South Carolina

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Restoring Brook Trout to Their Rightful Place in South Carolina

South Carolina DNR

I missed this story last month about the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources restoring eastern brook trout in mountain streams in the Jocassee Gorges area. Great account of how the state government, Duke Energy and a group of conservation organizations are working together to make this happen.

“‘There is a big hole there,’ [Dan Rankin, fisheries biologist with the SC DNR] said, ‘where brook trout should be, but they’re not.’

“Rankin thinks that forest management practices of the early 1900s, when timber companies did not abide by Best Management Practices that are now in place to protect water and soil, contributed to the absence of brook trout in the region. But whatever the cause, Rankin and a coalition of government agencies and private conservation organizations are working to bring the Eastern brook trout back to the mountain streams that it historically inhabited in the Jocassee Gorges.”

And it all concludes with a sordid tale of woolly adelgids murdering hemlocks, which were then used to create better habitat for the fish. A must read!