Public Works and Environmental Services

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Sharon North
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Extraordinary Fish Relocation Marks a New Chapter in Environmental Stewardship in Fairfax County

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fish relocationFairfax County, Virginia – In an unprecedented move for the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, a crew working on the Difficult Run Tributary at Government Center Stream and Pond Restoration project set out and, using an electro-fishing boat, temporarily, but safely, stunned the fish and eels living there and temporarily relocated them ahead of dredging the pond. Electroshocking has taken place before in the County, but usually with a handheld device, not a boat. The fish were taken a short distance away and placed in the Herrity Pond.

Watch the fish relocation video.

As a cornerstone of Fairfax County’s environmental initiatives aimed at enhancing local waterways and supporting diverse ecosystems, the Difficult Run project exemplifies the County’s dedication to preserving natural habitats and promoting environmental health. It's a balancing act between urban development and nature conservation, demonstrating the county's forward-thinking approach to ecological preservation. A freshwater ecologist on the team highlights that electro-shocking is a sophisticated and humane technique that allows for efficient, safe fish relocation, benefiting species like bluegill and American eels. In all, three eels, 49 bluegill and 145 golden shiners were relocated.

fish relocationThe successful transfer of these aquatic residents to Herrity Pond signifies not only the protection of these species during the restoration project, but also the enrichment of the pond's biodiversity. The fish have been carefully introduced into their revitalized habitat, marking a significant step towards ecological balance.

This fish relocation project is more than a conservation effort; it's a symbol of Fairfax County's journey towards a sustainable future, intertwining community involvement with environmental responsibility.

Fairfax County residents are encouraged to participate in the final phase of the project, where they can witness the restocking of the amenity ponds. This event will offer a unique opportunity to observe the tangible impacts of such environmental initiatives. The restocking date will be announced once it is scheduled.

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