View Full Version : Wplp 9/18

09-18-2010, 08:05 PM
I went with Joe Hatton of Knoxville to do acid deposition sampling this morning. We hit the upper end of Road Prong from Clingman's Dome, several spots on Walker Camp Prong, the lower end of Road Prong and the West Prong of Little Pigeon. Great morning and it was really nice to meet a new TU member.

After our sampling was finished, I went back up to WPLP starting just above the first tunnel on 441 and fished up close to the Chimneys trailhead where I started running into crowds playing in the water. The water levels had benefited from some recent showers and the stream was in really nice fishing shape. Just got a couple of hours of fishing in but managed to catch 8 bows, mostly keeper size. All the fish I caught were on one of Pete's Cracklebacks. The Cracleback really seemed to be the ticket after striking out for a while on a stimulator. Here's one of the bows for the day.

09-18-2010, 10:15 PM
Good stuff. Tried to fish that area last trip, but rain washed us out in the afternoon.

09-20-2010, 10:08 AM
That's a nice, healthy looking 'bow! Can't wait to get back up there, it's been too long.

09-20-2010, 10:28 AM
How did the acid levels look Charlie? Is there any chart or graph somewhere that shows that kind of measuring data from up there over time? Nice looking bow glad you got to fish some too.

09-20-2010, 09:57 PM

We just fill the bottles with water and record information about the surroundings. The analysis of the water happens at UT and they keep the statistics on it. I can tell you that some of the highest level streams have a PH of 4.5, just short of the acidity of lemon juice. Even lower level streams hit that level after a significant rain event.

Here's what I recall from the briefing back in February. Nitrates (from car exhaust) and sulphates (from coal-fired steam plants) collects in the trees as they blow in from the west primarily (we were told that the more Nashville grows, the more nitrates blow into the Smokies). Rains wash the nitrates and sulphates down into the soil and into the streams by which time they've become sulphuric and nitric acid. The acids also disolve heavy metals out of the rocks and soil, adding to the mess washing into the streams. Even if the nitrates and sulphates quit blowing in, it would take decades to leech what has accumulated in the spongy soil.

UT has been collecting data on the acid level in the Smokies streams for somewhere around 15 years and has the most extensive database of virtually anywhere in the country. And TU has been the primary vehicle for collecting all that data. Seeing the data that has been collected would have to happen through UT. If you're looking for a contact at UT, let me know and I'll try to run it down for you.

09-20-2010, 10:29 PM
That is very interesting thanks for the info Charlie. I wonder if there will at least be a leveling off of the acid rain since tva is moving away from the coal fired plants now to the north and west and moving more toward nuclear. I have heard they are even shutting some of them like the John Sevier coal fired power plant in Hawkins county down due to the pollution issues. I guess the work you are doing will tell the tale over time. I wonder what the acidity level would have been if you could go back to 1850 after a rain and take a sample. I bet it would be somewhat high still even back then from the anakeesta leeching but probably not as high as now although it would be interesting to know how much of a change there has been in the last 150 years.