The Virgin River is a tributary of the Colorado River that flows from north of Zion National Park to Lake Mead in Nevada.

Virgin River water is used throughout Washington County for agricultural, municipal, industrial and commercial purposes and benefits the environment over its course.

The Virgin River is home to several native and endangered species dependent on a healthy river system. Some of the rarest fish in the world are found in the river and in the garden’s 1,150-foot stream, which mimic the Virgin River’s natural conditions.

Native fish typically reproduce when water flows are higher in the spring. Fish have reproduced at Red Hills Desert Garden due to the collaborative efforts of several federal, state and local agencies.

The agencies work together to promote healthy native fish populations and protect them from non-native fish that may be introduced in the system. Adding or removing fish from any body of water, including this stream, is illegal.

The water in the garden’s stream comes from Skyline Pond and contains a combination of untreated water from the Virgin River and Pine Valley.  Occasionally the water may be turbid, consistent with natural conditions. After cycling through the stream, the water is used in St. George’s secondary water system.