The Patuxent River is one of the larger tributaries of the Chesapeak~ Bay. It has its origin in the north-central part of Maryland at an. altitude of about 800 feet and empties into the. western side of the bay at a point about halfway between the mouth and upper limits of the bay. Its basin is a hilly, rolling country without lakes and is characterized by low shores that rise gently toward the interior. The soil consists of sand and clay and contains some limestone in local areas. The drainage area of the river is about 960 square miles, and its length measured on a straight line is about 80 miles (Bonsteel and Burke, 1907).