Trout Unlimited Grant Supports Aquarium’s Conservation Work

Funds From Eye-Catching Tags Helps Bolster Brook Trout Restoration Efforts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - by Thom Benson

Sales of the eye-catching Trout Unlimited specialty license plate are helping the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, TNACI, restore the state’s only native trout species.

Steve Fry, president of the Appalachian Chapter of Trout Unlimited, presented a check for more than $9,500 to Dr. Anna George to help bolster TNACI’s Brook Trout restoration efforts. “We are dedicated to Southern Appalachian Brook Trout restoration,” Mr. Fry said. “The Aquarium’s efforts with Brook Trout have been outstanding and we want to see their success continue and grow.” 

For the past year, TNACI has been working with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Tech University, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service on a new program to restore Southern Appalachian Brook Trout. With funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, fifty adult fish were collected from Hampton Creek, near Roan Mountain, Tennessee in October 2012. Within a month, fertilized eggs were produced and soon baby Brook Trout began hatching at TNACI. This marked a conservation milestone - the first time this species was successfully raised in a closed-circulation system.

In August, 255 juvenile “brookies” were reintroduced to Hampton Creek. Compared to Lake Sturgeon reintroductions, this was an unusual fish release. The fish were carried in buckets and distributed, one or two at a time, into the small pools of clear water below rushing falls. Biologists hiked up the mountain about two miles before all of the fish were released.

Additional adults were collected last month from Hampton Creek. Juveniles will be reared from these fish and the adults collected in 2012 helping to maintain genetic diversity of the offspring. “We are excited to collaborate with Trout Unlimited, as well as our government and university partners to strengthen populations of these beautiful native fish,” said Dr. Anna George, TNACI director. “The research accomplished through this partnership gives us the tools we need to preserve this species long-term as environmental pressures increase.”

Funding for this new grant comes directly from the sale of Trout Unlimited specialty license plates. Funds earmarked for these plates are allocated in equal amounts to the Tennessee Chapters of Trout Unlimited. This money is then available for use exclusively in Tennessee to further the organization’s mission to conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, more than 2,500 drivers have the Trout Unlimited specialty plate.


Gear Closet Extends Hours; Supports Clean Water Initiatives, Locally And Globally

The Gear Closet, in North Chattanooga, is extending its hours. It will be open six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday from 12-6 p.m. each day. Earth Day gear drive can encourage the public to do some spring cleaning and donate or consign your old gear and clothing. There will also be a drop off available at Recycle Signal on Signal Mountain as part of the Recycle Challenge ... (click for more)

Kentucky Lake Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament Scheduled For May 17

Registration is underway for the Fifth Annual Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament to be held at Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake, Saturday, May 17. The tournament format will be a three-fish limit with a guaranteed first prize of $2,000. The cost of the tournament is $110 per boat (two anglers maximum). Entrants who register by the end of the day on May 1 will receive a free ... (click for more)

UAW Abruptly Drops Appeal Of Vote At Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant

The United Auto Workers announced Monday morning that it was withdrawing objections filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding February's vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, effectively terminating the NLRB review process. UAW President Bob King said the decision was made "in the best interests of Volkswagen employees, the automaker, and economic ... (click for more)

Child Playing With Cigarette Lighter Starts $25,000 Mobile Home Fire

A child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home fire on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 6561 Cassie Lane. It took four fire companies about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The fire was contained to one bedroom. No injuries were reported. Damage to the home is around $25,000. (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW-UAW Fiasco Begins

One pundit who is awaiting the opening volleys of “The Volkswagen Hearings” is calling today’s start of the labor union fiasco at the Hamilton County Courthouse as fascism at its finest. That’s what you call it, he wrote in a fiery way, when the union, the employer and the president of the United States all line up on the same side. “And this push to eviscerate the legal rights ... (click for more)