Wicomico River


Local law enforcement is trying to identify two bodies.

One was found in Pocomoke River on Monday morning and another two weeks ago in the Wicomico River near the downtown Salisbury Riverwalk.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that both are African American adult men.

The paper reports that there are no reports of missing persons matching their descriptions.

Police say the Maryland Medical Examiner is now determining the cause of death but they say there is no indication of foul play.

Don Rush

It may be a blip but the Wicomico River has the highest levels of fecal bacteria in its recorded history and algae has made a comeback.

That was the conclusion of a report by the environmental group Wicomico Creekwatchers.

Given the rainy season last year it is believed to be a onetime event.

Judith Stribling, a biology professor at Salisbury University and with the Creekwatchers, told the Salisbury Daily Times that wet years always look bad while dry years produce better results.

Don Rush

The Salisbury Police have identified a body found in the Wicomico River as Richard Hitchens Jr.

He was found in the north prong.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that authorities are still trying to figure out how he got into the water.

Ron Holloway, owner of R.C. Holloway Company told the paper that one of his employees found the body around 8 a.m. yesterday and then called police.

Don Rush

$112 million is coming Maryland’s way as part of a 2017 Senate bill funding Energy and Water Development that was approved this week.

The money will be will go to projects by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers involving the state’s waterway and infrastructure.

The projects range from $62 million for Poplar Island environmental restoration and $1 million for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program to $1.9 million for the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive restoration plan and $2 million for maintenance dredging of the Wicomico River.

creative commons

WHITEHAVEN, Md. (AP) - The Whitehaven Ferry is returning to the waters of the Wicomico River.
The ferry is returning to service Tuesday after an overhaul. It has been offline since November.
The ferry serves as the only link across the Wicomico River between rural sections of Wicomico and Somerset counties.
A contractor has replaced the bulkhead on either side of the ferry ramp on the Wicomico side of the river and replaced the cable that pulls the ferry from one side of the river to the other.

elizabeth prata / creative commons

Wicomico County could see the largest chicken operation to be built in the area just outside of Salisbury.

It would contain 13 poultry houses and would be located near Naylor Mill and North West roads to the northwest of the town.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the proposal has environmentalists rallying for a fight against the project.

They say it’s just part of a major move toward large poultry operations that began in Accomack and Somerset counties.

Don Rush

Salisbury Police saved a man who jumped into the Wicomico River in an apparent suicide attempt.

Police Chief Barbara Duncan along with Cpl. David Underwood dove in after him Wednesday and brought him to safety.

He was eventually taken to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Police say that man had called 911 threatening to kill himself by jumping off the bridge.

Underwood told the Salisbury Daily that he believes the man wanted help.


The body 50 year old Kenneth Vickers has been picked up from the Wicomico River.

He had been out in his boat when it struck a dredge pontoon and was thrown out of the vessel.

His wife, Flora, was also on the boat and suffered non-serious injuries.

She was taken to the hospital.

The U.S. Coast Guard had been searching for Vickers since Saturday along with help from Wicomico County Salisbury and state agencies.

Officials told WBOC that this is the 12 boating death of the year matching 2014.

Cove Point

Don Rush

The Wicomico River got some mixed reviews from a local environmental group.

The Wicomico Creekwatchers found that the nitrogen and phosphorous level have improved slightly.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the bacterial levels were found to be a high risk for swimmers at six out of eight sites that were tested.

This was worse than a year ago.

The group of Salisbury University volunteers tested 22 sites along the Wicomico River.


Don Rush / file photo

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Salisbury Police are investigating the drowning of a man in the Wicomico River.

It happened about 9:30 p.m. Sunday on Riverside Drive. Officers say 24-year-old Lamar Byron Sheppard of Salisbury went into the water and was unable to swim.

Authorities say someone pulled Sheppard from the water and tried CPR. Police say Sheppard was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Salisbury Police and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident.

Don Rush

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Authorities say drowning has been ruled the cause of death of a 25-year-old Salisbury man found dead in the east branch of the Wicomico River in Salisbury City Park.

Police said Wednesday that it could be weeks before the state medical examiner's office gets toxicology results on Rodney Stevenson Jr.

Stevenson's body was found Monday morning near a spillway close to a foot bridge in the park. He had left his home about 12 blocks away on foot less than an hour earlier.

Don Rush

Salisbury police officers and fire crews yesterday pulled the body of 25 year-old Rodney Stevenson Junior from the Wicomico River’s eastern prong that runs through the Salisbury City Park.

Police Chief Barbara Duncan told reporters that his family had last seen him leave his Ohio Avenue home at around 8:30 a.m. yesterday.

She said a 911 call came in at round 9 o’clock that said a body had been seen floating in the water.

Duncan said Stevenson was going to a location on East Main Street…but did not specify where.

Don Rush

The man, whose body was recovered this morning from the east prong of the Wicomico River in Salisbury, has been identified as  25-year old Rodney Stevenson Jr.

Police say that he was taking a walk at around 9.30 a.m. this morning and somehow wound up in the river.

WBOC reports that police say soon thereafter someone spotted his body floating in the water west of the spillway near the pedestrian bridge in Salisbury Park.

At the scene police told reporters that there appeared to have been an injury to the back of his head.


SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Wicomico County officials say the Upper Ferry is out of service until further notice.

Officials announced Sunday that the ferry that crosses the Wicomico River near Salisbury will be out of service until further notice due to a mechanical failure.

A repair crew is expected to visit Monday to assess the repair.

Don Rush

The pollution build up in the Wicomico River has Salisbury work crews out dealing with globs of muck and trash that have come to the surface.

Mayor Jim Ireton says recent rains has resulted in flushing out the outfall pipes churning up the river.

In addition, to cleaning up the debris emerging from the water, he said, the city is working on a more long term solution like installing grates in the town streets to keep the trash from entering the river.

The Mayor said that the town has another 100 of them coming to the city.


Despite efforts to upgrade the sewage treatment plant in Salisbury the facility is still having its troubles.

The Maryland Department of the Environment is looking into an incident on April 14th that released 30-thosuand gallons of partially treated sewage into the Wicomico River.

Maryland has set aside nearly $25 million to fix the city’s sewage treatment plant to greatly reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.


SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - An annual study of pollution levels in the Wicomico River and its watershed shows that levels went down slightly in 2011.

The Daily Times in Salisbury reports that results from the Wicomico Creekwatchers' 2011 Water Quality Monitoring Results were mixed.

Creekwatchers supervisor Judith Stribling says water clarity went down substantially, which she attributed to low rainfall. That keeps the river from flushing out and promotes algae growth.