creek and Bennette's Millpond Rocky Hock is 4 miles long and Bennette is 3 miles long Wildlife The Chowan River is home to over 30 rare plant and animal species. 5 threatened mussel species such as the eastern lamp mussel. The Atlantic Sturgeon is an endangered species but hasn't been seen in the Chowan River for more than 100 years. The red-cockaded woodpecker is another rare species in the basin.
Other threatened species are the bald eagle, American alligator and Rafinesques big-eared bat. Fish Striped Bass, Hickory and American Shad,
and River Herring migrate into the Chowan
River basin during spring to spawn. The
Chowan River also has commercial fisheries
of Stripped Bass, River Herring, American Shad,
White Perch and Catfish. The waters of the basin
are known to have some of the most wanted
fish so it is known to some as being the best place to
fish in North Carolina. Rivers and Tributaries Fun Fact! The water in the basin is considered good so some find is surprising that the Chowan River was actually once declared "dead".In 1972 the Chowan River was the first river in NC to get hit by a large-scale algae bloom. The decomposing algae depleted oxygen levels killing many fish.Thick algae overtook the lower half of the river. For the past 20 years many locals and scientists have been working hard to try to improve the quality of the water. The water had high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. In 1979 the Chowan River became the 1st river to be officially declared "nutrient sensitive water".
The State's Division of Water Quality recommended reductions in the amount of waste a waste-water treatment center could dump.
Local farmers also voluntarily helped with the cause. They took measurements to reduce the amount of erosion and runoff of fertilizers and animal waste. Estimated amount of 23,244 fewer tons of soil erode each year. A 10 year fish consumption warning for dioxin was
finally lifted in 2000. Dioxin is the waste byproduct
of certain paper-bleaching processes. New
paper-bleaching technologies at Virginian paper
mills have reduced the Dioxin levels greatly.
NC and Virginia have agreed to work together to
protect shared water resources. Environmental issues Trails and parks Cannon's Ferry Heritage Riverwalk/ J. Robert Hendrik Park-250ft riverfront boardwalk provides not only the view of wildlife but also a glimpse into history.
Gatesvile Waterfront Park- Short nature trail on banks of Benne Creek.
Merchants Millpond State Park- 9 miles of trails, including a .33 miles wheelchair-accessible trail.
The North Carolina Bird Trail was made in hope to promote old and new bird watching sites and also to connect birdwatchers, local communities, and businesses, and other educational attractions. Paddling Bennett's Millpond/ Rocky Hock Creek Paddle Trail
Cannon's Ferry Heritage Riverwalk
Chowan Swamp Game Land
Gatesville Waterfront Park
All are paddle trails for those who want to canoe or boat down the rivers/creeks. Some have rental canoes available.
Parker's Ferry Parker's Ferry community in Hertford county is the site of a two-car ferry from the 1930's . It still runs today and takes passengers across the Meherrin River.