Project Description

Kinsey Run Fish Blockage Removal & Stream Restoration

Located within the Garth Run – Rapidan River sub-watershed in historic Graves Mill, Virginia (Madison County) and adjacent to the Shenandoah National Park, the Kinsey Run Project presented an opportunity to not only restore and enhance approximately 2,800 linear feet of Eastern Brook Trout habitat, but also to remove a fish blockage which would restore approximately 2.7 miles of access to upstream headwater streams for spawning. The fish blockage removal would restore fish passage to the headwaters of Kinsey Run within the Shenandoah National Park that was lost in 1995 after a 500-year flood event. Since that event, Brook Trout populations have been either extirpated or separated. Greatly reduced brook trout populations in the Rappahannock and Rapidan Headwaters prioritized the area. The Kinsey Run site was identified as a priority through a desktop screening of potential sites using a detailed functional-based assessment of project potential for high impact results.

In partnership with Friends of the Rappahannock, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Patagonia, Ecosystems designed the removal and replacement of two perched culverts with a low water stream crossings. In addition, eroding streambanks were stabilized to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs. As a final step, the riparian corridor was planted on both sides of the channel to provide shade to lower water temperatures and add organic material and food source to support trout habitat. Fish population and temperature monitoring data was collected upstream and downstream of Kinsey Run by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) pre-and-post restoration. We learned in 2019, only one year post construction that trout were found in Kinsey Run!


  • Remove Fish Blockage and improve in-stream habitat for Eastern Brook Trout
  • Providing initial GIS desktop screening and potential site identification mapping for restoration projects throughout key sub-watersheds of the Upper Rapidan River
  • Continue to build the Upper Rapidan Eastern Brook Trout Initiative to support future projects

ServicesAssessment, Watershed and Floodplain Studies, Plan Production and Mapping, Stream and Wetland Design