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Or, in this case, new trout, as the Tennessee Aquarium releases more than 200 Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in Hampton Creek on Aug. 29 as part of a new long-term effort to restore the fish to their native waters.
According to the Aquarium, “The colorful Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, SABT, is the only species of trout that is native to Tennessee. Once abundant in the clear, cool mountain streams of east Tennessee, the SABT is found in only three percent of its historical range today.
“The SABT [has] bright golden spots and vivid red bellies. Being one of the smallest members of the salmon family and one of the more challenging to locate, this unique fish is a prize among trout fishermen.
“Logging activities wiped out large portions of the habitat for this fish. When SABT numbers dwindled, many sites were overtaken by Rainbow Trout, a non-native species that can withstand warmer water and more direct sunlight. In many areas, forests have been repaired along streams creating more favorable conditions for SABT restoration work.”
So, last October, Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute scientists, working with biologists from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, collected 50 brood trout from the creek to begin raising them at the Aquarium. The successful results of this effort can be viewed as the lucky teenage trout are returned to the creek, where it’s hoped they will flourish and begin to replenish the streams around us.
When / Where: Hampton Creek Cove Scenic-Recreational State Natural Area – Carter County, TN. Trout will be released at noon on Thursday, Aug. 29.