Jason--How far above the barrier (waterfall) were the rainbows? While obviously they have the ability to move upstream if a bucket biologist planted them, it is unlikely they would cover much water if they found things suitable low down. In other words, I am wondering if it is possible that it wasn't bucket biology but fish which were somehow not killed.
That happened, and in a big way, in Indian Creek (the N. C. one that feeds Deep Creek) back in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It was a different scenario in some ways--rotenone (I think) rather than antimycin--but I can see what happened there being possible today. The problem in Indian Creek, almost certainly, was that some tiny branches which fed the creek had wee 'bows in them. They just moved downstream into bigger water and within two or three years Indian Creek was back just like it had been; namely, a stream full of smallish rainbows.
I've also read or heard of other possibilities, such as egg migration on the legs of wading or fish-eating birds, but to me that seems unlikely.
There's no doubt bucket biology has taken place in the Park in the past, with Abrams Creek and browns being a prime example. As those who have read my book carefully realize, I've always harbored some skepticism about the efficacy of speckled trout restoration (just can't bring myself to use the B word). However, no one would be more tickled than me to see things back to the kind of situation my 100-year-old father talks about, when there were specks everywhere until a given stream was logged, and when he once saw a speck frozen in a block of ice with red spots on it almost the size of a dime. I've actually seen such fish, but they were in Labrador.
If it is bucket biology, it would be wonderful to catch the perpetrator(s) and punish them to the maximum extent possible.
I've read some other information about the recent survey on Lynn Camp Prong--I gather precious few specks were found, especially new recruits, and if so that's a huge setback. Has anyone heard anything recently about Bear Creek and the restoration there?