Improving native fish habitat through stream and meadow restoration

Golden Trout Wilderness

Emily Kastner is an Alliance Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) member who just finished her term at her host site, Trout Unlimited. During her time, Emily worked on the Golden Trout Wilderness – Kern Plateau Meadows Restoration Project to restore degraded stream and meadow habitats, primarily in the headwaters of the Owens and South Fork Kern watersheds.

The Project is a partnership between Trout Unlimited, Inyo National Forest, and various other stream restoration organizations in the area. Using low-tech process-based restoration techniques, natural stream function was encouraged and restored, and historic floodplains were reconnected. Emily assisted in stream monitoring, design planning, research, and mapping of waterways and meadows.

Incised bank at Horseshoe Meadow, an access point to Golden Trout Wilderness

The Golden Trout Wilderness (GTW) is the only native range for the Golden Trout and is also a critical habitat for the Southern Mountain Yellow-legged frog, both species being endemic to California. The meadow habitats and streams in the GTW are essential for the survival of these species, and crucial for downstream watershed health. The restoration of these areas also contributes to climate change resiliency in the area.

Emily’s catch, a Golden Trout

Emily’s work to restore the Kern Plateau Meadow is aligned with Trout Unlimited’s mission to restore watersheds and preserve critical fish habitat of native species.

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