Archive for October, 2011

On September 28 over 50 people participated in the latest effort to restore Southern Appalachian brook trout.  69 brookies were collected by a crew of TWRA and Forest Service personnel.  The trout were brought from a very remote section of Sycamore Creek up to the Benton-Macaye Trail where members of the Back Country Horsemen packed them into panyards and hauled them with horses to the upper trail head.  At the trail head the brookies were put into a water tank in the back of a pickup and transported to the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Hatchery at Tellico.
Mean while, on the same day, three crews electrofished the lower 1.6 miles of Sycamore Creek to collect and remove rainbow trout.  Removing the rainbow trout will make room for the fingerling brook trout that will be produced in the hatchery.  Total removal of all rainbow trout is not necessary because brookies and rainbows can co-exist in the same stream.  About 800 rainbow trout were collected and transported in panyards on horseback to a waiting stocking truck at the lower trail head.  All 800 were rainbows were successfully transported down the trail and stocked into the Tellico River.

USFWS staff stripping eggs from a female Southern Appalachian brook trout at the Tellico Southern Appalachian Brook Trout hatchery.

On October 3, Biologists from the Erwin National Fish Hatchery came to the hatchery and tested the brook trout to see if the could be spawned.  One female was successfully spawned and produced about 85 eggs. The eggs were fertilized by three male brookies and placed into an incubator.  We will test the female brook trout again in about 10 days.

Jim Herrig

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