Main features and history
The tidal portion of Forked Creek is fairly short. Cool Spring Cove is
north of the mouth of the creek. The mouth of the rest of the creek is
protected by a sand spit. There is a created oyster bar in the mouth of
the creek, off a bulkhead in front of some of the waterfront homes in
the Ulmstead neighborhood.
The two highest points on the south shore of the Magothy are near this
creek. Both are shown as 146 feet high on the USGS quad map, 11 feet
shorter than Eagle Hill on the north shore. They are southwest of the
tidal portion of the creek, and form part of the edge of its watershed in
that direction. College Parkway passes between them near Jones Station
Road and the Gloria Dei church.
Going downriver from Ulmstead Point at the mouth of Forked Creek
towards Deep Creek, you will pass two small enclosed coves, with
entrances that are barely visible from the river. The first, Scheide’s
Cove, is reached through a narrow channel just upriver from Ulmstead
Point. The channel is V-shaped, so you must be right in the center if
your boat has a deep draft. Pass the next broad cove as you move
downriver, which has a large marina for the Stonington neighborhood
in the middle of it. After the land makes a broad point, look for another
narrow entrance, for Lake Placid. This entrance is also quite shallow.
MRA has sampled one station in the mouth of this creek since 1992. It
was sampled by boat from a point near the marker, called MR8. In 1997
the station was moved to the end on the long Ulmstead Community pier
nearby, as MR8B. MR8A is sampled occasionally over the oyster bar
that was created nearby.
SAV: The mouth of Forked Creek, and Wilson’s Wharf nearby, have
had fairly extensive beds of widgeongrass since 1997, with small
amounts of redhead grass, sago pondweed, and horned pondweed. Beds
were located in similar places in 1979 SAV surveys (see maps). There is
relatively little SAV in the upper tidal portion of the creek except for
horned pondweed in the spring.
Moving downriver from the creek along the south shore, there are large
SAV beds on the east side of Ulmstead point and around the Stonington
marina, containing widgeongrass and redhead grass, with some sago
pondweed and horned pondweed. Scheide’s Cove contains sparse beds
of coontail, redhead grass, horned pondweed, and Eurasian
watermilfoil. Lake Placid is one of the few places on the Magothy to
find large beds of coontail, which has no true roots and is usually found
in sheltered sites. Horned pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil have also
been found there. This area was last ground truthed in 1996 and 1997.
SAV beds in both coves are usually too small to be seen in the aerial
survey; however, the 1998 aerial survey had mapped beds in Scheide’s
Cove (bed J4, map 24) and Lake Placid (bed M4, map 24).
The non-tidal portion is fairly short; it extends south, almost to College