Whether you fish or just simply understand the value of clean water, there is no law more important than the Clean Water Act. In 2015, the EPA developed a rule that affirmed Clean Water Act protections for “intermittent and ephemeral streams.” Protections for these streams had been threatened by two splintered Supreme Court decisions in the 2000s. These streams —the headwaters of our nation’s rivers —provide us the fisheries we cherish and the clean drinking water we require. But this essential rule is now under threat of being revoked.
Nearly 60 percent of all of the stream miles in the United States are classified as small, intermittent or headwater.
Protecting these waters is essential to ensuring that adjacent or downstream waters remain clear, clean and healthy for fish, wildlife and communities. Trout Unlimited members work hard to protect our headwaters. We understand that keeping our waters healthy is much more effective than trying to repair a stream after it is damaged or destroyed.
There are three things that make a healthy stream:
Cold, clean water
Habitat for juvenile fish to hide and for big fish to grow and spawn
Sensible rules that protect streams from development
We can thank the Clean Water Act for all three key ingredients that contribute to quality trout and salmon fishing in America.