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About the Basin: Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park

About the Basin—August 31, 2018

On August 31, 1918, Congress passed legislation to bring Anacostia Park into existence. Since that day one hundred years ago, Anacostia Park has become the nation’s neighborhood park. The 1200-acre park is located on the east side of Anacostia River in Southeast D.C. and is one of the biggest parks in the city. The National Park Service works hard to make the park an urban oasis with amenities for all.

The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is a favorite among Washingtonian runners. Its 12-miles of smooth, wide trails with a beautiful river view is great for walkers, runners, and bike-riders alike.

Sports fields, a swimming pool, picnic tables, and acres of green grass are all popular amenities at Anacostia Park.

For a bit of vintage fun, strap on your rollers skates and check out their rolling rink. Don’t have a cool set of wheels? They offer free rentals throughout the season, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Join the National Park Service for their 100th Anniversary Birthday Bash at Anacostia Park this weekend. Live music, yoga, boat tours and more family-friendly activities on Friday and Saturday. Bring your bell-bottoms to join the Disco Skate Party Saturday night.

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Potomac River Fishing Report—August 24, 2018

Trout fishing is a good option in the upper basin, where rivers have cleared somewhat and water temperatures are great for trout. The trout management areas are holding nice fish, although wading in some areas should be avoided. On the upper river, boating and fishing should be avoided, although there has been some activity in the Brunswick area.

Anglers in the area of Fletchers Boat House in Washington are reporting some catches of crappie and catfish.

In the tidal Potomac, Anglers are dropping lures and live bait at bridge pilings in Washington for a mix of largemouth bass and catfish. The Washington Channel is always a good spit, with anglers taking some bass off the seaway and the reduced grass beds.

Downstream, anglers are targeting grass beds at high tide in the mornings, with deeper waters and structure in the afternoons when the tide is low. The cooler temperatures have the bass sluggish with successful presentations placing the lure very close to the fish and worked slowly. Snakehead action has cooled down a bit.

Near the Route 301 Bridge, anglers are taking some striped bass from the murky water. Croaker and other fish that like saltier water are few and far between.

Near the river’s mouth, anglers are targeting the channel edges around St. Georges Island. The greatest success is by those live lining spot, which are plentiful around the mouths of the Wicomico and St. Mary’s rivers. Other anglers are chumming or chunking for stripers, which are now mixed with some bluefish that have arrived on the scene late in the season. Croaker and white perch round out the possibilities. Crabbing is finally getting better.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, Aqualand Marina, and White’s Ferry.

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About the Basin: Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point Park

About the Basin—August 24, 2018

A little boy watches a large plane fly directly overhead. Gravelly Point Park is a favorite spot for kids of all ages for one main reason: the love of airplanes. The park is known for being one of the best places for plane spotting in the nation. The grassy strip of land is located just north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. and just a few hundred yards from their runways. With your feet planted firmly on the ground, it feels like your fingers could graze the bottom of the Boeing 747’s passing just above your head. The view of the underside of the planes is only complemented by the stunning skyline of our nation’s capital just across the Potomac River.

Launch a boat from the ramp at Gravelly Point to get an even closer look at these flying behemoths. The strip of water that leads from the ramp to the Potomac River is located directly between the runway and Gravelly Park. Paddle across the Potomac River for a new perspective of D.C.’s famous monuments and a close-up look at the bridges that span the river.

Gravelly Point is located alongside the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail, which runs from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. This trail is a favorite of bicyclists, runners, and walkers for its smooth surface and beautiful views. The rocky shoreline is a prime spot for anglers.

Three kayakers in the Potomac river in front of D.C. monuments

Kayaking on the Potomac River

It gets busy on weekends, so come early to find a parking spot or use the Mount Vernon Trail for access. Please note that the park is only accessible while traveling north on the George Washington Parkway. Bring a picnic because there are limited amenities.