Ongoing efforts by West Virginia University and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to restore and protect the native brook trout of West Virginia’s Shavers Fork watershed are featured in an upcoming episode of Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming.
The show will air multiple times on the Outdoor Channel beginning today (Feb. 24) at 11 a.m. EST and a primetime broadcast on Saturday (March 1) at 5:30 p.m. EST.
Fleming, the creator and host of the popular Outdoor Channel fishing show, has fished Shavers Fork since childhood, and for him, the message was personal.
“The work that has gone into protecting and restoring these magnificent fish and this amazing stream is so inspiring, I knew we had to document it,” said Fleming.
The episode follows Fleming as he fishes both the main stem and tributaries of Shavers Fork, interspersed with interviews with some of the key figures involved in the five-year effort to restore the habitat. Steve Brown of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Paul Kinder of WVU’s Natural Resource Analysis Center were integral to the restoration project, as was former congressman, Alan Mollohan, who helped secure much of the funding.
Numerous agencies and nonprofits also contributed to the massive effort, including the Eastern Brook Trout Initiative and Trout Unlimited. Even the mighty Shays locomotives of the Cass Scenic Railroad were called into action to bring necessary supplies into the road-less region that was the center of the project.
“Watching tributaries that have been effectively cut off for over one hundred years, watching miles of new trout habitat and refuge open up, is a wonderful feeling,” said Fleming, “and I’m proud Fly Rod Chronicles could play a part in documenting the heroic effort to protect these wonderful native fish and to present a positive story on the state’s efforts to preserve cold water resources.”
According to Todd Petty, a professor of wildlife and fisheries resources at WVU and a partner on the stream restoration project, the ongoing effort has led to six degrees for graduate students and more than ten publications in scientific journals to date.
Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming is in its eleventh year and often features stories that take place in the Mountain State. It is produced by West Virginia-based production company, Allegheny Image Factory.
CONTACT: Paul Kinder, WVU Natural Resource Analysis Center
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