Some leaves are starting to turn, schools are about to open, and days are getting shorter. That means it’s almost time for cooler weather, cooler water tempos, and that some fall fishing is right around the corner. That also means that it’s almost time for our first monthly meeting after our summer break, so put September 11th on your calendar. Andy Brown will start our season with a talk on his Angler Science program. As you know we have decided to fund this project with $2,000 each year for three years. It’s been successful in other parts of the country and Andy is bringing it here to help develop a database of some important parameters that affect water quality and trout habitat.
As previously announced, our webmaster and board member Megan MacMurray has left the wonders of the Smokies and North Carolina to return to New England. We are grateful to her for her contributions and for the new website format. She has graciously volunteered to continue as webmaster as long as she has time available which means that we are looking for a person who can take over from her. If you know someone who might be able to take this over, not necessarily a member of LOSTU or even TU, please let us know.
Tom Brewster, our longtime chair of Trout in the Classroom has reached a stage in his career where he will no longer be able to run that for us. He has done a really terrific job keeping that program up and running and we thank him for his great work. Hopefully his job won’t prevent him from showing up for some of our meetings. Thank you , Tom.
Fundraising Chair Trent McDevitt has indicated that he will continue in that position for another year but wants to step down after that. He has done a great job getting donations for our annual Yard Sale and F3T Movie raffles. Fortunately Neal Labrie has stepped up to work with Trent over the next year and to take over the year after that.
Curt Campbell has run the trout stocking program but work schedules mean he will have to scale back on that. Rick Miale has indicated he will try to arrange his time to take over that program. Thanks to Curt for what he has done and to Rick for volunteering to work with us on this.
An update from our Conservation Chair, Jay Hawthorne, on our Little Cataloochee Creek project.
Brook Trout Population Studies and Restoration Results!
As you may have seen earlier this year on this site, LOS TU members participated in Angler Science in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GRSM) for two days in mid-July. Then, the “monsoons” came and wiped out our plans to work four days in late July on brook trout studies and restoration.
Well, that latter work was rescheduled and three members (Ron Bradford, Rick Miale, and Jay Hawthorne) were able to support the GRSM Fishery Division this past week. All work was focused on the Cataloochee watershed to further understand current fish populations and check 2017 restoration actions specifically on Little Cataloochee Creek.
The entire crew from GRSM, LOSTU, and other TU chapters were broken up into teams. We did three pass population studies on Rough Fork, Onion Bed Branch, Andy Branch, Woody Branch, and Conard Branch. (Those last three streams comprise Little Cataloochee Creek and were the focus of the brook trout restoration effort the chapter undertook with Fishery folks in 2017.)
And the answer is…….. NO INVASIVE RAINBOW NOR BROWN TROUT ON LITTLE CAT!
While that was great news and confirmed earlier checking, the restoration activity had impacted the brook trout population and the Fishery folks took an extra step to relocate genetically similar (southern Appalachian strain) brookies from nearby creeks after we completed our work to improve recovery.
The GRSM folks are already starting to think about what projects and streams to tackle next year. If you are interested, see Jay Hawthorne at a chapter meeting or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Meetings 7:00 PM REI Meeting Room Schenk Parkway in Biltmore Park
September 11 – Andy Brown February 12
October 9 March 12
November 13 April 9
December 11 May 14
Stream Stocking Mills River – October 1; November 2 Others TBA
WNC Fly Fishing Expo – November 30 – December 1
Hope to see you at our meetings