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WVU, WVDNR partnership leads to native trout release in Eastern Panhandle

Pair of brook trout in a pan of water
Two large, healthy male brook trout are being sedated for sperm donorship. Sedation of the fish allows for a more gentle, and controlled stripping of gametes.
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What’s the news?
For years, a team of West Virginia University researchers has been working alongside West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to restore and protect native brook trout in the state’s watersheds. Most recently, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design provided access to its aquaculture facilities at Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, allowing DNR scientists to successfully hatch fertilized native brook trout eggs collected from breeding-sized fish. WV Division of Natural Resources will release native brook trout into an Eastern Panhandle watershed that lost its population years ago Friday (May 25).

Quotes and comments
“For nearly a decade the WVU Natural Resource Analysis Center has been closely partnered with West Virginia Divisions of Natural Resources in stream restoration and habitat enhancements on cold water fisheries. In particular, our work has focused on the brook trout as they are the only native trout species in the state and their presence in streams indicate very healthy watersheds in terms of chemistry, temperature and habitat. Rearing native brook trout from eggs gathered from healthy populations and introducing them to streams that historically had brook trout is an important next step in our collaborative work.” – Paul Kinder, director of the WVU Natural Resource Analysis Center

“In order to produce brook trout from green eggs you need a substantial source of cold, clean water, and a facility possessing the necessary equipment to hold and secure the fish at different life stages before you can repatriate them to acceptable streams. The WVDNR and WVU have a long and successful history of collaborating on projects relating to the understanding and bettering of native brook trout in West Virginia, from the evaluation of migratory barriers, thermal impacts, habitat, mitigation of acidified waters, and now to the culture of native populations for the hopeful reestablishment of extirpated populations.” – Brandon Keplinger, fisheries biologist with WV DNR


Photos available for download

Target Audience

Nature lovers

Community members

Policy makers



CONTACT: Lindsay Willey
Communications Manager, Davis College of Agriculture, natural Resources and Design, 304-293-2381,

Brandon Keplinger, Fisheries Biologist, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, 304-822-3551,

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.