Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed

Rappahannock County: Native Trout Restoration

Update all 2011
Update April 10, 2010
Update February 17, 2010

Updated 23 March 2010

Dear all,
I am sending you this note because you have indicated interest in the native brook trout restoration project in Rappahannock County in collaboration with Trout Unlimited, RappFLOW, PEC, and several other organizations. There have been several developments in the past few weeks, including a well-attended RappFLOW meeting last Thursday at the Link. Please let BJ Valentine or me know of your interest in any of these matters or activities:

1) RappFLOW has purchased eight water temperature probes. Next step is to identify where they should be located (semi-permanent locations) for maximum utility.

2) Nat Gillespie walked the upper Hazel River with two riparian landowners. A report on findings from that walk will be available soon. We are looking to engage several riparian landowners in taking major roles in the project.

3) Fred Fox (TU) told us about the Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Survey that will take place in late April 2010. The VTSSS tracks the effects of acidic deposition and other factors that determine water quality and related ecological conditions in Virginia's native trout streams. Volunteers are needed. For info see http://swas.evsc.virginia.edu/VTSSS-2010/Survey.html

4) Jeb Wofford, biologist at Shenandoah National Park, has offered to have a workshop with us to share the data the SNP has regarding fish populations. If you are interested in learning and interpreting the data, contact Bev Hunter to be included in this work session.

5) Consider joining in the following activity on May 15. EarthSangha is a well reputed group of experts on native plants:

From: earthsangha@yahoogroups.com
> > On Behalf Of Lisa Bright
> > Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 5:14 PM
> > Subject: [earthsangha] Brook Trout Restoration Project in Rappahannock County, May 15th

Dear Friends,

Saturday, May 15, at a farm along the Thornton River, in Rappahannock County, Virginia, near Sperryville

We are launching a new collaborative stream buffer project with Trout Unlimited in their efforts to restore cold water streams in our region. Brook trouts have lived in our streams throughout the region for thousands of years until the forests steadily lost trees and cattle farms further polluted the waterways and, as a consequence, the water temperature began rising. Still, we learned that there are many places where brook trouts still cling onto life. Our friends at Trout Unlimited are using a very intelligent approach to bring the trouts: they restore our rivers to encourage brook trouts to return and reproduce.

As our first collaborative project, we will plant about 230 native shrubs and trees along Thornton River near Sperryville with Trout Unlimited and Piedmont Environmental Council. We also met with one local farmer, who is an enthusiastic supporter and who has been instrumental in bringing in other farmers to the project. Because of the actions of this farmer, that portion of Thornton River is now good enough for Brook trouts to live!

Trout Unlimited recently removed a dam that would have blocked the trouts' movement. We will be planting the area disturbed by the dam removal.

We are extremely excited by this collaboration and by this project!

We've already collected seeds of various native plants from that locale for future planting. For this particular event, we are bringing seedlings from our nursery. We think this collaboration would lead us to lots of interesting work and new experiences! And we hope it would give you some interesting experience by volunteering in a gorgeous countryside and with enlightened farmers and learn more about our native trouts and why their survival is critical to the ecological health of our region.

Chris and I attended the Cold Water Summit last week organized by Trout Unlimited and had a very strong sense of solidarity with a lot of people who are engaged in all sorts of actions to save the cold water streams.

Although there may be some farmers and some friends of Piedmont Environmental Council who will help plant these 230 seedlings, we need minimum 20 volunteers to successfully plant these trees. It would be an ideal day excursion for a group of college students or a business group to help us launch this project. We will go back there to do more work in the Fall, and thereafter.

We are hoping to start at 10 am and finish the work by 3 pm on Saturday, May 15. The area is just outside of Sperryville proper. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, would you please write me? Thank you.

Lisa Bright earthsangha@yahoogroups.com
Earth Sangha
(703) 764-4830
(571) 213-8025 (cell)