View Full Version : Smokies Stream Sampling

01-17-2011, 11:44 AM
I got to go to the Smokies on Saturday with Joe Hatton and Dan Gaubas of Trout Unlimited to do some stream sampling in the Road Prong/WPLP watershed. I had not seen that much snow in the Smokies since I was a kid and they virtually never closed the roads! What a beautiful site. Below are some pictures that I brought back with me.
This is our first stop at the last crossing of US 441 over Walker Camp Prong not far below Newfound Gap, looking upstream.
Yep, that's the stream. Here's looking downstream through the bridge.

From where we were parked at the first stop, this is the view looking up the mountain. It was gorgeous.
Our next stop was further down Walker Camp Prong about half way to the Alum Cave Bluff trailhead. At the trailhead, we took our third samples with this as our backdrop.
Next stop was Road Prong. From the third bridge looking up, this was the view.
Walking out to get the samples was dicey at times, not knowing exactly where there were rocks and what was just snow on ice on water. Dan stepped through one spot here that broke through and he went up to almost his knee in water (BTW, the temp was consistently 30 degrees - that's cold!) This shot is looking down WPLP from the first bridge at the Chimneys trailhead.
We then went down to the Chimneys picnic area were I got this shot looking back down at 441 crossing the stream.
And of course I had to get the obligatory icicle shots down on Little River Road on the way home.

That God for our beautiful Smokies.

Stana Claus
01-17-2011, 12:47 PM
WOW! That's awesome! Thanks for posting the great photos. It does kind of make you wonder, though, just how much shot it would take to get your nymph to the bottom in conditions like that.

01-17-2011, 03:09 PM
So do the Trout ski or snowboard?

01-17-2011, 08:18 PM
The size of these icicles is always impressive. When driving thru tunnel entrances (where they overhang) I've always been thankful that none of them broke loose and fell on my truck. I believe they would cause serious damage. Oh well, it's just part of the winter experience!

01-17-2011, 08:33 PM

I think I saw little bitty snowshoe tracks from pool to pool. Could be wrong.

01-18-2011, 09:48 AM
Wow, great photos. I've fished some of those same spots in the summer, sure a different look when covered with snow. Beautiful, wish I was there!


01-18-2011, 07:56 PM
Nice to see some winter photos of the park.

What do you/they test for with the stream samples? I assume ph, but I'm curious what else is looked at.

01-18-2011, 08:56 PM

You're right on target. This is part of the acid deposition study through the University of Tennessee. We record other things along with gathering the samples such as water temp (30 degrees on Saturday), depth and breadth of the stream, weather conditions, canopy condition, etc. but the main target is ph.

01-18-2011, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the pics. and the cold work you guys did.

Can't stop looking at them! lol