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I don't think TU would be much help in this region, there's just no major fisheries until you get further east into the mountains. There havn't been native brookies in this part of Tennessee since well before the last glacial advance (as differentiated as southern Appalachian brookies are, maybe even longer than that). High-diversity sites in northerly and formerly glaciated areas (like French Creek or the Tippecanoe River) are now way too warm for brookies by the time you get far enough downstream for peak darter diversity, but it likely hasn't been long since they dropped out of the fauna.
There haven't been many documented cases of darter predation by bows, although few diet studies have been done in super darter-rich habitats. There's been some concern in other states about local effects of put-n-take fisheries; Virginia was (and still is?) dumping a large number of brown trout on top of their last good candy darter population -- a former prof examined gut contents of a fair number of trout from there but I don't think he found any darters...
Hmm. It might be interesting to set up a fish cleaning booth in Shelbyville one weekend and offer free filleting of trout in exchange for the GI tracts... Doesn't look like I'll be back that way before May though.
I think you're getting at a source of predators?
Well, it depends... Brookies are found in some of insane richness streams in the east, but not in the segments that have the insane richness. Brook trout (like creek chubs, Clinostomus dace, some Luxilus species) specialize on capturing allochthonous (out of system) food materials to supplement their diet with their aggressive behavior and/or large mouths, rather than relying solely on autochthonus (in system) food materials that begin with primary productivity (grazers that feed on algae). The Shelbyville riffle is interesting in this regard, as the cyprinid species found there are either striped shiners or chub species that have derived characteristics that make them more like a darter, rather than your typical shiner.
Anyway, take home message: historical trout streams are boring as hell.
The predators in the central TN systems were spotted bass and ol' goggle eyes... I'm not sure what role smallies played (I need to look at FoTN) but they're way not dominant now, nor do any of the above cross niches with these darter species. In east TN, I think it was just rock bass. The upper Mobile in TN, GA and AL has the corresponding shadow bass and coosa bass (redeye).
However, a hunting brown or rainbow doesn't have any problem going on a hunt. And mind you, the brookies in TN aren't anything like the mosters you see in the Great White North and etc. They're quite stunted. They have some monsters at the NC Hatchery outside Brevard in the upper French Broad, but I've never seen a brookie that was approaching a foot (and that was unusual, in spite of the stocking programs and paradox of eutrohpication compared to how the streams were as these communities evolved). The big fish are always the rainbows and browns.
Honestly, I don't know what the answers are. But stocking put and take trout in the Duck is just plain wrong. That is black and white to me.
I can cross post anything else too.
Edited by farmertodd, 24 February 2008 - 07:58 PM.