Project Description

Upper Rapidan

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 Stream Restoration Project presents 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. The proposed restoration project will allow Brook Trout populations to re-establish and repopulate.

The Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission is currently working with Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to develop a TMDL implementation plan to address bacterial impairments in the Upper Rapidan River Watershed. This project will serve as the kick-off point for implementation and be used as a case study for how to fund and implement BMPs such as livestock exclusion, stream restoration, riparian buffer planting, and fish blockage removal. The project also presents the opportunity to address both Eastern Brook Trout habitat and bacterial impairment at the same time, allowing for more efficient and improved utilization of resources. The plans, designs, and maps will be directly utilized by our beneficiaries and project partners to develop and submit proposals to appropriate funding sources for the implementation of the identified and designed stream and riparian buffer restoration components, ensuring that what was begun in this grant will culminate in on-the-ground results.

The Trust for Tomorrow, Ecosystem Services and our beneficiaries are envisioning the Upper Rapidan Brook Trout Initiative as a long-term program that will not be completed until sustainable habitat for Brook Trout populations are restored throughout the watershed.


  • Improve fish passage and instream habitat for Eastern Brook Trout within Kinsey Run
  • Providing initial GIS desktop screening and potential site identification mapping for restoration projects throughout key sub-watersheds of the Upper Rapidan River
  • Launch a targeted public outreach program to personally engage landowners with restoration potential and develop an inventory of projects for future grant funding

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