Thirteenth Annual
Coal Creek Health Day 2013

Checking the Health of the creek

Who says 13 is
an unlucky number?

 

Read Chris Silcox' story in The Courier News

 

Best way to hold a fish is while sticking out your tongue!

Coal Creek Scholars at Anderson County High School tell us that collecting fish and insects from the creek on Coal Creek Health Day remains their fondest memory of Briceville Elementary School. 

On Friday, 25 October 2013, students from Kindergarten to 5th grade continued that tradition.  After 12 years, they know what to expect.  Kindergarten students must learn the correct procedure to hold a fish as a condition of graduating to the first grade at Briceville School.

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

Bandanas were worn to honor the Coal Creek mining history!

 

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 reintroducing some of the native species, including rainbow darters, which should be present based on current water quality conditions as described at http://www.coalcreekaml.com/CoalCreekRestoration.htm.  Young rainbow darters were collected again this year, documenting that natural reproduction is occurring.

 

In addition to rainbow darters, we found bigeye chub, blacknose dase, bluegill, blueside darter, creek chub, largescale stoneroller, northern hog sucker, northern studfish, redline darter, rock bass, smallmouth bass, snubnose darter, and striped shiner.

Thank you to volunteers and friends from the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited,  TVA, and UT. 

Thanks so much to Briceville School Principal Sandra Patton and all the teachers (and Tonya Roldan for her coordination talents) 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.

VOLUNTEERS INCLUDED:

Alford, Brian UT (University of Tennessee)
Buffington, Buzz TU (Trout Unlimited)
Coombs, Joyce UT
Geiger, Dick TU
Harnage, Phillip UT
Moore, Carol CCWF (Coal Creek Watershed Foundation)
Oates, Frances TU
Saylor, Charlie TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)
Shaffer, Greg TVA
Thacker, Barry CCWF

Walker, Dan UT
Wolbert, Justin UT
Wollard, Ron TU


Clinch River

 

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

Click on images to enlarge:

 
 

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CELEBRATING OUR 17th YEAR!!