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Stream restoration featured on Outdoor Channel

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Efforts by West Virginia University and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to restore and protect the native brook trout of the state's Shavers Fork watershed are being featured on "Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming," which first aired at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 and was scheduled to air again at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1.

Fleming has fished Shavers Fork since he was a young boy, so the message was personal for the creator and host of the popular fishing show for the Outdoor Channel.

"The work that has gone into protecting and restoring these magnificent fish and this amazing stream is so inspiring," Fleming said. "I knew we had to document it."

During the episode, Fleming fishes both the main stem and tributaries of Shavers Fork and takes time to talk with some of the key people involved in the five-year effort to restore the habitat.

Steve Brown of the West Virginia DNR and Paul Kinder of WVU's Natural Resource Analysis Center were key to the restoration project, along with federal funding steered by former Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va.

According to WVU, several agencies and nonprofit organizations contributed to the effort, including the Eastern Brook Trout Initiative and Trout Unlimited along with Shays locomotives from the Cass Scenic Railroad, which helped bring supplies to the center of the project where there were no roads.

"Watching tributaries that have been effectively cut off for over 100 years, watching miles of new trout habitat and refuge open up, is a wonderful feeling, 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," Fleming said.

The project has led to six degrees for graduate students and more than 10 publications in scientific journals so far, according to WVU professor of wildlife and fisheries resources Todd Petty.

"Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming" is in its 11th year and often features Mountain State stories. It is produced by Allegheny Image Factory, a West Virginia-based production company.