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By Susan Larson

Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) has been awarded a $193,000 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants (SWG) program, for a trout restoration project.

“The project will restore important habitat for native brook trout through the removal of fish passage barriers, allowing trout access to more than two additional miles of important spawning habitat in the upper Rapidan River watershed,” said FOR Programs Manager Bryan Hofmann. The project will also establish a healthy riparian buffer to help keep the water cold enough for trout, and improve the condition of the stream channel for reduced erosion and improved water quality.

FOR’s project is a part of a larger trout restoration initiative throughout the upper Rappahannock River watershed, by a coalition including the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), Trout Unlimited (TU), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), and Ecosystem Services LLC.

Monitoring will begin fall of 2016, and continue for several years, Hofmann said. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities associated with the project, ranging from water quality monitoring to helping to plant trees for the riparian buffer. For more information and to volunteer, contact Bryan Hofmann at bryan.hofmann@riverfriends.org

Friends of the Rappahannock is the Fredericksburg-based nonprofit working “to be the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River.”

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