Project will remediate chronic habitat and water quality problems resulting from historic acid mine drainage (AMD) sources and agricultural practices in four miles of Aaron Run, allowing for the reestablishment of an extirpated native brook trout population. Remediation will also benefit brook trout habitat in the lower Savage River and the upper North Branch Potomac River, and reestablish historic population connections.
One of the top stressors to thriving brook trout populations is their inability to successfully compete for food and space with other, non-native (exotic) trout species such as brown and rainbow trout and warm water species such as small mouth bass. Balancing the needs of multiple fish user groups presents a unique set of challenges in developing strategies to address declines in brook trout populations due to competition from these species. Steve Moore, Fishery Biologist for the National Park Service is leading a partnership to eliminate non-native trout species from Lynn Camp Prong in the Great Smoky Mountains State Park. This effort focuses on the use of chemical means to eliminate rainbow trout from the stream. A natural barrier at the lower end of Lynn Camp Prong will exclude rainbow trout from stream. Approximately 8 miles of stream will be restored allowing brook trout to re-inhabit the stream without the challenge of competing trout species.
Brook trout habitat in the Sunday River drainage has been degraded by poor land use practices, including timber harvesting, log driving, farming, and commercial and recreational development. Much of the river and its tributaries are unstable, over-widened, and lacking in deep pools, thereby reducing nursery and adult brook trout habitat. Although degradation is being addressed through a comprehensive watershed survey and main-stem restoration effort, the causal problem of accelerated runoff has not been addressed. This proposal will assess the efficacy of adding woody debris to reduce peak flows, create pools, and trap organics to enrich depauperate headwater streams.
Habitat Restoration for Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in 15 Chattahoochee National Forest Streams, Georgia
This project will enhance or restore 7.6 miles of stream for brook trout in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
The partnership will restore Williams Run so that it can support life, with lime treatments in the short term and by constructing a limestone bed system to passively treat acid mine drainage for the long term. Tributaries flowing into Williams Run currently support healthy populations of wild brook trout. This project will allow currently isolated populations of native brook trout to return to the main stem of Williams Run, connecting them and expanding their range. These water quality improvements on private property will benefit stream habitat downstream on State Forest Lands. The landowners have committed to allowing public fishing in this area greatly expanding the brook trout fishing opportunities in western Pennsylvania.
A remarkable potential exists for the successful improvement of habitat to benefit native brook trout populations within Cross Fork through the support of private and public landowners. Immediate habitat improvements can be obtained by means of low impact, habitat enhancement techniques proposed for the project. These include hand placement of log vanes, rootwads, log cross vanes, and mudsills throughout the project reach not only providing habitat, but also assisting the stream in stabilization over time (5-10years). When complete the project will enhance approximately 3.5 miles of habitat impaired stream. Cross Fork does support a resident population of native brook trout that began showing a decrease in population in the last 6-10 years. This is attributed to the loss of quality adult trout habitat and spawning areas as noted by the PA Fish and Boat Commission reports. Recently, due to the decline in trout populations the PA Fish and Boat Commission, has changed the regulation of the stream to a stock trout fishery. It is hoped that habitat restoration efforts will return the population back to self-sustaining.
This project will remove the Raven Rock Dam in Maryland to restore brook trout access to nearly 1 mile of habitat in Raven Rock Creek. Removal of the dam will provide ecological benefits by restoring the connectivity and improving the quality of aquatic resources in Raven Rock Creek. The project will also provide economic benefits by increasing valuable recreational fishing opportunities.
Whitethorn Creek, which is the most significant tributary in the Thorn Creek drainage of the South Branch of the Potomac, is historically recognized as supporting one of the best brook trout populations in West Virginia. This population has been significantly reduced in recent years as a result of land use impacts and two devastating flood events. The flood events altered instream habitat quality and washed away a large portion of riparian cover in the watershed. Following the loss of the relatively stable vegetated riparian corridor, livestock grazing has prevented re-growth and has caused widespread bank instability as a result of unregulated stream access. will result in the restoration and protection of approximately one mile of degraded brook trout habitat. This project will result in the reconnection of upstream spawning and rearing habitat to the mainstem of Thorn Creek. Reestablishment of the riparian corridor will provide lower overall water temperatures in addition to refuge areas during lower flows. The instream restoration will create habitat zones and a more stable hydrology through this reach and downstream.