Coal Creek Health Day
28 October 2005

All about the health
of the creek and how it
parallels with the health of
the students and their


Volunteer scientist Chuck Gouffon
lets student Victoria help sort
through the critters found in Coal Creek

This year's Coal Creek Health Day was different from previous events.  The previous four Health Days included free dental and medical exams for students in addition to studying the health of Coal Creek.  Briceville Medical Clinic is now open one day a week and providing medical services for free to people who work, but have no insurance, and the school has a part time nurse on staff. 

With these needs being addressed, volunteers from the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation (CCWF), Clinch River Trout Unlimited (TU), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and University of Tennessee (UT) concentrated on teaching students how to study the health of Coal Creek that flows right beside their school. 

Coal Creek is home to
some pretty healthy fish

Have you kissed your
Hognosed Sucker fish today?!

Spin and fly fishing casting lessons

First graders listen intently to
TU/TVA/CCWF volunteer John Thurman
tell them the names of the fish and bugs

How cool to have a creek running right beside your school.  It's a living laboratory!!  The smart and well-behaved Briceville School students from Pre-K to fifth grade were treated to "shocking" demonstrations by TVA personnel, fly-tying and line casting lessons from Clinch River Trout Unlimited members, and bug and fish lessons.  Tables were set up at the creek to display fish and critters collected by the students.  The lessons taught the kids how the health of the creek is determined by studying what lives in it.
Click on the images below to get a glimpse of the fun we had!

Also, see the list below showing all the fish species found in Coal Creek today, along with a list of the great volunteers that made the day so educational and fun!

Photos in no certain order...

This is my
day of school!
Charlie Saylor
talking to the
kids about safety

Barry Thacker
teaches the
art of

Buzz and Denny teach
fly tying
Chuck and
Charlie use a
seine to collect
creek critters
Shocking the
creek to
learn what
critters it
Pre-K class
has a blast!
Tiffany Foster
with the
4th graders
Hangin' with
Note the little
head peeking
in from the
bottom left
corner of the aquarium
Fly tying was
a popular
I learned how to hold a Crawdad at school today! Volunteers
Buzz Buffington
John Thurman


First Graders

Barry advises
against wearing
"fluffy" sleeves while learning how to cast

Paul "Bug Boy" knows what it takes to attract
a pretty girl
Mark Fly and
Barry Thacker
pose with
Have you
kissed a fish
Petting a

In the photos, notice the beautiful mountains that surround the school where the rich coal mining history took place.  The Briceville (Odd Fellow) Opera House built in 1895, but burned in 1918, was located where Briceville School now stands.

The old Briceville
(Odd Fellow)
Opera House


Buffington, Buzz (TU)
Fly, Mark (TU/UT)
Foster, Tiffany  (TVA/TU)
Gouffon, Chuck (TVA)
McMahan, Denny (TU)
Moore, Carol (CCWF/TU)
Saylor, Charlie (TVA)
Thacker, Barry (CCWF/TU)
Thurman, John (TU/TVA/CCWF)


Banded Sculpiin
Redline Darter
Greenside Darter
Hog Sucker
Golden Redhorse
Rock Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Redbreast Sunfish
Sand Shiner
Northern Studfish
Blacknose Dace
Black Redhorse

Striped Shiner
Rosefin Shiner
Bigeye Chub
Spotfin Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Stone Roller
Creek Chub
Snubnose Darter
Blueside Darter

Clinton Courier News photos and captions

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