Each spring a miraculous journey begins in the Atlantic Ocean. Blueback herring, Alewife, and other migratory fish swim to Rock Creek by way of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. Members of the herring family come to Rock Creek to spawn. Since at least 1500 BC until the beginning of European settlement in the 1600s, American Indians reaped the bounty of herring during the spawning season. Over time, this age-old fish migration was hindered by dams, fords, and sewer lines, which blocked movement upstream along the length of Rock Creek. From 2004 to 2006, those obstacles were altered or removed to restore the "Herring Highway".
Rock Creek meanders 33 miles from its source in Montgomery County, Maryland through suburban and densely populated urban areas until it reaches here, the Potomac River. From this point the water continues to flow southeast 112 miles to the Chesapeake Bay and another 80 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.
Rock Creek [background]
Indian grill, John White, 1585 [drawing]
Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network
Alice Ferguson Foundation
Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project