I-81 CARE

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited has initiated a long-term campaign to conserve, protect, and restore coldwater streams in the valleys and mountains in the Interstate 81corridor which stretches from Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee 325 miles north to the West Virginia border above Winchester.

Called the Interstate-81 Coldwater Area Restoration Effort or ‘I81 – CARE,’ the campaign’s goals are to reduce pollution and thus improve habitat for trout in the headwaters of five major rivers: Shenandoah, James, Roanoke, New, and Upper Tennessee. The Status and Threats report from the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture noted that the I – 81 corridor’s streams once were prime habitat for brook trout, the state’s fish, but that the land use practices of the 1900s caused the trout to retreat to the high mountain headwaters where they are only found today. I81 – CARE is the product of a series of stakeholder meetings begun in April 2007.