Annual Coal Creek Health Day 2011

The Rocky and Gravel Show!!

Checking the health of Coal Creek

It was rainy, but a little rain doesn't stop the Coal Creek students! We gathered at the creek, then went
inside the gym for fly tying, casting lessons, and observing the fish and critters placed in an aquarium!

See lots more photos below!

Click here to check out The Courier News images!
 


Check out all the fish and critters
living in Coal Creek!


Holding a fish found in Coal Creek

For many years, we’ve checked the health of Coal Creek by documenting what lives in it and we routinely find a hefty smallmouth bass beneath a rock ledge beside the school.  We don’t know if it’s the same fish or if the biggest smallmouth in the pool claims the perch beneath the ledge.  Regardless, we call him "Rocky" when he is collected by electro-shocking by our friends from TVA, UT, and the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.   

The first question asked by Briceville students this year at our Health Day event was, “Is Rocky still there?”  The answer is, “Yes!”  We also collected several smaller smallmouth bass and nicknamed them "Gravel".


Rocky the big fish was found again this year!!

Bioassays conducted in the past show that Coal Creek rates as good in its diversity of aquatic insects, but only fair in its diversity of native fish species.  Insects can fly to repopulate Coal Creek as water quality has improved, but not fish.  The cold water of the Clinch River tailwater below Norris Dam appears to impede the natural recruitment of some missing warm-water species.

In 2007, UT, TVA, and TDEC began introducing some of the native species, including rainbow darters, which should be present based on current water quality conditions as described at www.coalcreekaml.com/CoalCreekRestoration.htm.  Young rainbow darters were collected this year, indicating that natural reproduction is occurring.

http://www.coal-ash-spill.com/tag/tennessee-valley-authority/

 

 



 

 

 


As always, the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited volunteered along with our friends from TVA, UT, and OSM.  Also, thanks to Carah Beals Ferry from Anderson County Schools The LEARN Center who brought 11th graders to assist us with the students today.

The creek that gives the area its name, Coal Creek, runs right beside Briceville School.  It's a living laboratory!!  Tables were set up in the gym to display fish and critters collected by the students.  Also, fly tying stations were equipped and rods and reels were available for casting instructions. 


 

Thanks so much to Briceville School Principal Sandra Patton and all the teachers for allowing us the pleasure of spending the day with their well mannered students.  And, don't forget the cafeteria ladies who fed us lunch and Bobby McCoy whose famous shiny floors we got wet and muddy.

Following lunch, winners of the Dream Contest were announced as shown at http://www.coalcreekaml.com/DreamContest2011Finalists.htm.


Learning to tie flies from Buzz Buffington
of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited


Click on the images below to get a glimpse of
the fun we had and view the list of the great
volunteers who made the day so educational and fun!

PHOTOS OF FISH, BUGS, CRITTER HUNT
AND LESSONS LED BY THE CLINCH RIVER
CHAPTER TROUT UNLIMITED (TU), TENNESSEE
VALLEY AUTHORITY (TVA),  THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE (UT), AND THE OFFICE OF
SURFACE MINING (OSM)

Click on image to enlarge:

 

 

 

VOLUNTEERS INCLUDED:
Beals, Carah TLC (The LEARN Center)
Brown, Steve TU (Clinch River Trout Unlimited)
McMahan, Denny TU
Buffington, Buzz TU
Byrge, April -- Coal Creek Scholar
Roberts, Bryan TLC
Campbell, Ann  -- parent
Campbell, Gregory -- parent
Coker, Stephanie TLC
Coombs, Dr. Joyce UT-FWF (University of TN)
Douglas, Terry TU
Ellis, Danny OSM (Office of Surface Mining)
Foust, John TLC
Geiger, Dick TU
Haun, Ericka TLC
Jones, Chad TLC
Keller, Kaleigh TLC
Moore, Carol CCWF (Coal Creek Watershed Foundation)
Saylor, Charlie TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)
Smith, Elizabeth OSM
Suffridge, Tyler TLC
Thacker, Barry  CCWF
Wilson, Monica OSM

  Lunch!!

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CELEBRATING OUR 17th YEAR!!