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.


TFWC Commission Sets 2017-18 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons; Elects New Officers

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission established the 2017-18 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting seasons at its February meeting. The TFWC also elected its new officers for the coming year. The actions occurred at the TFWC’s two-day meeting which concluded Friday afternoon at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. The TFWC approved ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Councilman Anderson, And Community Kick Off Construction Of New Park On Long-Vacant Site In Middle Of Alton Park

Alton Park community leaders on Thursday afternoon joined Mayor Andy Berke, Councilman Chris Anderson, and other city and county officials to break ground at the former Charles A. Bell Elementary School site, kicking off construction that will turn a long-vacant site into a vibrant park and gathering place for the neighborhood. “Parks impact quality of life in a number of ... (click for more)

Boyd Says He Is Not On Witch Hunt Against CVB, But Intends To Seek Full Audit Of Agency; Graham Backs Visitors Bureau 100%

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd has told Chattanooga Visitors Bureau President Bob Doak that he is "not on a witch hunt" against the CVB, but he said he intends to seek a full audit of the agency. He said he was inspired to "take an even closer look" at the Visitors Bureau after he said Mr. Doak "unleashing a fire storm of emails condemning my accusations." ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Who Was Seriously Injured Dies On Monday

A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured, and later died on Monday. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The five-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)