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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 260. Water Quality Standards

9VAC25-260-370. Classification column.

A. DO, pH and temperature criteria. The classification column defines the class of waters to which the basin section belongs in accordance with the class descriptions given in 9VAC25-260-50. 9VAC25-260-50 defines the state's seven classes (I through VII) and the dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and maximum temperature that apply to each class. By finding the class of waters for a basin section in the classification column and referring to 9VAC25-260-50, the DO, pH and maximum temperature criteria can be found for each basin section.

B. DGIF trout waters. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has established a classification system for trout waters based on aesthetics, productivity, resident fish population and stream structure. Classes i through iv rate wild trout habitat; Classes v through viii rate cold water habitat not suitable for wild trout but adequate for year-round hold-over of stocked trout. The DGIF classification system is included in this publication with the board's trout water classes (Class V—Stockable trout waters and Class VI—Natural trout waters) in the class column of the River Basin Section Tables 9VAC25-260-390 et seq.

DGIF trout water classifications which are not consistent with board classifications for stockable trout waters or natural trout waters are shown with a double asterisk (**) in the class column of the River Basin Section Tables 9VAC25-260-390 et seq. These trout waters have been identified for reevaluation by the DGIF. Those trout waters which have no DGIF classification are shown with a triple asterisk (***). The DGIF classes are described below. Inclusion of these DGIF classes provides additional information about specific streams for permit writers and other interested persons. Trout waters classified as classes i or ii by the DGIF are also recognized in 9VAC25-260-110.


Wild natural trout streams.

Class i. Stream of outstanding natural beauty possessing wilderness or at least remote characteristics, an abundance of large deep pools, and excellent fish cover. Substrate is variable with an abundance of coarse gravel and rubble. Stream contains a good population of wild trout or has the potential for such. Would be considered an exceptional wild trout stream.

Class ii. Stream contains a good wild trout population or the potential for one but is lacking in aesthetic quality, productivity, and/or in some structural characteristic. Stream maintains good water quality and temperature, maintains at least a fair summer flow, and adjacent land is not extensively developed. Stream would be considered a good wild trout stream and would represent a major portion of Virginia's wild trout waters.

Class iii. Stream which contains a fair population of wild trout with carrying capacity depressed by natural factors or more commonly man-related landuse practices. Land use activities may result in heavy siltation of the stream, destruction of banks and fish cover, water quality degradation, increased water temperature, etc. Most streams would be considered to be in the active state of degradation or recovery from degradation. Alteration in landuse practices would generally improve carrying capacity of the stream.

Class iv. Stream which contains an adequately reproducing wild trout population but has severely reduced summer flow characteristics. Fish are trapped in isolated pools where they are highly susceptible to predators and fishermen. Such streams could quickly be over-exploited and, therefore, provide difficult management problems.

Stockable trout streams.

Class v. Stream does not contain an adequately reproducing wild trout population nor does it have the potential for such. However, water quality is adequate, water temperature is good, and invertebrate productivity is exceptional. Pools are abundant with good size and depth and fish cover is excellent. Stream would be good for stocked trout but may offer more potential for a fingerling stocking program.

Class vi. Stream does not contain a significant number of trout nor a significant population of warmwater gamefish. Water quality is adequate and water temperature good for summer carryover of stocked trout. Summer flow remains fair and adjacent land is not extensively developed. All streams in this class would be considered good trout stocking water.

Class vii. Stream does not contain a significant number of trout nor a significant population of warmwater gamefish. Water quality and temperature are adequate for trout survival but productivity is marginal as are structural characteristics. Streams in this class could be included in a stocking program but they would be considered marginal and generally would not be recommended for stocking.

Class viii. Stream does not contain a significant number of trout nor a significant population of warmwater gamefish. Water quality and temperature are adequate for trout but summer flows are very poor (less than 30% of channel). Streams in this class can provide good trout fishing during spring and early summer but would not be recommended for summer or fall stocking.

Other. Remaining streams would be considered unsuitable for any type of trout fishery. Streams would be considered unsuitable under any of the following conditions:

(a) summer temperatures unsuitable for trout survival;

(b) stream contains a significant population of warmwater gamefish;

(c) insufficient flow; or

(d) intolerable water quality.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15(3a) of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-21-08.2, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 4, eff. December 10, 1997; Errata, 14:12 VA.R. 1937 March 2, 1998.

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