Historic cattle grazing and agricultural practices over the last 225 years have eliminated the majority of riparian vegetation in the study area causing increased water temperatures and extensive sedimentation in both the pools and riffle habitats in the headwaters of Smith Creek. These land use changes have extirpated brook trout and greatly reduced populations of native gravel spawning fishes, native mussels and American eel in the study area. The Smith Creek headwaters restoration will restore 4 miles of stream habitat and 65 acres of riparian forest / upland forest in an area with several spring habitats that provide critical spawning, rearing and late summer temperature refuge habitats for brook trout. The restored habitat will connect to a small isolated brook trout population found upstream on protected National Forest land (Mountain Run).
The Big Run project is part of Trout Unlimited’s Home Rivers Initiative Potomac Headwaters Restoration Project. The stream has suffered habitat degradation in the riparian zone, stream banks and instream due to long-term livestock grazing. There currently exists a lifetime grazing allotment on that portion of the Monongahela National Forest that supports Big Run. The Forest Service, Trout Unlimited and others have teamed up to work with the allotment holder to fence the riparian zone, create crossings and alternative water sources to completely remove the cattle from the stream. Over time, riparian reforestation will stabilize banks and provide vital shade during warm summer months. This is the initial project on Big Run. Resources have already been secured to move down stream on the Forest and on to private property. The project will include informational and educational kiosks and trails that will improve access for anglers and hikers. The project will restore 45 acres of riparian forest and enhance 1.5 miles of stream habitat.
This project will restore over 1.6 miles of Southern Appalachian brook trout habitat contained within the Cooper Creek Watershed of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. Habitat within Bryant Creek and Tretty and Burnett Branches will be restored using only hand labor to minimize soil disturbance. After non-native trout species are removed, trees will be cut into and across the various stream reaches to provide in-stream cover and create pool habitat for brook trout.
Sedimentation, increased water temperature, barriers to passage and lack of riparian vegetation have been identified as the major threats to Vermont's brook trout population. The project includes has two principle efforts underway: installation of livestock fencing, alternative water systems, and planting native trees and shrubs to restore degraded riparian areas and the replacement of an existing failed culvert with a bridge to allow for the year round upstream movement of brook trout on Stevensville Brook.
South Bog Stream is a tributary of Rangeley Lake in Franklin County, Maine. Historically, the stream was known as the lake’s primary brook trout spawning tributary and it still supports a population of wild brook trout. However, Rangeley Lake, once known for its large brook trout, no longer has a thriving wild brook trout fishery. South Bog Stream no longer contributes a substantial number of brook trout to the lake. This fact is one possible reason for the decline of Rangeley’s renowned brook trout fishery. A 2001 stream survey revealed habitat degradation along the lower reaches of the 6.3-milelong stream, presumably as a result of the log-driving era in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sections of the stream are shallow and wide. There are very few deep pools which provide essential habitat for brook trout. Because of habitat degradation, the stream produces fewer trout than it did prior to stream alterations over a century ago. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is restoring sections of the stream by rebuilding pools, narrowing and deepening the channel.
The EBTJV range wide assessment of brook trout identified a distinct gap in our knowledge of the status and distribution of brook trout in West Virginia. This project will compile existing data on brook trout in southeastern West Virginia, conduct field surveys to fill in gaps, and collect samples for micro-satellite DNA analysis. The results will be used to produce a quality assured GIS based data set for the entire state of West Virginia that includes spatially explicit information on brook trout reproduction, population status, habitat and water quality.