Monthly Archives: March 2007

Patuxent Materials Blue Mount Quarry Plan Revealed

Here’s a summary from the Hereford Community Association Meeting

Present at the meeting:
Mike and Skip Gardiner From Patuxent Materials Inc.
Chris Steuart from Blue Mount Materials Inc.
Larry Schmidt, of Gildea and Schmidt, the attorney for Patuxent Materials

About 60 people attended the Hereford Community Association meeting or:
private landowners; fly fishermen, press, Clark Howells from the Baltimore City Water Department and House Delegate Wade Kach.

Issues at hand:
Questions arose regarding lack of due process and improper notice.
While the zoning hearing notice was posted in the Jeffersonian, no local residents receive that publication.
Adjoining landowners complained that they did not see notices posted on the quarry property nor did they receive registered mail notices prior to the zoning hearing.
Only five residents were said to have attended the actual zoning hearing before Baltimore County Zoning Comissioner William J Wiseman III.

Quarry Operations:
Weekday Hours: 6:00 AM till 4:30 PM, five days a week
Blasting: 3:00-5:00 PM
Weekend Hours: 6:00 AM till 1:00 PM every Saturday

20-30 ton trucks
120 trucks – two trips a day
240 / 25 x 2,000
12,000,000 lb. a day!

The quarry has not actively mined stone since 1997. For the past ten years it has been, a low volume business, the new owners will be changing the use of Blue Mount Quarry from a “stone yard” to a high volume, mining and rock crushing “active” quarry. There are currently no limitations on the amount of quarrying that can take place.

The Gardiners have paid for traffic studies and noise studies.

A special exception to zoning was granted in 1973, but the bank required reapproval of the existing permit.

A resident asked if, “air quality would be monitored.”

Another resident asked about, “radon effects, from blasting and fracturing rocks.”

A resident noted that, “most county roadways and bridges, including the bridge at Big Falls, adjacent to the quarry are rated at 15 tons and heavy truck traffic will impact and degrade area roadways and bridges.”

Send comments and letters

For another take on this issue go to Pat van den Beemt’s Article, Neighbors Blast Owners of Blue Mount Quarry”, originally published in the North County News.

Related posts:

Heartfelt Letter about Blue Mount Quarry from Gunpowder Regular

Blue Mount Quarry Meeting Open to the Public

Gunpowder River Report from College Park, MD Fly Fishing Regular

Theaux and Jason-

I was up last Friday with a friend and took your advice to fish below York Road. We got into a couple of beautiful fish above, in and below the first bend below York Road (our first fish of the new year, incidentally), fishing unweighted and bead-head stoneflies and zug bugs. One of these fish was pretty stout, too!

Only saw 3 or 4 stoneflies in the air, but with high temps and lingering winter blues, the fishing was exactly what the doctor ordered. Looking forward to fishing more in 2007!! Once again, thanks for the expert advice!!

Aaron M
College Park, MD

Fly Fishing School Scheduled for April 1, 2007

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, April 1, a Gunpowder River guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection.Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-329-6821 or drop us a line at to pre-register.

Cold Water, Bright Sun and Wild Fish

The Gunpowder river is flowing at 167 Cfs and is 41 F throughout the catch and release section.The river is clear, cold and is moving along at a good clip.
Guide Capt. Jeff Lewatowski just finished up a guide trip with a new client from Alexandria, Virginia.They were fishing soft hackles, caddis pupa and small stonefly nymphs in riffles and flats above Falls Rd.They released a half dozen fish between 8-10″, and one 12″ fish during the trip.The water will be warming this week and leveling off as the last of the snow and ice melts. Soo…get ready to fish stoneflies!
Gunpowder River Stonefly
Picture by: Capt. Jeff Lewatowski

Heartfelt letter about Blue Mount Quarry from a Gunpowder River Regular

This heartfelt letter following my earlier post, comes to us from a Gunpowder regular. Thank you Mr. Williams for voicing your opinion.
To whom it may concern:
I recently read the notice posted on your website of the meeting about the
pending resumption of quarrying rock at Blue Mount Quarry. Unfortunately,
work in Washington D.C. will prevent me from making it to the meeting. As an
avid fly fisherman, and a regular at the gunpowder river, I wanted to write
to express my concern over the impact the quarry will have on the river. I
would hate to see years of hard work by everyone associated with the
preservation of the Gunpowder River as a premier trout fishing destination
in the State of Maryland ruined by the environmental impacts the quarry and
the resulting additional dump truck traffic could have on the stream.

While I am not a resident of the area, I am a frequent visitor and would
like to stress the preservation of one of the most beautiful areas in the
State. It concerns me that the quarry will have a significant impact on the
character of the community in the area. Monkton and the surrounding area
along the Gunpowder river always feels like I am coming to an area that is
unspoiled by the everyday rush one finds in the larger cities. I urge the
new owners of the quarry to consider the impact their operation could have
on such a beautiful part of the State and to consider means to address and
minimize the impact of their operations.

Please make my position known if you feel it would be helpful to your efforts
in ensuring the continuation of the Gunpowder river and the surrounding area
as a unique and beautiful place both to live and to visit.

Thank you,
Kevin Williams


Theaux, Jason and Rocky!!
You guys have done a great job on the new website. The Videos are fantastic,( they make you want to fish).
I haven’t fished since late summer. Will stop in soon.

Cliff Callender
Reston, VA

Bush Cabin Run Replanting Effort Postponed

Due to inclement weather the MDTU Bush Cabin Run Planting Day has been postponed.
Please see my earlier post for a description of this event.
At this time a make-up date has not been scheduled.

on 3/19 the following was added-the make-up date will be March 24, 2007

on 3/27 the following was added-the make-up date will be April 14, 2007

Blue Mount Quarry Meeting is Open to the Public

A public meeting will be held about a block from Backwater Angler at 7:30 PM on Tuesday night, March 13, 2007. Pat van den Beemt recently wrote an article in the North County News that described the new quarry owners’ intentions. Note:The original February meeting was rescheduled due to inclement weather.

The address is:
The Summit Manor – 2nd floor behind Hereford Vol Fire Dept
510 Monkton Road
Monkton, Maryland 21111-1120

I’m asking all of you who have an interest in the Gunpowder river to attend.

Gunpowder River Wild Brown Trout are Waiting

The high Tuesday was 25 F, yet Jason still managed a seven fish day with a new regular who drove down from the Pittsburgh area to fly fish the Gunpowder river for wild brown trout.The conditions were less than ideal, but they made the best of it.
Wild Brown Trout from the Gunpowder River

Today the river is gin clear and is flowing at 102 CFS, and water temps are 39 to 42 F throughout the catch and release area.This weekend, the general warming trend, with air temps forecasted in Mid to high 50’s, is a welcome sign of Spring. Water temps might still be on the cool side with the rest of the ice melting away along the Gunpowder, so focus on the shallow riffles with traditional nymphs like zug bugs, princes and Carey Specials in the #14-16 range. About midday switch to a stonefly dry in the #16-18 range. Skating stoneflies or black caddis might illicit a few strikes in some of the flat water along the edges of riffles, just make sure you use a 12ft 6x or 7x leader.