Cypress Creek (CY-01 and CY-02)


About the sites:

Two long-term monitoring stations, CY-1 and CY-02, were located on Cypress Creek, both downstream of the crossing at Maryland Route 2. This is a highly developed watershed and both stations were subjected to runoff from extensive impervious surfaces, with coverage estimated to be approximately 48% for CY-01 and 50% for CY-02.  Both sites were located within a reach where an extensive stream restoration project was completed in 2013. Sampling at both sites began in 2009, and thus pre- and post-restoration data were collected. Benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and habitat assessment at CY-01 ceased after 2019, and fish sampling ceased after 2020 due to the arrival of beavers in the project area. At site CY-02, fish sampling ceased after 2020, and benthic macroinvertebrate and habitat sampling ceased after 2021 due to beaver activity.  No data were collected at either site in 2022 and both sites are now retired from the program.

The data explained below is specific to the periods sampled for each site. 



Site CY-01
Time FrameBIBI (Condition)FIBI (Condition)aRBP (Condition)
2020 Results--2.33 (Poor)--
Cumulative Avg. (2009-2020)1.74 (Very Poor)bc2.58 (Poor)b114 (Partially Supporting)b
3-year Running Average1.95 (Very Poor)c2.56 (Poor)146 (Supporting)

a) Fish data collected in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020.
b) No data for 2014.
c) No data for 2020. 

Site CY-02
Time FrameBIBI (Condition)FIBI (Condition)RBP (Condition)
2021 Results2.14 (Poor)--106 (Supporting)
Cumulative Average (2009-2021)2.00 (Poor)a3.00 (Fair)ab123 (Partially Supporting)a
3-year Running Average2.24 (Poor)3.00 (Fair)b134 (Supporting)

a) No data for 2013.
b) Quantitative fish data collected in 2015 only.  All other assessments were performed qualitatively due to site characteristics.

Site CY-01: CY-01 is the upstream side of the two Cypress Creek monitoring locations, situated just downstream of the RT 2 road crossing. This reach was modified in 2013 as part of an extensive restoration project. In 2019 the site received a BIBI score of 2.43 (Poor), the highest score at the site since monitoring began in 2009.  Historically, samples at the site were dominated by worms and non-biting midges. While worms remained the most abundant organism in the 2022 sample, this group was present at a much lesser extent than observed in prior samples.  Snails and damselflies emerged as the second and third most abundant organisms, respectively, and dragonflies were found for the first time at the site.  Taxa diversity peaked in the 2019 sample, with 14 total taxa observed. These changes in community structure may be partially due to the arrival of beavers that same year.

The ultimate trajectory in benthic conditions remains unclear, but it should be noted that the running average BIBI score of 1.95 over the final three years of monitoring was higher than the cumulative average of 1.74, although both of these values are in the Very Poor range.

CY-01 Summary of Insects Collected by Sample Year:


Site CY-02:  In 2021, CY-02 received a BIBI score of 2.14 (Poor), consistent with ratings dating back to 2017.  The reach containing this site was dramatically altered by the restoration work that occurred here, and has a character more similar to an emergent wetland than a free-flowing stream. Additionally, beavers moved downstream from CY-01 to this site in late 2020, creating a wide and ultimately non-wadeable impoundment. These conditions made sampling impractical and the decision was made to cease sampling after the 2021 season.  Like in prior years, pollutant-tolerant organisms such as non-biting midges and worms dominated the sample again in 2021. The final three-year average BIBI score is 2.24 (Poor), and the cumulative average is 2.00 (Poor).

CY-02 Summary of Insects Collected by Sample Year:


The 2020 fish data represent the most recent fisheries information for these sites.

Site CY-01: In 2020, the site received a FIBI score of 2.33 (Poor). Nine species were observed, with eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) dominating the sample.  Two northern snakeheads (Channa argus), a non-native and highly disruptive species, were found in 2020. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) were also found at this site for the first time in 2020.

CY-01 Summary of Fish Collected by Sample Year:

cy01 fish

Site CY-02: 2015 was the only year that a quantitative fish survey was performed at this site, resulting in a FIBI score of 3.00 (Fair).  Only qualitative fish surveys were conducted in 2016, 2018, and 2020 due to site characteristics - the large pools that comprise portions of this reach prevented the setting of block nets that isolate a reach from its overall stream system during sampling.  Without an actual count, the calculation of a multi-metric index such as the FIBI is impossible. The 2020 qualitative survey identified four species - eastern mosquitofish, golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas), mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), and pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) - with eastern mosquitofish reported as being the most abundant.  

CY-02 Summary of Fish Collected by Sample Year:

cy02 fish

Site CY-01: Aquatic habitat conditions at CY-01 have improved since restoration. In 2019, the site had an RBP score of 160 and a corresponding rating of “Comparable To Reference).” The post-restoration 3-year average of 146 (Supporting) shows a marked improvement over the pre-restoration average of 85 (Non-supporting).

Site CY-02: In 2021, the site received an RBP score of 106 (Partially Supporting).  The post-restoration 3-year average score is 134 (Supporting), which shows improvement compared to the pre-restoration average of 103 (Partially Supporting). The lower RBP score in 2021 is a result of moderate to low scores in epifaunal and pool substrate and low scores in channel alteration and sinuosity.

Site CY-01: The channel bottom incised considerably between 2019 and 2020 lowering the stream bed elevation by approximately 3 feet.  This change may be due to the increased beaver activity at this site, or could be related to the distribution of cobbles across the cross-section.  Geomorphological assessment of the site ended after 2020 due to beaver activity.

CY-01 Cross-Section Comparison:

cy01 xs

Site CY-02: A new cross-section was established in 2016 because the monuments established in 2012 could not be recovered following the restoration. In addition, no cross-section was measured in 2014 or 2015. However, a cursory comparison of the initial post-restoration measurement of the channel shows it to be much less entrenched than prior to restoration work, with the channel bottom elevation approximately two feet higher in 2021 than in 2012.  The prior four assessments dating back to 2017 show that this section has largely remained unchanged and appears stable.

CY-02 Cross-Section Comparison:

cy02 xs
YearBIBI (Condition)FIBI (Condition)RPB (Condition)
20091.57 (VP)---66 (NS)
20101.57 (VP)---117 (PS)
20111.00 (VP)---73 (NS)
20121.86 (VP)---62 (NS)
20132.14 (P)---106 (PS)
20151.57 (VP)2.67 (P)144 (S)
20161.86 (VP)2.67 (P)134 (S)
20171.86 (VP)---145 (S)
20181.57 (VP)2.67 (P)132 (S)
20192.43 (P)--132 (S)
2020---12.33 (P)---1

1) Site not sampled in 2014 due to restoration activity.

YearBIBI (Condition)FIBI (Condition)RBP (Condition)
20092.43 (P)---90 (NS)
20102.14 (P)---117 (PS)
20111.00 (VP)---113 (PS)
20121.29 (VP)---91 (NS)
20142.43 (P)---111 (PS)
20151.57 (VP)3.00 (F)151 (C)
20161.57 (VP)---129 (S)
20172.43 (P)---146 (S)
20182.43 (P)---125 (PS)
20192.14 (P)---147 (S)
20202.43 (P)---148 (S)
20212.14 (P)---106 (PS)

a) Site not sampled in 2013 due to restoration activity.

Station Summary
 Average BIBI (SD)3-Year Average BIBI (SD)Average RPB (SD)3-Year Average RBP (SD)
CY-011.74 (0.39)1.93 (0.44)114 (36)136 (14)
CY-022.00 (0.51)2.24 (0.17)123 (22)134 (24)

a) Quantitative fish data collected in 2015 only.

SD = Standard Deviation