- Tyler Legg
- Charlotte, NC, United States
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Sunday, June 21, 2009
Click the map for a better view...
I came across this map showing the Eastern United States Brook Trout populations recently. Once you understand what the colors represent via the key, you will soon realize just how close we are to losing the Southern Appalachian strain of the Brook Trout; for good. Years ago, the logging industry reduced the Brook Trout population tremendously. After local fisherman grew tired of trying to find the Brook Trout, they introduced the Rainbow Trout and the Brown Trout into the many streams and lakes in North Carolina. Little did they know, they made a HUGE mistake. Competition for food between the Brook Trout and the Rainbow/Brown Trout, not to mention the carnivorous nature of the Brown Trout, the native Brook Trout were driven to the headwaters and high mountain streams of the Western North Carolina mountains. Brook Trout ar actually char, which is a species of Salmonid. Brook Trout prefer considerably colder water temperatures than the Rainbow and Brown Trout, which in turn means they can escape from the 2 introduced trout species which prefer to have slightly warmer water temperatures. To this day, wild, native, Appalachian strain Brook Trout in NC are still thriving, barely, but thriving in high mountain streams or sections of streams at elevations of 3,000ft+. If you do happen to catch a Brook Trout here in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, or Georgia please release the fish carefully and unharmed. If you are planning to fish a native Brook Trout stream, use barbless hooks and fine mesh nets. Always wet your hand before handling Brook Trout (or any fish you plan on releasing). Trout have a slimy mucous-like coating on their skin that prevents bacteria and disease from entering their body. If you handle a fish with a dry hand, this coating is deteriorated and the fish is eventually susceptible to disease. This usually is followed by death. The eastern Brook Trout range is slowly receding. If anglers don't pitch in, the Southern Appalachian strain of Brook Trout will soon disappear. Some call the Brook Trout Speckled Trout. Some call them "Specs". Others even call them mountain trout. One thing is certain...They're North Carolina's only Native trout (char) and they are on the verge of extinction here in the state. I can't wait until the day I can fish a stream that doesn't require a 5 mile hike and a topo map to then figure out the the Brook Trout in the stream are absent due to poaching, poor regulations, acid rain, unsteady Ph levels, and over predation.
Share your thoughts on this fly fishing issue...
Stocking Schedule Changes!
Make sure you check out the new stocking schedule provided by the NCWRC!
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