Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, a 4,320-acre installation, is located in King George County. Blessed with a rich diversity of natural resources, it is separated into Mainside and Pumpkin Neck by Upper Machodoc Creek. The installation environment includes many different types of habitat including pine forests, hardwood forests, mixed forests, old fields, grasslands, and wetlands.
Mainside is bisected by Gambo Creek, a 150-acre tidal marsh. This is where John Wilkes Booth reportedly landed by boat when fleeing Federal troops after he assassinated President Lincoln. A 100-acre black marsh is located on Pumpkin Neck. Over ten miles of Potomac River and Upper Machodoc Creek shoreline partially define the installation boundary.
The 4,320 acres support a wealth of animal species. Common game animals include deer, turkey, rabbit, quail, and several species of waterfowl. Red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, beaver, and river otter are commonly found furbearers. Numerous non-game birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish complete the installation wildlife checklist.
The installation offers interested individuals a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. Those wishing to hunt game may participate in a carefully regulated hunting program. Seasons and bag limits comply with those set for the Commonwealth. Two ponds, two tidal creeks, and the Potomac River offer the angler a chance to land largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, white perch, and rockfish.
The Natural Resources Program within the Environmental Office (PRSD4) administers the management of the installation natural resources. Those seeking more details may contact Dr. Thomas Wray II at (540) 653-4186.
WARNING: Due to the potential for unexploded ordnance and fragmenting metal, access to the installation’s shoreline is prohibited with the exception of hunters and anglers in approved areas.