Water Samples and Southern Brook Trout
Today was water sample day for those of us volunteering with the park fisheries dept. in the acid deposition study. Steve Darnell and I carpool since he lives a mile away from me. We met Dan Gaubas, and Charlie Barton (Nvr2L8 ) at park headquarters at a bright and early 8 AM. One good thing about starting that early is that you can cruise through Pigeon Forge while the tourons are still sleeping;). Our team is in charge of the "Road Prong" sampling sites which starts at Indian Gap off Clingmans where we hike a 1/3 mile down to the headwaters of Road Prong soon after it comes to the surface. We continue at several spots along 441, Alum Cave, Walker and Road Prong at the Chimneys trailhead, Chimneys Picnic, and finally at Park Headquarters where the West Prong leaves the park. It a lot of fun driving around the mountains with 3 other people that love trout fishing and the Smokies. I always seem to learn a thing or two, and since you are already in the Smokies, you might as well go fishing afterwards:biggrin:
Steve is recovering from Knee surgery and wanted me to find a flatter creek where it might be easier for him to get around. I thought and thought and just couldn't come up with anything in the Smokies that fit that description:rolleyes: After driving up the mountain to see the rain start a pretty good downpour we drove back down to get cell service to check the radar. Radar confirmed it wasn't going to last long and we headed up the mountain once again. Found the spot to jump in and it didn't look nearly as friendly as I remembered it:eek:
Now headed back down the mountain and into the depths of ****:eek: (Gatlinburg) where we only had a small tangle with the devil before escaping to our destination.
Things started off pretty good
Mostly little guys like this
Steve fishing a little pool
And the "Dead Giveaway" shot
One of Steve's nicer fish
While the fishing was not "Speck-takular" it was pretty good.
Then it seemed to get dark and quiet:frown: While it didn't start to rain there was a weird feeling in the air (maybe change in barometric pressure) which had me looking up every couple of minutes. The fish must have taken this as a sign to hunker down cause things got Slow. Many pools like this came up without even a miss.
A few more fish were landed but they were few and far between and were usually a first cast affair
While this creek was much rougher than I remember when thinking about Steve's knee, he did great and had no problems other than falling and bumping his head:rolleyes:
Glad to spend another day in the mountains:biggrin:
Thanks for another great post, us guys stuck up north really appreciate the reports. Any results on the water sampling, or do they send the samples somewhere for analysis?
Tlshealy, the water samples, along with data collection sheets, go to the University of Tennessee where they have been collecting this data for over 20 years. Overall, the acid levels in the Smokies streams has been declining somewhat since the installation of scrubbers in TVA's coal fired steamplants. However, the residual deposits in the soil would continue to leach out for decades if no other deposits were added. Baby steps but steps in the right direction.
VERY well done as always.
You didnt see any overly aggressive otters...did ya???:biggrin::biggrin:
Just a couple... and I can tell you they don't like having their temperature taken. And nobody wanted to handle the thermometer afterwards.
And a few links to answer. There was a presentation last Feb by the professor at UT that pretty much answered all your questions but I can't find it online:confused:
This might help though:smile:
And while I can't disagree that Charlie's view of things are slowly getting better, I personally may be a bit more cynical thinking we are doing too little too late.:eek:
While the coal plants are obvious, and the scrubbers helped. It's not nearly enough. Cars are almost as bad as the coal plants which I expected, but was shocked to see how much was from farmers using gas to fertilize their soil.
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