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Smith Creek Headwaters Restoration, Viginia

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).

Photo of one of the properties during a flood on Smith Creek Headwaters Restoration, Virginia.

Photo of one of the properties during a flood on Smith Creek Headwaters Restoration, Virginia

Photo of Smith Creek before livestock exclusion.

Photo of Smith Creek before livestock exclusion

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