About Elks Run
Elks Run, and its tributary the Elk Branch, is the only surface water stream in Jefferson County, West Virginia, that serves a municipal water supply. Approximately 1500 people who live in the municipalities of Bolivar and Harpers Ferry get their drinking water from the Elks Run.
The Elks Run watershed is located entirely in Jefferson County.
Elks Run totals 7.9 miles in length, and includes a northern tributary called Elk Branch.
Elks Run drains approximately 18.1 square miles, or 11,598 acres.
Elks Run averages about 12 feet in width from top of bank to top of bank.
The principal use of the Elks Run watershed remains farming. There are 1,859 acres of cropland in the entire watershed, of which there are 1,184 acres around Elk Branch. There are 2,309 acres of pasture in the entire watershed, of which there are only 332 acres around Elk Branch.
Houses, towns, and roads make up 1,726 acres in the entire watershed, of which 881 acres are around Elk Branch.
The most common wildlife species in the Elks Run watershed are squirrels, bobwhite quail, mourning doves, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, opossums, and whistle pigs.
A recent biological stream assessment of 11 sites in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties found that eight sites had slight to moderate impairment, while Elks Run was the only one which was found to be in good condition – especially important to a water supply stream.
Most importantly, the Elks Run is the only surface water stream in Jefferson County that serves a municipal water supply.