Assisting With Angler Science in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

TU Members in the stream

For two days in July, eight Land O’ Sky Trout Unlimited chapter members worked with the Fishery Biology unit staff of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park sampling Big Creek and Cataloochee Creek. Both days were focused on Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) sampling.

Large stream IBI sampling takes place in lower elevation streams where the species diversity is greater. The goal isn’t to enumerate all fish in the site, so no measuring or weighing. Instead, this sampling technique involves surveying different types of habitat for shoreline, riffle, run, and pool to determine what type of species are present and using those types of habitat. Crews were broken up into different groups to survey the habitat. One crew shocked along the shoreline, while another shocked into a large seine located at the bottom of a riffle. The idea was to see what specific species of fish are occupying the different habitat (darters, shiners, bass, trout, etc.). Data were collected and will be used by the fishery folks for monitoring stream health.

Participating members included Parker Andes, Jane Margaret Bell, Ron Bradford, Jay Hawthorne, Krishun Karau, Neal Labrie, Rick Miale, and John Miko.

If you are interested in participating in future conservation activities, please send Jay a note at johnjhawthorne@gmail.com.

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