↑ Return to Our Approach

Native Brook Trout

Brook print 1

Trout Unlimited is a strong and valued partner of the Trust. TU’s focus of restoration efforts within the Cacapon and Lost River Watersheds, through the Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative, further demonstrates the regional significance of these basins, and the irreplaceable natural resources we are working to protect.

The Cacapon and Lost River system is the easternmost stronghold for brook trout populations in the state of West Virginia. Across its eastern range, brook trout populations have diminished and disappeared in many cases. The Cacapon’s cold, clean brook trout streams benefit more than just the brook trout; they benefit the community at large by supplying clean water and by serving as an angling destination.

Brook trout habitat in the Cacapon River watershed today consists of isolated patches of high quality fish and aquatic organism assemblages. TU’s work hopes to expand, and ultimately re-connect these isolated patches into a larger and more robust region open to free fish passage.

These brookie inhabited areas represent the “best of the best” ecosystems. In the Chesapeake Bay region, the presence of brook trout means that water quality is of the highest value and meets the intended use as defined by the Clean Water Act; and that for our downstream neighbors, this clean and cold water has a positive and healthy affect. These streams represent the highest ecological values for cold water habitat, and serve as beacons for landowners who value West Virginia’s natural resources and its native fauna.

Through this partnership, the Trust will be working with Trout Unlimited to identify and implement restoration and protection activities that will lead to increased native brook trout populations as well as increased connectivity between currently isolated populations of fish.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about protecting or restoring brook trout habitat on your property. Kelly Watkinson, Executive Director, Trust, kelly@cacapon.org or Dustin Wichterman, Potomac Headwaters Project Leader, dwichterman@tu.org, 304-463-4011.