Tides. There are tides in the river and the creek. The range from high to low is usually no more than two feet, although prolonged winds can change either the low or high by several more feet. If you look up the time of the tides at Washington, DC, the tides at the Swan Point Marina are very close to 6 hours earlier. To read the DC tide times as the exact opposite of Cuckold Creek times (high for low, etc.) is a useful approximation. The current in the river varies with the ebb and flow, and may sometimes run upstream for an hour or so on the flood.
Nearby Shallows. The channel into Cuckold Creek was dredged to about 6 feet several years ago. It has silted up since then, particularly near the middle (red) marker. In general, the portions are about 10 yards inside and outside the red marker. At high tides, close to the marker, there is a bare 5 feet. At low tides, it is alarmingly close to 3 feet.
Crab Pots. Licensed fisherman can plant strings of crab pots in the river. There are not supposed to be any in the creek. As a matter of federal regulations, there ought not to be any in the channel, but they are often planted there. Maryland Marine police cannot enforce the federal rules unless a special safety designation for the channel is obtained. There are actions underway to get the designation, but there are only a few such in the whole state. In the meantime, the Marine police have spoken to watermen informally, and most are cooperative. It is not prudent to take any vigilante action in regard to the crab pots. If you get tangled up and can not free yourself, anchor and call for assistance from Swan Point. It is likely that someone from Swan Point Marina can come and tow you in.
Many local power boaters believe that running through a field of crab pots "on Plane" prevents them from tangling in the propeller. There is anecdotal evidence that this is so.
Old and abandoned crab pots without market buoys can be pushed into shallows by currents. If one of these encounters your propeller, removing it may require heavy-duty wire cutters and direct access to the propeller. Several of the members at the marina have such cutters.
For more information please call, 301-259-0047
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