Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Releasing Brook Trout

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - by Thom Benson
The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, TNACI, is working with conservation partners to restore colorful Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.
The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, TNACI, is working with conservation partners to restore colorful Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.
- photo by Todd Stailey

The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, TNACI, will release more than 200 Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in Hampton Creek as part of a new long-term effort to restore these beautiful fish to their native waters. The release will be at noon on Thursday, at Hampton Creek Cove Scenic-Recreational State Natural Area – Carter County, TN. 

TNACI is working with National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the Tennessee Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service on this restoration project.

The colorful Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, SABT, is the only species of trout that is native to Tennessee. Once abundant in the clear, cool mountain streams of east Tennessee, the SABT is found in only three percent of its historical range today.

Last October, TNACI scientists, working with biologists from TWRA, removed 50 adult SABT from Hampton Creek to begin propagating the fish at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

For the first time, more than 200 SABT offspring were successfully reared in a closed-circulation system. These juveniles have been tagged and will be reintroduced to Hampton Creek.

Dr. Anna George, TNACI director; Kathlina Alford, TNACI conservation associate; and Jason Henegar, TWRA will be on site.


The Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, SABT, is one of the most beautiful aquatic treasures that the Appalachian Mountains have to offer, with bright golden spots and vivid red bellies. Being one of the smallest members of the Salmon family and one of the more challenging to locate, this unique fish is a prize among trout fishermen.

Logging activities wiped out large portions of the habitat for this fish. When SABT numbers dwindled, many sites were overtaken by Rainbow Trout, a non-native species that can withstand warmer water and more direct sunlight. In many areas, forests have been repaired along streams creating more favorable conditions for SABT restoration work.

The National Fish & Wildlife Federation awarded a grant to TNACI to participate in a study to perfect captive breeding techniques for this species. There is a significant need to progress captive propagation efforts for this species before the remaining distinct populations decline further in the wild.

TNACI biologists collected 50 brood fish in October 2012. Eggs and milt were collected from these brood fish with the help of trout experts from TWRA and USFWS. Fertile eggs began developing in late October and by the end of November baby trout began hatching.

Before this success at TNACI, Southern Appalachian Brook Trout had only been successfully raised at the Tellico Fish Hatchery in the Cherokee National Forest a few times. Their success, using water from the source stream, inspired the idea that TNACI scientists could do the same thing at the Aquarium using chilled and dechlorinated tap water sourced from the City of Chattanooga. Because most hatcheries operate using flow-through water systems, concern exists about the transmission of disease and escaped fish to nearby wild populations.

Directions: http://www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/hampton/

Detailed Map: http://www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/hampton/hampton.pdf




East Tennessee Dove Season Opens With A Bang

With shotguns in hand and hats shading heads, over 1,000 East Tennessee hunters harvested nearly 5,000 doves on fields leased or owned by TWRA during Tuesday’s opening of the mourning dove hunting season.  Dove hunting on opening day is a longstanding tradition in the state as hunters brave the dust and heat with hopes of filling their bags with a limit of 15 birds.  ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: *Tour by Bicycle: An Environmental History of Chattanooga  September 15 Join Outdoor Chattanooga and the  Chattanooga History Center  for a leisurely-paced,  guided bicycle tour along the Tennessee Riverwalk  on  Tues., September 15 , from  6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ... (click for more)

Crowd Packs Lindsey Street Hall For Presidential Candidate Rubio

A Chattanooga crowd packed the Lindsey Street Hall for presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Thursday afternoon. Former Congressman Zach Wamp, the statewide Rubio chairman, helped build the frenzy with a spirited introduction. "I believe in him 100 percent," he said of the 44-year-old junior Florida senator. The candidate stepped onto the stage of the former church just after ... (click for more)

Mississippi Couple Injured In Tragic Wreck At Ooltewah Exit Asking $1.5 Million In Damages

A Mississippi couple who said they suffered severe injuries in the June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit of I-75 in which six people were killed are suing for $1.5 million. John and Nancy Stanley, of Braxton, Miss., filed suit in Federal Court in Chattanooga. They are suing the driver of the truck that plowed into eight vehicles, Benjamin Brewer, as well as the owner of the truck, ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)