Crews also planted red spruce and aspen trees along the river's banks. Bennett said the resulting shade should also help bring water temperatures down.
"We should know within a few years whether the changes we made are having an effect," he said. "The reason we'll know -- and will know with great certainty -- is that researchers from [West Virginia University] have been up there for 10-plus years gathering data on the stream and its tributaries.
"On most projects, the best you can hope for is one year's worth of pre-project data. We probably have more background data on this than there is on any other research project in the East."
Researchers will monitor Shavers' water temperature to see if it begins to cool. They'll also survey the river's insect and crustacean life, and they'll monitor brook-trout genetics to determine when the fish return to the river's main stem from their current homes in tributary streams.
The new structures will be evaluated after next spring's snowmelt and high-water runoff to see if they accomplished what designers hoped they would. Most of the structures were designed to deflect high-velocity springtime flows in a way that scours out deep pools and pockets.
If the project proves successful, Brown said 15 more miles of upper Shavers might receive similar treatment.
"We think it could be done for about $15 million," he added. "That's a lot of money, but not an unreasonable number when you consider the potential benefits to anglers and tourism."
Brown said Shavers' unique nature -- a large river perched at an elevation greater than 3,000 feet, with few private landowners and with access only on foot or by rail -- could help make it a destination spot for wilderness-oriented anglers.
"It is, and always will be, a remote location," he said. "The people who fish it are going to be people who seek out and love to fish remote locations. We think Shavers could be very attractive to folks like that."
He said DNR officials are "very pleased" with the outcome of the restoration.
"They did a heck of a job up there. We love what the conservation district folks and the NRCS folks did up there, and they deserve every bit of credit they might get for it. Now we wait and look at how that restoration benefits [invertebrate life], fish, the stream and fishermen. A year from now, we'll know better what those benefits will be."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.