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

Claire Henley: Adventures West (Luxury In Lake Tahoe)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). As we stood on the side of Highway 50, our arms extended and thumbs raised in an effort to get a ride back to the trailhead at Echo Lake, I reflected on the past few days ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Fireside at the Greenway Farm  Thursday  Evenings in October Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, family friendly, outdoor music series known as  Fireside  at the  Greenway Farm  in Hixson, TN. We're proud to announce that  Tennessee Valley Federal ... (click for more)

2 Pedestrians Struck By CSX Train

Chattanooga Police responded on Thursday at 2 p.m. to 900 North Sanctuary Road  to an accident involving a CSX train and two pedestrians. Both victims were transported to a local hospital. Chattanooga Police are working with CSX police on the investigation.   Information will be updated as it becomes available. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information ... (click for more)

Volkswagen US President Says Probe On To Find Out Who At VW Authorized "Defeat Devices"; VW Will Not Try To Certify 2016 Diesel Models

Volkswagen US President Michael Horn told a House committee on Wednesday that VW is conducting a thorough investigation to determine how "defeat devices" came to be placed on its emission devices. He said Volkswagen first admitted the massive deception in a meeting with EPA and California regulators on Sept. 3. Mr. Horn also said that Volkswagen will not try to certify 2016 ... (click for more)

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Unfortunate Sentence

There was a most unfortunate line in a recent email written to me and, in retrospect, I should not have included it in some examples of the huge response regarding the bicycle lanes now being installed on Broad Street. I’ll admit I misread the line because I feel certain I know what the writer was trying to convey. As a matter of fact, I received enough of an outcry I want to clarify ... (click for more)