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Tennessee River Rescue

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#1 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:03 PM


The 24th annual event is occuring Saturday at 21 different sites reaching the Mighty T.
I will be seining local natives for a little show and tell at the Camp Jordan site on West Chickamauga Creek which soon joins South Chickamauga creek. I have a list of things to take along for the Fish Show & Tell from 11 to 3. We want to let folks know what they are rescueing! Over 900 shirts were printed for the volunteers, and i had the honor of designing this year's shirt. Of course i choose one of my favorite Tennessee Natives to represent... the Lite-Brite Indian Corn Darter, a Nothonotus Var., for this year's honor.

Come help us and be appropiatly attired both before and soon afterwards.


#2 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:04 PM

that's an awesome shirt Casper

#3 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:50 PM

Planning to be there.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

Oops... 9 to 1 is the proper time tho i am sure we will stay wet all day til BBQ.

#5 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

If there are any shirts left over after the event, will they be available to purchase? I am unable to make it out there that weekend, but wouldn't mind making a donation to TRR for a couple.
Nick L.

#6 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:48 PM

A bit of misting rain fell Saturday morning but Doppler Radar animated that it would soon blow over. The sun almost managed to peek out a few times but the day was generally overcast and even a bit chilly as it progressed. Nonetheless there were lots of happy, dirt streaked faces, muddy clothes and an eclectic pile of river trash gathered by concerned citizens. Our site was 1 of 21 in and around Chattanooga and it was soon crowded with about 50 folks and near a dozen canoes and kayaks. After orientation the Tennessee River volunteers were descending the steep muddy bank, launching canoes or wading along the banks. From this access point, West Chickamauga Creek offers a looping, winding one mile slow float meandering back to just a few hundred yards downstream. This geography provides convenience as a takeout point. There a city dump truck outfitted with a grabber boom lifted all the assembled trash into its bed.

The native fish presentation did not workout as well as i had hoped for. As the volunteers arrived and signed in they were soon involved with guidance and direction from our Site Leader, head canoeist Jim Ledbetter. Our aquariums were still empty and we had yet to get our feets wet! Being the take out location was downstream, many left without returning to the check-in pavilion but we did make contact with folks throughout the event. Along with the various volunteers, youngsters and staff who checked out the NANFA display and aquariums a preacher friend stopped by and the former director of the Conasauga River Alliance. Several members of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance visited including 2 friends from Envision Ecology who were monitoring water quality. Another cleanup volunteer introduced himself and told me he had enjoyed my SCCGA Native Fish presentation back in May so that was nice to hear.

As for fishes captured we had 18 species noted.
Darters: Logperch, Banded, Tennessee Snubnoses, Redline and Greenside.
Chubs were represented by plenty of River Chubs and a single Bigeye Chub.
In the weedy shallows weree Brook Silversides, Blackstriped Topminnows, and Gambusia.
Sunfish seined were Spotted, of which i was suprised to see in such quanity, Rock Bass and Redears.
As for Shiners we caught Spotfin ( perhaps they were Steelcolors ) and Striped.
Always Stonerollers.
Looking back i was suprised we did not capture any Hogsuckers, Warpaints or Whitetails along with a wider range of Sunfish and maybe a couple more Darters. This site had yielded poorly several years ago when Longhaired Phil and i checked it out so i was pleased to see the diversity that our seine team acquired.
Several of us were unexperienced but we all worked well as a team and with a bit more aggression, time and downstream runs we could have surely added to the specie list. We had fun and it was enjoyed by all and though the air was a bit chilly the water was comfortable.

After taking everything down we headed to the house for a few minutes of visiting and dry clothes and then south where i treated the Rescue & Seine Team to some favored local BBQ.

I much appreciate Michael and Alejandro making the drive northward and bright eyed Linda eagerly joining in. I was glad that my daughter Cyan and son Cobalt and his sweetheart Hope also waded in the water and danced the Darter Shuffle.


Michael and one of the Tennessee River Rescue Teams being oriented.


A Proud Volunteer.


Tires, Racing Fuel Drum, Political Signs & Bagged Floatsom.


The 2012 Tennessee River Rescue Seine Team; Michael, Cobalt, Cyan, Hope, Linda and Alejandro.


A fine specimen of a River Chub.


Fall colors and inexperienced hands grabbling a baffled Loggie.


Our leader Jim rolling up the biggest tire.


A stream bank garbage assemblage, one of several.


The Seine Team gathers gawking at the many wonders collected.


A tiedyed Ale, a Tangerine and a Rainbow.


The Grabbler.


The Trash!

Littlen Nick... they ran out of shirts at our site but i will ask. Send me a PM with your size and address. Some of our seine team did not get a shirt either and i hope to rectify that.

Edited by Casper, 07 October 2012 - 05:56 PM.

#7 Guest_IsaacSzabo_*

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:52 PM

Great work Casper!

#8 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:27 AM

Tennesssee River Rescue 2013

First Saturday of October, That being the 5th this year. Unsure of the time but i suspect it will be as last year, 9 til 1.

The River and Creeks need another annual rescuing. This will be our 25th year and we will have 25 sites, adding the 25th behind my home, at Audubon Acres and in and along South Chickamauga Creek.
I will treat anyone who comes to a BBQ dinner and a place to stay. Depending on how many come we will, at the minimal, seine and play, perhaps assist in the cleanup and / or setup aquariums so folks will see what they are rescuing. Being this will be a new site, ( i think canoes will be available too. ) i am unsure how many local folks will participate but if Audubon Acres does a good job promoting it i suspect there will be a lot of members attending so... we can spread the NANFA Gospel of the Native Fish.

Let me know if you would like to come.
Helpers get t-shirts in addition to BBQ.

#9 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:29 PM

Leave the tires in the river this time - they make nice catfish habitat. Scatter a few drink bottles around too. The madtoms will love you for it!

#10 Guest_gzeiger_*

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:36 PM

Did you eat any of it?

#11 Guest_Doug_Dame_*

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:59 PM

Let me know if you would like to come.

I'm going to try to make it.

#12 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:43 AM

I've been wearing my TRR-darter shirt from last year a lot recently, and I frequently get asked, "What is that?" (Referring to the Redline on the front). It is wrong for me to give people a disgruntled look for not knowing what a Redline darter is? Do I assume too much, or too little for that matter!
Nick L.

#13 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:33 PM

As a rule, people who know a redline when they see it are worth knowing...

#14 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:21 AM

I tip my hat to your comment, Bruce! Cheers.
Nick L.

#15 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 11:18 PM

Lots of Redlines show up in our seines. And anyone who can call out "That's a Redline!" has my attention and respect. Especially if they can separate the boys from the girls.
I have worn out my "Save Me" shirt from last year, this year's design was done by a political cartoonist from our newspaper, but i have not seen the design yet.
I do not suspect we will leave any found tires or bottles in the creek, but there will still be plenty unfounds left behind and unfortunately there is the continuing annual contributions from Irate's like minded riffraff... but for different reasons.
Stay in touch DD, you are the only non local i have heard a maybe from. And anyway why would someone leave Yankeetown to come to the "Heart of Dixie"?

#16 Guest_Doug_Dame_*

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:42 AM

Stay in touch DD, you are the only non local i have heard a maybe from. And anyway why would someone leave Yankeetown to come to the "Heart of Dixie"?

It suggests something about the origins of the name (as a fishing camp for non-locals in the 20s) that there's a sign on the road near the border of the adjoining town that says "Historic Crackertown neighborhood." I suspect that when first applied, "yankeetown" was not intended to be complimentary, but acquired so much momentum that it overwhelmed more respectable suggestions. :)

But the answer to your "why leave" question is .... you have great darters !!! Especially redlines, my favorite. Can't keep them in (from) TN of course, but just seeing them is special and worthwhile.

And of course, I will travel to help showcase NANFA when we have events where we can help educate the public on fishy things and the state of our aquatic environments. I think it's an important thing to do to support our mission, so I am more than glad to be able to join you in TN when you do these kinds of things. (And Michael in GA.) </soap-box>

#17 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

2013, the 25th Tennessee River Rescue is just 2 weeks away today, a Saturday!

I asked Linda at Audubon Acres how many folks had signed up to participate, here at our site on South Chickamauga Creek... and she said... "...for the first 2 hours...45!"

That's a LOT! So i reckon i am now committed to show folks what they are rescuing.
Good to hear you are motivated to visit Doug. We will step into Georgia for some fine fish to take home. You have a place to stay and BBQ to enjoy. Keep me posted.

I sure could use some additional help NANFans!

Here is the shirt design they have come up with for this year...
I am not quite sure what species it happens to be but that fish is in double jeopardy!


#18 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:36 PM

Beer rings are excellent for sturgeon, they just love the feel of plastic against their snouts!

#19 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:40 AM

Tennessee River Rescue - 2013

The 25th annual Tennessee River Rescue went well at our Audubon Acres site but at the West Chick section that we worked last year a heavily decomposed body was found. Yikes.

That said...
The day was beautiful with blue skies, comfortable temperatures and the refreshing South Chickamauga Creek water, which was fairly clear due to the lack of any recent rain. My son Cobalt and his wife Hope volunteered and Linda, our site's leader, provided two of her friends, Christine and Katlin as they had expressed interest in seining. A young fella named Alex jumped from the trash collection crew and offered able bodied assistance in catching a few of our natives for a fishy show and tell later. A group of fathers and sons had camped overnight and in exchange for a camping fee they volunteered to assist in the cleanup for a couple hours.
We focused our seining along flowing pools and a shallow gravel run which was a natural ford of yesteryear for horse drawn wagons. This is a sweet spot and with guidance and patience we were reasonably successful. The first time seiners listened attentively to my directions and soon mastered the proper pace and rhythm of the Darter Shuffle. After a shuffle and lift to the water's edge i would knell at the pooled seine and sort through the various species and point out the differences between critters such as the colorful male Redlines and the green, cream caudal marked females. Blue breasts on the males and sporting fancy red lipstick, Indian corn, dot dot dash checker patterns. Pointy noses. The females exhibiting the same body shape but lacking the males handsome coloration. Another seine lift yielded a net of Tennessee Snubs from a Water Willowed run, with a few Bandeds, Etheostoma Zonale, mixed amongst them. Logperch and 3 of David Etnier's Snail Darters to boot from a long gravel run. Near all the Sunfish species found in the adjoining pools... Redear Shellcracker, Bluegill, Redbreast, Longear, Green, Spotted, a thin white Crappie and finally a handsome, purple patterned, Warmouth. Back in the riffles were Hogsuckers, little Hoovers or Boxhead Trout as some call them, Stonerollers, plenty of Warpaints, Bigeye Chubs, red tailed River Chubs, Sculpins and whiskered Madtoms offering no bumble bee stings. We lacked the speed, agility and skill to aggressively pursue some of the faster, larger and deeper water species, Gar! and Redhorse but we were all quite content enjoying the constant variety of our seine contents. Odd bugs, Water Pennys, Hellgrammits, Dragonfly larvae, nymphs and lots of crayfish but no turtles today. A bonus for me was catching another Stargazing Minnow, akin to the Riffle Minnows i see at the Conasauga. Gambusia and Bluntnose Minnows were common in the backwaters along with a few handsome Blackstripe Topminnows. No Redhorse today though i hoped for some from a big isolated, stagnant flood pool, but only finding a near complete selection of Sunfish, a few Bass and too many Gambusia.

We returned with a sampling of our first session to the canopied table and a 10 gallon aquarium where we offered the fishy show and tell to the returning father and son trash teams. They did a decent job of collecting bags of bottles, trash and flotsam so typical of our urban streams, but thankfully no human bones today.

With the camper volunteers departure we returned for a second seining session along with Linda, Chet and a young lady a bit upstream of our first efforts. Pictures as such...

Watching the loud and powerful freight train pass, some of the Seine Crew and Father / Son Trash Collectors gathered for the day's start, .


Young Alex holding a Molly Crawl Bottom...


...AKA Sculpin. Banded or Mottled it would be.


Hogsucker! Boxhead Trout, Hoover or Da Lo Gee as the Cherokee say.


Redline Darter, Male. Last year's mascot fish. AKA The Indian Corn Darter.


Logperch. Sleek Stone Flipper.


One of 3 Snail Darters we caught in a water willow bordered gravel run. When the light hits them just right they have a pretty green, almost irridescent, sheen. 4 distinct saddles mark their back, making them quick to ID in a seine.


Green Sunfish, the most Bass-like of the Sunfish. They will clean out a tank of your favorite minnows and darters pretty darn quick.


Longear Sunfish. In my opinion the prettist of the local Sunfish.


Warmouth. Purple hued and fins erect, resting in my cooler cap.


Crayfish, unknown but common common common today.


Dragonfly Larva, so very leaf-like.


American Toad and Teary Eagle.


Slimy Salamander, common around here. If you handle them long enough you will know their name.


Seine team sans Alex and myself. Only Cobalt and Hope, on the far right, had done this before, and with the others they all made for a fine and successful seine team.


Linda and Chet fueding again. Linda, our TRR site organizer, has participated on several of my CNF snorkel trips and Chet is our resident naturalist here at Audubon Acres. They bicker and jest a plenty lot.


Truck load 'o trash, not all that much here as this stretch is fairly well maintained. Lots of the fathers and sons were ready to get home after camping all night.

I appreciate Doug Dame offering to drive the vast distance but with some uncertainties i urged him to stay in Yankeetown and return for a fuller opportunity in the future, perhaps another Tennessee Seinerama.

#20 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:23 AM

Looks like a good day, Casper. Some neat fish and amphibians, good company it would appear, and clearing trash is always a noble endeavor, whatever the location!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

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