View Full Version : Mountain Water

11-07-2006, 09:38 AM
The SM water is very unhealthy. If you read one of my replys you know that for a science project I tested the acid in water and found out that is way to high. The higher in elevation the more it gets. I am asking you long term guys if you have seen a difference in catching fish, from say 10 years ago or more, than you do now. Catching less fish since, or doing fine, or better. I would like to know how the acid has affected the fish. It is also getting higher eaach year so 10 years ago it was less acidic. Also 2nd place in science fair (2 years ago) Would like to know. Thanks.


Hugh Hartsell
11-07-2006, 09:57 AM
:) Giantfish, I know that acid has become more of a problem in the last 10 yrs. prmarily because of acid rain runoff as well as acidic rock formations. Some streams are showing the effect of it too. On the Tenn. side of the mountain we have some areas that something is happening on that is helping to some extent and I think that a little more could be done in this area. The solution to ice on the main roads in the Park has not been to use salt, but rather a type of chat. This is a rock that is ground up and dispersed on the roads as we go thru winter time. It does a good job at giving automobiles traction, but it also has another effect. Since some of it comes from a limestone based type of rock and since it is placed on the roads that run right along side of some of our better streams, the runoff effect into the water gives a buffering effect to some extent as the water moves on down the mountain. It has not been a cureall and much more could be done here. As for the acidic water affecting the fish, I can't personally see much difference in 54 years of fishing in the Park. It is worse at times on select streams when rockslides open up acidic veins and that is usually up very high on the mountain. I would like to hear more thoughts on this.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

11-07-2006, 11:35 AM
Here is some more info. The fish in the water of the most acidic streams seem to act all tired like and people say they have a hard time catching fish in them. The haze in the air tells you that the mountains to are getting hit. Also this will hit you. The SMNP is the most polluted park in the world! :'( I also would like to hear more thoughts on this, what do you guys think and has your fishing been affected by it?


11-07-2006, 11:49 AM

Can't really add anything on this topic but I am very concerned when it comes to the ecosystem of the mountains. I haven't seen a decline in the productivity of my fishing,if anything, it seems to be better over the past years.

I know that conservation and restoration are top priorities in the GSMNP and hope that all who visit do their share to help protect this invaluable resource.

11-07-2006, 12:36 PM
Giantfish, *The acidity of the parks streams have been studied for well over 20 years by the GSMNP fisheries biologist. Steve Moore and Matt Culp along with thousands of manhours of volunteering by local TU members has collected a tremendous amount of data that is used to lobby our government leaders to pass better clean air and water pollution regulations. The Univ. of TN and Tenn Tech have been studying this problem with them. The local chapters of TU still take water samples quarterly at various locations on several park streams. Many of us have participated thru the years and I encourage you to find a TU chapter that is active in your area. You will meet people who are just as enthusiastic about flyfishing as you and answer a lot of your questions you may have also. :)

11-07-2006, 01:12 PM
A simple way to combat acidic water in mountain streams is to install man-made limestone diversion wells. If you want to learn more go to the Doc Fritchey Chapter of TU's website. They are located in central Pa around *Dauphin County. They are associated with Stoney and Clark's creek in Dauphin County near Harrisburg.

* A limestone diversion well is just using Calcium Carbonate from limestone ( A weak Base) to neutralize and perhaps make the water slightly basic. It's just simple acid base reactions from your high school chemistry classes. I do not believe they do this in the Smokey's but this practice would work wherever there is an acid problem. In fact the Doc Fritchey project neutralized acid runoff from an old coal mining site I believe. I even believe you could simply dump small quantities of limestone into streams say like up high in the mountains. I've heard it mentioned that Alum Creek or Alum cave creek is very acidic. Perhaps some type of limestone neutralization project could be undertaken on such a stream?

11-07-2006, 05:22 PM
I seem to recall readong a study or two along these lines and in the study it was mentioned that in some of the overseas countries they began placing liqufied lime or some sort of similar solution up in the head waters. I am not sure but seem to recall that they had placed in in barrels and alowed it to trickle out inot the streams. The end result was nothing short of fantastic.

I realizt that such an action may not be a cure all, but perhaps it would help until something better comes along?