Chops Creek by Beginning with Habitat

A freshwater tidal marsh covering approximately 100 acres extends along much of Chops Creek. The marsh is dominated by American bulrush (Schoenoplectus pungens) at the southern end and wild rice (Zizania aquatica) further upstream. Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) and bull-head lily (Nuphar variegatum) live near the low-tide line along the creek. A small cove a few hundred meters north of Chops Point supports Parker’s pipewort (Eriocaulon parkeri), water pimpernel (Samolus valerandi), pygmyweed (Crassula aquatica), estuary bur-marigold (Bidens hyperborea), Eaton’s bur-marigold (Bidens eatonii), mudwort (Limosella australis), and thousands of spongy arrowhead (Sagittaria calycina ssp. spongiosa) plants.

Chops Creek has the highest abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation of all sites inventoried to date in Merrymeeting Bay. Dominant species are tapegrass (Valisneria americana) and pondweeds (Potamogeton perfoliatus and others), but several other species are present. The adjoining uplands are intact and forested, and sparse residential development within the creek’s watershed provides ample buffering and great potential for conservation.

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