View Full Version : LRO Products in National Geographic?

04-02-2010, 08:42 PM
On page 117 of this month's National Geographic, there's a shot of three wetsuit snorkelers face-down in Abrams Creek. I distinctly spot two pairs of Simms Freestone boots, and another pair that I believe to be Cloudveils. Byron, have you been selling to any snorkeling biologists lately? If so, looks like your products wound up in the magazine.


Byron Begley
04-03-2010, 05:39 PM
Hi Zach,

I'm not aware of us selling any gear to National Geographic. I know they are talking about doing an article featuring Little River. I heard that last week. If they do it they won't be focused on fishing but instead on water quality.


04-03-2010, 07:07 PM
I got that issue the other day and, glancing through, saw that pic. I need to read it when I get back home.

04-03-2010, 08:16 PM
I had never heard that the park service poisoned Abrams creek in the 1950s to improve the habitat for trout. Interesting read.


Jim Casada
04-04-2010, 10:51 AM
Gutshot--That poisoning was one of many "experiments" in the 1950s which were abject failures. The Park Service wasn't alone in its folly, however. The N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission took a similar approach on Big Santeetlah and it has never been the same.
As for the Park, the list of missteps is long. I note many of them connected with fishing in my book on the Park, and there's a world of insight in Margaret Brown's fine book on the history of the Park.
Jim Casada

Byron Begley
04-04-2010, 01:44 PM
Didn't the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service control the National Park Fisheries back then and didn't they poison Abrams Creek? I guess it doesn't really matter but I think they were under a different Department of the U.S. Government in the old days maybe the Department of Agriculture. Now they fall under the Department of Interior. I remember hearing that USFW or the Corps of Engineers channelized the tributaries to Abrams Creek in Cades Cove. And, I recall hearing about a riff between the two agencies.

When we founded the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, our Chapter and the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter did a lot of work in the Cove trying to stabilize the stream banks of those tribs. The creeks did not meander much. Many were perfectly straight. We raised money and built fences to keep the cattle out of the streams. When Mr. Calhourn passed away the cattle were removed from the Cove.

Also, evidently there was a Superintendent at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, many years ago, who wanted to build a dam on Abrams Creek and turn the cove into a lake. That is local hearsay that came to me from people who work for the Park. That would not fit the mission of the National Park Service and would not happen now. But, wouldn't that be interesting if it had happened?

It has been almost 20 years since I heard this and I could be wrong. I'm just thinking out loud.


04-04-2010, 08:07 PM
I would obviously not want to see Cades Cove turned into a lake, but I did think it was pretty unusual that there are no ponds whatsoever in the Park. I scoured a map one day (I was really wanting to try stillwater fishing for trout) and I couldn't locate a single one.

It wouldn't kill me if the Parks Service wanted to dam a small creek somewhere and make a 1/2 acre pond. Course I suppose the beavers might do it for them in the next few years...


04-04-2010, 08:16 PM
Just an interesting note there are several ponds in the park although I don't think any have fish. There is a very big pond (almost a small lake) called Gourley pond in Cades cove only about 100 yards from the road but it might as well be a mile cause you can't see it at all from the road and would never know it was there. It is between Rowan and Sea branches. It is shown on some topo maps but not others. It's on the 1931 map I am pretty sure. Here are some pics I took last year after bushwhacking to it. Like I said no trout cause it's a stagnant old cow pond left over from a farm long gone but still kind of interesting especially sitting there on the banks of such a big pond so close to thousands of people driving by who didn't know it was there:


04-05-2010, 09:43 AM
Somebody ought to sneak a few smallies into that pond!