Washington area reservoirs $3.00 fee

Paddled the rocky gap yesterday…had a great time…except…that there were VERY few people out. There must of been 80 kayaks/canoes locked up on shore…and only 10 in the water all day.

Anyway, just wondering why they charge $3.00 a day or $30.00 for the year. I paid the fee…never had anyone ask for it on the water…and didn’t see anything special on shore to warrant such a charge. There are many places to put a kayak in the water along the shore…

Thoughts appreciated!

What kind of reservoirs do you have??
Wow - - and we whine about $15.00 a season at a local upground reservoir here in Ohio.

Maybe I should rephrase that - - It’s free until they catch you - then it’s still $15.00 as usuall.

No kayaks tied up - never seen one on the water. If it doesn’t have a trolling motor, 3 fishing poles, and a hidden 12 pack, it isn’t considered boating around here.

Most paddle craft, ever
You either miscounted or the boats are still arriving for the season. Last summer I counted over 175 paddle craft (canoes or kayaks) at Scotts Cove, the most I have ever seen in one place.

The fee? Well, because they can, and I suppose they justify the expense of maintaining the facilities as self-supported by the fees. WSSC is a utility. Its mission is to divert water from local rivers, route it through your house, and process it as effluent that is released downstream. Since the maintenance of recreational facilities is a deviation from mission, the fee is so that water consumers (water bill payers) don’t complain that their money is going to support fishing and paddling. How the numbers actually work out is anybody’s guess, but the fee covers the rear ends of the WSSC commisioners.

BTW, just as an interesting factoid, this time of year, more than half the flow of the lower Patuxent must be from processed sewage. If you look at how much water is passing by the gauges at Savage plus Laurel (the two branches of the river), and then look at how much is going by downriver in Bowie, you can get an idea about the amount of water coming out of the sewage plants, because there is no significant tributary in between those gauges.

Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

But what are the bio levels of that
processed water. Used to work for cities and I’ve seen treatment plants that put out stuff that one doesn’t even want to come withing a mile, but have also seen the end product so clean that its potable, not that I would drink it. Some chemical plants use reprocessed sewage water for cooling and it has to be fairly clean, though the even will put treated drinking water through further filtration.

Thanks for the warning
I guess I’ll just be content to stay in Idaho where you don’t pay a fee unless you are in a state park where you pay the day use fee per car or on private property.

So were you there to paddle, or did you think that $3.00 would find you your ultimate Wilderness Woman (assuming she isn’t too cheap to pay her own $3.00) and hosts of other folks to paddle with?

Rocky Gorge is generally not all that crowded in spite of all the watercraft you see up on the banks.

As for the $3, no one likes to pay it, but if you are going to paddle in Maryland, and if you want to paddle on lakes, you may as well get used to it. You can get on the bay and on most of the streams without paying, but lakes and reservoirs are another story.

Compared to fee for Loch Raven reservoir
the $3/day or $30/season seems reasonable. Loch Raven Reservoir in northern Baltimore County requires you to purchase a $50/season pass plus sign an affadavit stating that you will not take your boat on any other body of water between trips on the reservoir due to the threat of zebra mussel contamination. On top of that, the rules and regulations do not even address kayaks, only boats and canoes, with only sailboats and inflatables specifically prohibited. I think that there was a trial program a few years ago which allowed kayaks for a limited time but I haven’t seen anything since about kayaking on the reservoir. I guess I’ll be mainly sticking to the Bay and its tributaries which ain’t a bad thing, and which we as kayakers are fortunate to have in these parts.

Note: Lake Roland in Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore is a good place for fitness paddling (as it’s really not large enough for touring) if you live close enough. I paddled there once in early November and have heard of other kayakers out there without anybody giving them a hard time. I couldn’t find any signs which prohibited boating on the lake.

The Resevoirs around Baltimore and DC

– Last Updated: Jun-22-06 11:02 PM EST –

are untreated water. The are just man made lakes on the local rivers and creeks. Most do not allow gas boat motors, so they are pretty nice to paddle. Rocky Gorge was once a really great lake to fish 20 years ago and according to my friends back there its still pretty good.
The treated sewage water is reintroduced way below the dams on the Patuxent where basically nothing touches it until it hits the tidal section of the river. The Patapsco and the Potomac both have similar arrangements.