2010 Brook Trout Survey

2010 Tellico Brook Trout Monitoring Results

This year’s Tellico brook trout monitoring took place on Saturday, August 28 with 24 volunteers, 3 Forest Service employees, and 5 TWRA employees.  We worked on two separate projects.  The first was remodeling the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Hatchery building.  We are getting this building ready for rearing brook trout; our startup date is October, 2011 but the building will be ready for test runs this fall and winter.

The second group was composed of four teams that electrofished Sycamore Creek and its  tributaries.  Our goals were to identify where rainbow trout were surviving in the tributaries; where the last rainbow trout was in Sycamore Creek; and how well established the brook trout were in the headwaters.  We are hoping to remove all rainbow trout from Sycamore Creek in 2011 and establish brook trout throughout it.

Rainbow trout (red) were found in

Kirkland Cove, Mangan Branch, and Gold Cove Branch but seven unnamed tributaries were either dry or did not contain any rainbow trout (dark blue).  The last rainbow trout found in Sycamore Creek was at 3400 feet below a significant bedrock slide barrier.  Adult brook trout (green) up to 8 inches and young-of-year (3 inches) were found from the headwaters down below the barrier that prevented the rainbow trout from going any further upstream.  Surprisingly, brook trout were present in both Mangan and Gold Cove Branches.

The hard work of Trout Unlimited, TWRA and the U.S. Forest Service this past weekend is appreciated; this effort marks the twenty-first year of our partnership in brook trout restoration and monitoring in the Tellico Ranger District.

Next year Sycamore Creek may become one of the largest streams in Tennessee with native brook trout.  I hope you will want to be a part of this legacy.

Thank you for being a part of the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Restoration!