PEC teamed up with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to monitor the health of aquatic communities at two of our habitat restoration sites in Rappahannock County: Bolton Branch and Piney River!
These streams, flowing out of Shenandoah National Park, are critical habitat for brook trout, but they’ve been increasingly blocked off and divided up as a result of culvert-style road crossings.
This summer, the Virginia Department of Transportation completed a beautiful new fish-friendly crossing at Bolton Branch to complement PEC’s previous restoration projects there. While it’s too early to draw long-term conclusions, we saw many encouraging signs that the aquatic communities are bouncing back quickly as a result of the restoration.
VDOT will also replace an impaired culvert on Piney River with a fish-friendly crossing in the coming year. We surveyed here to establish a baseline for the aquatic community in order to measure improvement after restoration is completed.
We’re so thankful to have partners like Virginia DWR and VDOT as we work to improve water quality and aquatic habitat in the headwaters of the Rappahannock River. Thank you for your dedication and hard work!