One of the state’s most popular stretches of trout stream won’t be accessible much during the month of October. A portion of Williams River Road is closed as contractors for the U.S. Forest Service perform stream bank restoration in a couple of places.
“The damage was caused by a flood about a year ago and we’ve finally gotten the money to fix it,” said John Morgan with the US Forest Service in Elkins. “We want to get the work done before winter so if there’s any flooding rain in the spring it won’t cause more damage.”
The work will force the closure of the road which runs alongside the stream weekdays for the next four to five weeks. The closure is between Tea Creek Campground and Three Forks. The road will be reopened to weekend traffic.
“We regret having to close this popular road, even temporarily” said Gauley District Ranger Jared Johnson, “but know that once the repairs are done it will be a better and safer road to travel.”
Timing couldn’t be worse as the work starts the same week the DNR begins its annual fall trout stocking.
The DNR plans to stock upstream from Tea Creek only. Officials with the trout program say if the road is reopened on Friday’s in time, they’ll try to stock downstream as well, but there are no guarantees. Forest Service officials say the contractor is required to have the road reopened by 7:00pm on Friday.
“We known the timing isn’t very good,” said Morgan. “Unfortunately, that’s just how it worked out.”