Fishery Management and Monitoring
Of the approximately 90 small streams in the park, most contain brook trout. The cool forested slopes give rise to cool clear waters providing elcellent habitat for this species. Other common species occurring in the park include the blacknose and longnose dace, the mottled sculpin, the bluehead chub, the fantail darter, and in the east slope streams, the American Eel.
The park's Fisheries Management Plan has two objectives: to preserve and perpetuate native brook trout as a key component of the park's aquatic ecosystems; and to allow for recreational fishing on those park streams that consistently produce adequate numbers of brook trout for maintaining population stability. Regulations and policies (PDF, 347 kb) are designed to carry out these objectives.
Aside from regulations, management of the fishery includes the removal of exotic brown and rainbow trout from park streams. These removals are conducted in order to support the continued health of native brook trout populations.
Proper management of the fishery cannont occur without monitoring of fish resourcing. Fish monitoring is conducted every two years to ensure the Management Plan's objectives are being met, as well to better characterize the health of park aquatic ecosystems by assessing the status and trends of all fish species.
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Did You Know?
In addition to the eastern brook trout, 35 other fish species live within Shenandoah National Park’s streams. More...