A few of them TRUE Cocke County Natives made the move to Blount County today and are now residing in Lower Lynn Camp
I felt lucky to help the fisheries department today, and had a wonderful day and learned a lot as always.
We met at Park headquarters at 8 AM. I got to see 2 Turkeys in full strut working it for 7 or 8 females on the drive in which was a treat. We quickly loaded up the truck and headed for Cosby. Once we arrived we met up with another group of volunteers who were park of a park program where they take community leaders and have them work in many areas of the park to give them a better understanding of what the park does. Today was their day to see what the fisheries department does.
Matt gathered the crowd and explained what we would be doing for the day.
Objective #1 - Get some Brookies for lower Lynn Camp
Objective #2 - Fin clip Brookies for genetic sampling
We split into 3 groups. Group 1 would clip the fins. Group 2 and 3 would shock up the Brookies. As I like to make sure the park gets there moneys worth out of me, I went with Elias, Jeff Wadely, and 2 community volunteers (someone please correct me with the proper name of program) on the higher up section. Matt Kulp headed up team 2, and Steve Moore even came out of retirement to lead team 3.
Elias gathered our group and we grabbed the shocker, nets, gloves, and backpack fish carrier and headed up .4 miles or so to where we walked down to the stream. It was a pretty tight section of stream and was even small for my standards. Think a 3 foot rod might be the perfect size for this stream.
Here if Jeff playing bucket boy while Elias hands off a fish
After we collected 26 fish we hit the last spot to hike out before the stream left the trail. I had the job of running the fish down to Steve Moore.
Here Steve Moore shows the difference between the male and female Brookies
And a fin clip for genetic testing. Steve let the volunteer do this one
Then its put into a vial
After quickly shooting a few shots of the Fin Clipping, I quickly headed back for some more fish. When I left Elias he told me to have Steve radio him, but when I got to Steve he said something about the radio battery so I just headed back the way I left. One I hit the off trail portion I was starting to get pretty tired and overheated. I had no idea if the trail crossed the creek further up and hoped they didn't exit another way but eventually the boot prints got fresher and Elias replied to my calls. When I met up with them they had run out of distribution (ie no more fish) so while our collection of 65 Brookies were less than the 100 Matt had asked for, it was time to head back. Elias carried the fish out the second time and I took out the shocker. Those new shockers are so much lighter and more comfortable than the gas ones from a few years ago which makes it much easier getting them around off-trail.
The Brookies went from holding cages in the stream into the fisheries truck to be transported to Lynn Camp.
Hiking is for suckers, this is how you do Lynn Camp in style
Matt puts the fish into bags for stocking