Hooking up to loaded bucket. Photo by David Bennick
Acid rain in the St. Mary's River watershed has had a devastating impact on native trout and other sensitive aquatic life. To mitigate stream acidification of this popular trout stream, the George Washington National Forest contracted application of 230 tons of high calcium limestone sand by helicopter the first week of March. Two small helicopters dropped limestone in seven locations in St. Mary's River and its tributary streams. This is the third time limestone has been applied in St. Mary's Wilderness, following applications in 1999 and 2005. The staging area was on private land along the Blue Ridge Parkway. GWNF personnel routinely monitor the water chemistry of St. Mary's River and will take samples later in the spring to measure the effects of this treatment.