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Thread: Specks in the Cataloochee Bottomland

  1. #1
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    Default Specks in the Cataloochee Bottomland

    Has anyone read or heard any comments from NPS Fisheries Management on brook trout being lower down on Cataloochee Creek and its tributaries?
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    Southern Appalachian Stream Maps sasMaps.com
    Formerly SmokyStreams.com

  2. #2
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    Actually, I was just looking into doing some brookie fishing on the East side to include Big Creek and Cataloochee. From what I gather, there is a nice population of brookies in that watershed and it provides a good opportunity for a smoky slam. Not sure how far down you can find them but of course the higher the better. Caldwell, Palmer, Pretty Hollow and Rough Fork are also supposed to hold brookies so the area seems like a goot bet. I am actually really looking forward to getting over there myself in the near future! Sure there are a lot more convenient places to catch them but I like exploring new areas almost as much as I like catching fish, key word there is almost...

    Tight Lines,

  3. #3
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    tnflyfisher, you're right. It has been established that the natives are showing up in some waters that held only browns & 'bows when the sampling was done just a few years ago. I hope to get over there soon too. I'm wondering what contributing factors may have been mentioned by Steve Moore, Matt Kulp or other Fisheries Management biologists. Just curious.
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    Southern Appalachian Stream Maps sasMaps.com
    Formerly SmokyStreams.com

  4. #4
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    It is becomming pretty obvious that specs do much better under drought conditions than rainbows do, at least in Southern Appalachia. Check out TWRA's Region 4 trout reports for the past few years on their website. Interesting stuff.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNBigBore View Post
    It is becomming pretty obvious that specs do much better under drought conditions than rainbows do, at least in Southern Appalachia. Check out TWRA's Region 4 trout reports for the past few years on their website. Interesting stuff.
    I've been reading the region 4 reports for several years now. Pretty grim reports on the populations and sizes of rainbows and browns in some of my favorite streams, but have noticed that the brook trout seem to be doing better than the rainbows in acidic water (not that you would really call ph of 6.7 acidic...but some would).

    sorry...a little off topic.

  6. #6
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    I recently caught "specs" at the group campsite on Cataloochee and they are probably even lower than that !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFred View Post
    tnflyfisher, you're right. It has been established that the natives are showing up in some waters that held only browns & 'bows when the sampling was done just a few years ago. I hope to get over there soon too. I'm wondering what contributing factors may have been mentioned by Steve Moore, Matt Kulp or other Fisheries Management biologists. Just curious.
    Joe,

    I'm sorry, I didn't recognize what angle you were coming from. I see you are well aware that there are brookies in those waters. As to why the migration down so low? I am not sure. I have no relationship with the individuals you mentioned and have not heard an official "scientific" explanation. I know of other locations in the park well below 3000' with brookies so maybe it just has something to do with the fact that they were here first and are taking over again. Kind of a cool thought ...

    Tight Lines,

  8. #8
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    3000 feet is just a general guideline for the altitude that the topography of the park starts making natural barriers. There are lots of natural barriers well below that mark that hold brook trout above them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
    3000 feet is just a general guideline for the altitude that the topography of the park starts making natural barriers. There are lots of natural barriers well below that mark that hold brook trout above them.
    I was kind of hoping someone would just come along and elaborate on a few more of these locations... obviously I'm new and so my list is fairly short. Any recommendations?

    Your comments about the valley seem to make sense as well... less bows and browns, less competition, hence more brooks moving/surviving downstream than in the past?

    Tight Lines,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
    I've been reading the region 4 reports for several years now. Pretty grim reports on the populations and sizes of rainbows and browns in some of my favorite streams, but have noticed that the brook trout seem to be doing better than the rainbows in acidic water (not that you would really call ph of 6.7 acidic...but some would).

    sorry...a little off topic.


    I would not worry too much about the long term survival or rainbows and browns in these streams. A few seasons of good rainfall and lower stream temps in a row and you will have an increase in population and fish size in these streams. It is very cyclical in nature.

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