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2weightfavorite
06-26-2010, 02:12 PM
So I was wondering today as I drove up the road at tremont... They used chemicals to kill the rainbows that werent shocked and moved or caught in the catch out up at lynn camp, but how far down from the sascades did that chemical kill the fish?

Now for any of who say that the stream below the falls wasn't affected I have to say you are wrong.. And Im not debating the restocking of lynn camp. However, if there wasn't non diluted killing chemical just above the cascades then rainbows would have been left to reproduce... so just above the falls there had to have been adequate chemical to kill the fish, now the cascades aren't that big, so the chances of the chemical becoming harmless from the top of them to the bottom of them is slim to none... So, how far down the middle prong did we lose trout? Im sure it wasn't an extremely long distance, but Id love to know..

Have any of you fished just below the cascades since the kill?

David Knapp
06-26-2010, 04:41 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a buffer was put in the water below the cascades when the poison arrived from upstream. The buffer countered the poison making it harmless to anything further downstream...Shouldn't have lost many if any fish below there...

2weightfavorite
06-26-2010, 08:24 PM
wow, that would be awsome! I had not heard that, but it sure makes good sense...just add something to neutralize thee killing agent in the waters that were not intended to be affected. I hope that was the case!

GrouseMan77
06-26-2010, 08:49 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a buffer was put in the water below the cascades when the poison arrived from upstream. The buffer countered the poison making it harmless to anything further downstream...Shouldn't have lost many if any fish below there...

PA, there was a buffer at the base of the falls.

Crockett
06-27-2010, 11:34 PM
If the cascades we are talking about here is the big one about a quarter mile up the middle prong trail then no one could fish below it since that water all the way down to where the trail starts is closed I think right?

waterwolf
06-28-2010, 07:57 AM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a buffer was put in the water below the cascades when the poison arrived from upstream. The buffer countered the poison making it harmless to anything further downstream...Shouldn't have lost many if any fish below there...
I think this is right. I know they use a blocker with rotanone (sp?), but not sure if they used that chemical or something else on this project.

Jim Casada
06-28-2010, 04:40 PM
waterwolf--The chemical is antimycin, I believe. I'm not a scientist but do have to wonder if it is possible to render harmless, completely and irrevocably, something which is deadly above a waterfall after it drops down below the cascade.
I very much want specks to return, but I've always had some (make that considerable) reservations about killing other wild fish to restore them.
What I find really interesting, and no one seems to have a real explanation, is that mountain trout have, on their own and in my lifetime, expanded their range appreciably in some streams such as Straight Fork and Beech Flats Prong. This expansion has had nothing to do with management by man, although you have to figure that the best qualified of all fisheries biologists, nature, has figured in the equation in a significant way.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

GrouseMan77
06-28-2010, 07:03 PM
I think this is right. I know they use a blocker with rotanone (sp?), but not sure if they used that chemical or something else on this project.

I couldn't think of the name the other day but it was Rotenone.

Jim Casada
06-28-2010, 07:32 PM
Jason--I check and the chemical they used to kill specks was antimycin. Apparently it is preferable to rotenone, although given the fact it kills everything down to microinvertebrates I'm not sure why. However, you are right in that rotenone was once the poisons of choice. It was what was used when they first started trying to re-establish specks.
One such usage took place in Indian Creek decades ago and was an abysmal failure. There were others, and I think a combination of factors led to abandoning use of rotenone--ineffectiveness, unwelcome side effects, difficulty in dosage control, etc. Presumably antimycin answered some of these problems, and there's no doubt that recent speck restoration efforts show more signs of success than early ones.
For me though, the jury's still out. There's been a great deal of money and wonderful volunteer effort go into this program over the years, but I'm far too much of a mountain boy not to have a healthy (and large) dose of skepticism. As I think I say somewhere in my book on the Park, I'll lead the cheering if the effort proves a success, but right now I'm waiting.
What I would really love to see, and if it's available I'm unaware of it, is overall information on the modern (antimycin) restoration program and where it stands. Does anyone know where matters stand on Bear Creek, for example.
The whole thing with bucket biology brings dismay, but it also offers an unfortunate lesson in how fragile this whole program may be. Rainbows have a real penchant to "take holt," to use the mountain vernacular, and I actually fear that all the publicity about this, while it may scare off the perpretrator(s), could at the same time encourage others.
Like it or not, there's a lingering and strong dislike of anything and everything connected with the Park in folks on both sides of the mountain. I've seen it all my life, argued with some people who hate the Park (mainly the "Build the Road" crowd) in person and in print until I was blue in the face, and eventually came to recognize the fact that we are still two or three generations away from the sense of loss folks experienced going away.
Incidentally, I can understand that sense of loss. Cataloochee and Cades Cove were pieces of paradise, and in the former there was literally wailing and gnashing of teeth when folks were told (by their preacher) they would have to leave. Think of it this way--if the govt. seized your land by eminent domain and paid far less than you thought it was worth, threatening all the while things would be even worse if you didn't accept their offer, wouldn't you be bitter?
That bitterness lingers, and unfortunately it sometimes finds outlets in destructive acts such as the Lynn Camp Prong "stocking."
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)
P. S. This is probably more than anyone wanted to hear on this whole matter, but obviously the overriding issue and social situation are ones which interest me keenly. I might add that even given my sympathy to the great loss, some folks in Swain County consider me the spawn of the Devil because I wrote strong words arguing against the Road to Nowhere.

mora521
06-28-2010, 08:17 PM
Potassium permanganate was the chemical used to nuetralize the antimycin,it is also used by water companies to treat certain types of well water to make it more palatable.It leaves a purple stain on clothing and skin that is hard to remove.

silvercreek
06-28-2010, 08:26 PM
I was trying to recall what they used to neutralize the the antimycin. Permanganate mixed with glycerin will combust after a few seconds. Seems like I recall the forest service used ping pong balls filled with the stuff and injected it with glycerin and dropped it from planes for controlled burns. Purple color ought to show up well for making sure it is mixing well in the water.

GrouseMan77
06-28-2010, 09:00 PM
Everyone who said that antimycin was the poison is correct. The rotenone that waterwolf mentioned was used for the same purpose. I got confused and thought that I remembered rotenone being used for the buffer. It's Monday, my brain must have been left at the office.

Thanks for straightening me out Jim.

2weightfavorite
06-28-2010, 09:39 PM
One other food for thought...the park officials get all bent out of shape at the people building mini wiers ( go look at metcalf bottoms if you dont now what a mini wier is). They say that they are damaging to the reproduction of who knows what kind of small minnow found in the rivers. I also believe we have some small endangered darters that live in the mountains as well. the chemical used to kill the rainbows kills all fish. Any idea or rough count on how many possible endangered or protected fish were killed? must have been hundreds... All I am saying is DONT BUILD MINI WEIRS AT METCALF!!

mora521
06-29-2010, 02:52 PM
I fished Lynn Camp Prong the day they used the Antimycin on Sams Creek and the warning signs at the trailhead said that Antymicin was an antibiotic and it would react adversely with contact lenses,among other things and the trail up Thunderhead Prong was closed.

I have read that Ant. is less destructive to insects than the Rotenone.

Silvercreek that is cool about the reaction with glycerin,the pot.perm. is a strong oxidizer and on well water with strong iron content can be treated with an injector to add the chemical.

2WF I have seen weirs that went all the way across Little River below Metcalf when the flows were low in the summer.I can see how it would impede the travel of minnows.

2weightfavorite
06-29-2010, 09:00 PM
my comment on the weirs, is completely sarcastic...

duckypaddler
07-01-2010, 05:56 PM
The chemical is antimycin, I believe. I'm not a scientist but do have to wonder if it is possible to render harmless, completely and irrevocably, something which is deadly above a waterfall after it drops down below the cascade.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

That chemistry is hard to explain to the mountain folk:biggrin:

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/upload/Antimycin05.pdf

Bottom line is if you see the color change - it's neutralized

While I have seen many people complain about the use, I have never read anything credible (able to pass peer review) to convince me otherwise, other than the fact that in the past much worse things were used that killed the insects, etc

Jim Casada
07-01-2010, 09:20 PM
duckypaddler--Your post reads (at least to this one example of mountain folk) as if antimycin doesn't kill insects. It is my understanding that it pretty well wipes out everything in a stream (crayfish, spring lizards, as we mountain folks call salamanders, Devil's knitting needles, a.k.a. know as snake feeders, and insects in general. Is that a misconception? Also, I mentioned some of the inhabitants of mountain streams by their colloquial names just to make a point that we mountain folk, say what you will about our lack of scientific understanding, have a real knack for using descriptive terms. Even the slowest of woods colts would know that (and if you know what a woods colt is I'll give you full marks, betting, as I mention the term, that there are those of lurk in these precincts who will know).
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

duckypaddler
07-02-2010, 08:53 AM
duckypaddler--Your post reads (at least to this one example of mountain folk) as if antimycin doesn't kill insects. It is my understanding that it pretty well wipes out everything in a stream (crayfish, spring lizards, as we mountain folks call salamanders, Devil's knitting needles, a.k.a. know as snake feeders, and insects in general. Is that a misconception? Also, I mentioned some of the inhabitants of mountain streams by their colloquial names just to make a point that we mountain folk, say what you will about our lack of scientific understanding, have a real knack for using descriptive terms. Even the slowest of woods colts would know that (and if you know what a woods colt is I'll give you full marks, betting, as I mention the term, that there are those of lurk in these precincts who will know).
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

I'm sorry you didn't take my comments as sarcasm. While science is one path to the truth, I have learned plenty of truths from good ole boys with practical experience. I was referring to your point about the poisoning be neutralized, and that science is hard to understand (me included). As for you question about killing insects, I am just a newbie trout fisherman and surely not an entomologist so I am in no way qualified to answer, but here is a quote from the previous link I sent you below.

I have no idea what wood colt is, but I do know the fishing on Buck Fork is heavenly right now! As far as terms go. I thought of a new one after my adventure to Buck Fork - Rhodo-Shins. It's when you have bruises from you ancles to your knees:biggrin:



Degrades into naturally
• occurring compounds such as antimyctic acid, blastmycic acid, and lactone all of which are harmless to people at these low concentrations (Hussain 1969).
• ee separate projects indicates antimycin treatment has minimal short-term (<6 months) and NO long-term (>6 months) impacts on aquatic insects (Walker 2003)

Jim Casada
07-02-2010, 05:37 PM
duckypaddler--Thanks for the clarification on the insects, and from the info you provide it appears they do indeed die. Tht leads to the obvious question of whether the streams ecosystem ever returns to what it was. The whole restoration program is fraught with "ifs," and that is why I remain quite skeptical even as I hope against hope it works. One reason for my skepticism is history--the Park (and today's biologists will admit as much) got a lot of things wrong in the past. Two examples are the use of rotenone in early speck restoratin efforts and the Abrams Creek debacle. On top of that, they did a great deal of stocking of 'bows, northern strain specks, and even in one case browns in years past.
Frankly I wasn't sure whether you were writing in jest or suggesting I didn't have a clue. Scientifically the latter conclusion would be the accurate one, but there's something to be said for many decades of first-hand observation from a practical naturalist's standpoint. That I do have.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

nvr2L8
07-03-2010, 09:23 PM
Admittedly, the Park may have gotten some things wrong in the past (way past, sounds like). But, if Road Prong and Sams Creek are any indication of future success, I think they may now have it right. Can't wait for similar success in Lynn Camp.

Jim Casada
07-04-2010, 07:31 AM
nvr2L8--Sams Creek is certainly a success story. I'm less certain about Road Prong. Was it ever part of the restoration program? It's had specks (and rainbows)as long as I can remember, and rainbows are removed with restoration. Maybe something was done above one or another of the falls on Road Prong, and I'm sure someone here will know. If so, however, I just don't remember it.
For me, the two current projects, Lynn Camp Prong and Bear Creek, will tell a lot one way or th other. I would also add that Mother Nature may well be leading the finest restoration program of all. Specks are now found, as I have pointed on on this forum before, in a number of places where they weren't a few decades back.
As for restoration projects, I haven't heard a peep about Bear Creek, and that project pre-dates Lynn Camp Prong. Does anyone know details about what's going on with Bear Creek?
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

nvr2L8
07-04-2010, 12:09 PM
Jim,

In the lower part of Road Prong, accessible from WPLP, there are, indeed, bows just as you will find them in Sams Creek below the falls. From the fourth bridge of the Chimneys Trail and up, you will not find a single rainbow. Specs rule. So somewhere between the second bridge and the fourth is the unscalable natural barrier that keeps bows out of the upper reaches. If I'm not mistaken, Road Prong was a closed stream up until a few years ago and my assumption was that this was for a restoration project.

Like Bear Creek, a little known TU restoration project of a few years back was Mannis Branch. Bows have been replaced by specs there as well. Mannis is a skinny creek from its lowest reaches and not the draw that many other streams are but I've been assured that it is full of specs, particularly in its upper waters.

Jim Casada
07-04-2010, 07:07 PM
Charlie--I'm intimately familiar with Road Prong--I fish it at least a couple of times every year--and you are right about the distribution of specs and bows. My point was that I don't recall it having been the focus of a restoration effort. As for being closed, yes it was at one time. But so were literally dozens of other Park streams, and the vast majority of them have not received restoration efforts. Many aren't suitable inasmuch as they don't have the right kind of barrier (of course Road Prong does, in fact multiple ones). They just had natural speck populations, and Park biologists finally realized that human predation (i. e., catching and keeping specks) has no significant impact on the stream population That's why streams were re-opened.
Bear Creek isn't terribly skinny water and that's why I'd like to have a status report. It's been long enough since it was poisoned for there to have been a follow up, but if it has taken place I've heard nothing about it.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

nvr2L8
07-04-2010, 10:50 PM
Jim, check with Charlie Chmielewski of TU at charlieflyfish@gmail.com. He might be your best source of info on any TU/Park Service restoration effort.

May have been a bad assumption on the Road Prong closure. Thanks for the follow-up.

Jim Casada
07-05-2010, 07:24 AM
nvr2L8--Thanks. I'll drop the guy an e-mail and also send one to Matt Kulp. My interest goes beyond the personal, although that's keen enough. I'm working on a book project on specks. It's still somewhat vaguely defined but will follow a similar path to my book on the Smokies in terms of approach and coverage. In other words there will be considerable history, lots of anecdotal information, and detailed focus on specks. A key part of the latter area will obviously be things such as the restoration project, problems with Anakeesta Rock, the interaction between specks and man (logging in yesteryear, the Road to Nowhere in today's world, the issue of long-time stream closures an why that came to an end, etc.).
Incidentlly, if forum readers have thoughts on any of this please share them.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)
P. S. You may (or may not be wrong on Road Prong). I was just saying that if it was a focus of restoration efforts, I never knew about it. Surely some reader knows the answer.

TNBigBore
07-06-2010, 10:51 AM
Back in the 90s when I was with TWRA we found that brook trout were often outcompeting rainbows in some streams and were gaining ground so to speak. Other streams showed brook trout losing some ground to rainbows, but not much. There was an overall net gain in miles of brook trout streams over the course of the 90s from what we found. This did not include the Left Fork of Hampton Creek restoration and similar. My best guess as to why the brookies seem to be doing better in competing with rainbows has to do with forest succession. I think the forest canopy and the streams themselves have returned to conditions similar to the pre-logging era. There are so many possible variables that could affect population dynamics though we may never know.

Crockett
07-06-2010, 12:06 PM
Jim your book idea sounds great I will be waiting to buy one! I have noticed that often times I can catch specks in slow or still water way off the main flow of the stream. I almost never catch bows in those types of "dead" looking muddy areas it seems they prefer staying closer to the high fast flow spots. Specks seem to be able to tolerate those "stagnant" type pools better for some reason. I am wondering if that might give them an advantage when there are drought conditions like a couple of years ago to survive when the bows might just die more easily in those conditions.

Jim Casada
07-06-2010, 05:13 PM
TnBigBore--I concur that reforestation and a diminution of erosion as compared to the period up to the 1970s or so (there were still lots of fields then which are now fully overgrown) is a significant factor. I think the same situation has adversely affected smallmouth. I know for sure that bronzebacks aren't nearly as widespread in Park waters as was the case when I was younger, whereas specks have greatly extended their range, and by no means all of that has come at the hands of man. Thanks for the insight.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim Casada
07-06-2010, 05:18 PM
Crockett--I have noticed the same thing and will add a bit. I've observed, over time, that specks have a lot of brown trout-like habits in terms of habitat preference. But I would add to that the fact they seem to be comfortable almost anywhere the water has a bit of depth. That incudes still water and holding spots right out in the open that neither a self-respecting rainbow or brown would use, except maybe at dawn or dusk. Good stuff and certainly grist for my mill. I hope others with some experience with specks in the southern Applachians will chip in. No man is an island, and nowhere is that more accurate than when it comes to insight from other anglers. I might not always agree, but I always pause, ponder, and think about such offerings as you and TNBigBore have given.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)
Jim Casada

JoeFred
07-07-2010, 12:28 PM
As I worked on a map of upper Deep Creek (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads), I found it quite interesting that there are a couple of short stretches high up in which the NPS Fishereis Management biologists found browns and specks together, but... no rainbows.

JF

jeffnles1
07-07-2010, 04:41 PM
I am intrigued with the idea and reasons why natives may be reclaiming their prior territory.

It would reason that the Southern Appalachian brook trout (specks, char, whatever the nick name one uses) evolved over thousands of years in this environment and are better suited to the waters in the Smokeys than other species. For example, the warm summers, low water flows, droughts, and occassional flash floods are all part of the Smoky Mountain streams. I'm sure some of those conditions also exist where Rainbows and Browns are native but the specific envronment and ecosystems of the Smokys are most likely unique to the area.

I have to wonder if, all things being equal, as the streams and surrounding forest recover from the thrashings of man like logging, and farming, the brookies may steadily reclaim their former range without much intervention from humans?

Being 49 years old, I doubt if I'll be alive long enough to see that process fully take hold, but I would have to wonder if in 100 years, most of the streams in the Smoky Mountains are primarily brook trout streams and the rainbows and browns would be the rare find?

Jeff

silvercreek
07-07-2010, 04:48 PM
I know the bows and browns are interlopers, and I wish the brookies were MUCH more widespread, but honestly I would miss the bows and the browns. Each has it's on charms. Love catching any of them. Regards, Silvercreek

WVBrookie
07-07-2010, 09:52 PM
On the subject of Salvelinus fontinalis increasing their range: does anyone have historic pH data. With tougher legislation on coal fired boilers and emissions, has the acid rain problem decreased? This is an issue in northern Appalachia, not sure about southern end of the range.

On the subject of poisoning a stream to re-introduce a native species: If the species is not endangered, why?! The SABT is not only NOT endangered, it's NOT even threatened. I'm as big a native advocate as anybody, but this makes little sense to me. How many miles of stream does the SABT inhabit? Are 10 more (guess) miles going to make or break the species?

Look at the paiute cutthroat in California, a fish once listed as endangered and now listed as threatened. A group of environmental "nut jobs" filed a lawsuit in 2004 to stop the rotenone treatment, has once again filed a lawsuit to stop the treatment.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/17/28157.htm

The only remaining native watershed is now closed to fishing while this thing gets worked out. I plan to hit a nearby stream, with a transplanted population, at the end of the month to add this species to my native life list.


Mr. Casada,



I look forward to your book! I can recommend (I'm sure you've already read these) a couple of books from my library:

Brook Trout by Nick Karas
An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson
Also, the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture has a compilation of data from multiple state, federal, and public agencies.

Chris

MBB
07-08-2010, 09:37 AM
It is my understanding that the specks are reclaiming their territory due to the negative impact the severe droughts have had on the rainbow populations. Rainbows much prefer the turbulent water and the droughts have hurt the rainbow populations the hardest.

Stop and think about it, when did the rainbows really increase their range (outside of the orginal stockings) to the deteriment of the brook trout? It is my understanding this occurred in the 1950s through 1970s when we had plenty of water.

Jim Casada
07-08-2010, 01:34 PM
WVBrookie--Thanks. I have the Karas book in my collection, along with about 15,000 other books (to the enduring dismay of the missus) but not the one on rainbows. I'll have to acquire it, and your point about a rather small gain in terms of stream miles (in exchange for a great deal of monetary expenditure and work hours) is an interesting one with considerable validity. It won't be popular in a lot of quarters, but I rather suspect you are on to something with the implied message that the real success story of speck restoration is Mother Nature. Thanks.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim Casada
07-08-2010, 01:39 PM
MBB--Good point, although your time line is a bit off, at least on the N. C. side. Rainbows were the dominant fish in most streams even before the creation of the Park, and as you say, they were likely aided in that dominance by lots of water. This story is a many-sided, complex, and intensely interesting one, at least to me, and you guys posting thoughts is really helpful. Thanks.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

TNBigBore
07-08-2010, 02:25 PM
Let’s not forget that the native species may not have a competitive advance over an introduced species just because it evolved there. I have fished a fair amount in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Out there the brook trout is the introduced species and is considered something of a pest. It has displaced native cutthroat in many areas. That is not to say that the rainbow or brown has any competitive advantage over the brook trout in Southern Appalachia.

As for acid runoff in Southern Appalachian streams: not nearly the problem that they have in West Virginia. The freestone streams where our wild trout live are naturally acidic with low buffering capacity, but are not generally in areas that were mined extensively. I do not have the actual records, but remember taking pH and alkalinity measurements on all streams I sampled in the 90s. When comparing to the oldest data we had, we did not see any significant change in pH. The only streams I remember being too acidic for trout were usually the result of a road cut through one of the various acidic shale formations.

nvr2L8
07-22-2010, 09:22 PM
Jim,

I asked Steve Moore about Road Prong. He said that rainbows had never been introduced to the upper regions of this stream and that there had never been a need for a restoration effort. So you were correct in assuming that they were simply trying to protect the native population in closing it.