The Savage River Reservoir is a 360 acres (1.5 km2) storage reservoir in northwest Maryland. It was completed in 1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who also currently maintain it. The reservoir was formed by the Savage Dam which impounds the Savage River. The reservoir itself has a maximum capacity of 31,800 acre feet (39,200,000 m3) and is used for flood control and municipal drinking.
The Savage River Dam is an rock-fill, earthen dam, 184 feet (56 m) high, 1,050 feet (320 m) long and drains an area of 105 square miles (270 km2). The dam was modified in 1980 and is owned by the Upper Potomac River Commission.
Savage River Reservoir began to attract attention in 1948. It was built in 1952 and connects to the Savage River through the Savage River Dam.
Height: 184 ft
Length: 1050 ft
Capacity: 31800 acre ft
Normal storage: 20,000 acre ft
Drainage area: 105 square mi
Maximum discharge: 97,200 cubic ft/sec
In 2007, operation of the Reservoir gates failed due to extensive corrosion. Around $3.9 million of Recovery Act funds were used to drain, repair and reopen the Reservoir dam in 2010. There has been a gradual recovery of what is now referred to as a "trophy area" for fishermen below the dam. Big Run has public facilities at the headwaters of the lake. In April 2009, Savage River Reservoir was named one of the top five Maryland Fishing Waters as well as one of the top 100 rivers by Trout Unlimited. Savage River below the dam is popular for canoeing competitions and is treasured for its clear water.
The Savage River primarily flows into the Reservoir, providing fishing and paddling opportunities in a scenic, wilderness setting. Two boat launches located near the Reservoir dam provide convenient access. Fishermen can enjoy fishing for catfish, trout and bass. In 2008, a conducted population study resulted in the finding that there was an estimated 1,376 wild adult trout per mile in the river. The Reservoir holds the Rainbow Trout state record weighing in at 14 lbs. 3 oz. Savage River flows south to the Potomac River, where it drops 85 ft per mile. With this descent, it is favored by both fishermen and advanced paddlers. The Potomac River runs through Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, and eventually dumps into the Chesapeake Bay.
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