Years of dumping, pollution, and inattention has turned this once 20 foot deep navigable port that allowed shipping all the way upstream to Bladensburg to now be reduced to a silt-laden river 5-6 feet deep from the New York Avenue bridge all the way up to its tributaries.  Yet care for the river in recent years, cleanup initiatives, government and private organization intervention, and an all new riverfront trail construction has propped this river up for the better.

Wild rice and other native plants and grasses that grow from Navy Yard all the way up past Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens provide cover for baitfish and predators.  Largemouth bass, catfish, white and yellow perch, carp, and the elusive northern snakehead all inhabit this watershed.  The heavy siltation and fluctuating tides creates a low-visibility environment most of the time, so tides and sunlight is important to consistently catching fish here.