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Restoring Brook Trout in the Bald Mountains of Tennessee

Restoring Brook Trout in the Bald Mountains of Tennessee

Native brook trout (NBT) are currently present in two of the three major drainages in the project area, Wolf Creek and Gulf Fork These two drainages both have a unique strain of NBT only found in the French Broad Watershed. The third drainage, Trail Fork, historically had NBT present. This population was extirpated and replaced with non-native rainbow trout. To address threats to NBT in the Bald Mountains, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), Cherokee National Forest (CNF), Trout Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) launched a subwatershed-scale project with four distinct objectives. This EBTJV project is the fourth part: 4. Replacing a double culvert crossing on FSR96 over Wolf Creek to improve fish passage and reduce the threat of failure.

This double corrugated pipe crossing is part of a larger effort to reduce sedimentation issues within Wolf Creek. Both 7.5’ pipes are slightly above the stream surface and water velocity through both structures is much higher than the reference stream segment. The crossing is also in poor condition and a failure would result in the release of a substantial amount of sediment. This section of stream is populated by NBT with a genetic signature unique to this watershed. Replacing this structure with an open-bottom structure will ensure the population remains connected. This structure size meets the design standards of USFS’s “Stream Simulation” method. It also allows for both approaches to be shifted to better accommodate the design vehicle turning radius. Additionally, about 250’ of impacted streambed will be reconstructed based on upstream reference, with three riffles and two pools.

Climate Change Impacts, Geographic Isolation
Rivers and Streams
Conservation Design
Aquatic Resources

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Name of barrier Latitude Longitude FONS ID FIS Project ID FWS Acc. #

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