Farmer restores river to restore native Brook trout, an “environmental refugee”

Middle River flows through our land (in southwestern Virginia). Brook trout used to thrive in it – and in most freshwater streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

They migrated or died out long ago, environmental refugees from the sediment-laden waters.

Middle River is slowly being restored and one day, we will reintroduce this native fish to the waters that flow through our farm.

We fenced the cows out of our part of the river in 2004. Most of the denuded banks are now fully vegetated with native plants and trees. The leaves falling into the river replenish the aquatic ecosystem with the food it needs to restore itself.

Restoring and sustaining naturally reproducing brook trout populations is one of the goals in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

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