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Old 05-23-18, 06:20 PM   #11
Sighter
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Love the idea! The mention of federal engagement slightly puts a damper to my optimism though, but then again when does it not haha. Can't think of a suggestion or a solution as way more qualified people have already commented, kudos for the idea Phil
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Old 05-23-18, 06:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrulewax View Post
The limestone idea was bounced around a while back reguarding a river in North georgia if I am not mistaken. I believe it was concluded that for the limestone gravel to have a noticeable impact it would have to be a prohibitively large amount of limestone.
There’s far more supporting evidence on the net than none. In fact in West Virginia they created a mill that was river powered that ground limestone into powder and was released into the river. It was shown to be effective.
The over use of limestone sands has shown to be less effective because it can cover gravel easily. When limestone of various size introduced the issue was mitigated. Bug stocking and a fingerling stocking program though, just really excited bout those ideas!
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Old 05-23-18, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philhutch80 View Post
[i]n West Virginia they created a mill that was river powered that ground limestone into powder and was released into the river. It was shown to be effective.
The over use of limestone sands has shown to be less effective because it can cover gravel easily. When limestone of various size introduced the issue was mitigated.
Here's a link that's related to that story, Phil:
NGeo Story: Limestone Added to WV Streams to Mitigate Effects of Acid Rain
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Old 05-23-18, 07:54 PM   #14
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Phil, in our text chat didn't I ask why they aren't already doing this in brook trout restoration streams...?

This is a cool resource



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Old 05-23-18, 08:29 PM   #15
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Maybe this idea ain't 'zackly as nuts as I first thunk it was. Here's the text from another brief article found while perusing the interwebs:



Project brings trout back to small stream
By Mark Taylor
981-3395 May 17, 2012 (0)

SALTVILLE - It is not unusual for trout hatchery trucks to draw followers as they roll through Virginia's countryside on delivery runs to the state's trout streams and ponds.

So it was hardly unusual that the tanker truck bouncing along a road deep in the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area early Tuesday afternoon had two other trucks in tow.

Had the riders in those tailing vehicles not been in on this nonfishing mission, they would have been disappointed had they expected quick limits of plump trout once the stocking began.

The trout in the tanks were only 3 to 4 inches long.

The participants in Tuesday's stocking effort are hoping that those little fish eventually pay off handsomely for fishermen and prove worthwhile an ambitious restoration project that has been in the works for years.

The 4,000 fingerling brook trout were eventually released into Little Tumbling Creek, a chilly mountain stream that rolls down a rugged valley between Clinch and Flat Top mountains in Smyth County.

At its upper elevations Little Tumbling Creek has been devoid of fish for years, the creek's clear water too acidic to support fish.

But this winter, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries loaded the stream with tons of crushed limestone to buffer the acid.

The trout stocked Tuesday represent a small first step in plans to eventually restore a self-sustaining population of brook trout in the creek.

If the project unfolds as hoped, the creek will not only become a viable trout fishery, but it also could serve as a model for other restoration projects.

Long time coming

To monitor fish populations in small streams, state fisheries biologists and technicians periodically don special backpacks outfitted with motors that send electrical current through hand-held probes into the water.

The electrical current temporarily stuns fish, which can be scooped into nets and studied.

Electroshocking surveys help the biologists track the health of fisheries by monitoring fish population trends.

The trend in Little Tumbling Creek in the 1970s and 1980s was clear.

According to Bill Kittrell, a DGIF biologist who oversees the fisheries programs in the agency's Marion office region, trout numbers fell steadily.

"The last collected brook trout we saw was in 1990," Kittrell said Tuesday.

The culprit was natural and man-made acid depositions, including from acid rain, which has been linked to emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Little Tumbling Creek watershed is lacking in natural buffers, such as surface limestone deposits, to reduce the effect of the acid on the stream.

Interestingly, the nearby Big Tumbling Creek watershed has natural limestone buffering, so that creek is able to support fish.

Acidic waters can be successfully treated by introducing ground limestone to buffer acid.

The St. Mary's River is an example of a stream that is able to support trout because of recurring liming treatment.

Laurel Bed Lake, a small reservoir near the headwaters of the Little Tumbling Creek watershed, also is periodically limed.

Kittrell said discussions about a possible liming project on Little Tumbling Creek started in 2000, at which time the DGIF began stockpiling ground limestone for the effort.

Reaching the water

As project planners looked at how to get to the creek for liming and for eventual trout stocking, the geography of the region proved challenging.

The upper reaches of Little Tumbling Creek run through rugged country, with much of the 4-mile-long section cutting through a steep, heavily timbered gorge.

DGIF biologists thought an abandoned road in one area could provide access to the creek, but it turned out that the road was not suitable or safe for heavy vehicles.

The project got a boost this winter when Appalachian Power Co. built a road to access transmission lines for service.

The road didn't go to the creek, but Appalachian officials agreed to build a half-mile-long spur from its service road to the creek.

In January, the creek got a heavy dose of 30 to 40 tons of crushed limestone, the granules slightly larger than play sand.

Initial water tests showed that the creek had responded, with PH levels immediately improving.

The PH levels still need additional improvement, so additional lime treatments in the near future are likely.

A $20,000 grant from the AEP Foundation will help fund regular water quality tests, which will be conducted at James Madison University.

The state's Department of Environmental Quality will monitor the creek's aquatic insect populations.

Now, for trout


Because the creek was devoid of trout, it seemed an ideal location for re-establishing a population of a Southern Appalachian strain of brook trout, which tend to naturally occur south of a dividing line that roughly runs through the New River Valley.

"It's a perfect laboratory," said John Ross, a volunteer with Trout Unlimited, an active partner in the venture.

Getting the fish was another issue.

"The only problem is we don't have a good source for them," Kittrell said of southern strain brookies.

Virginia's hatcheries produce only Northern Appalachian strain brook trout.

A hatchery at Tellico Plains in Tennessee is developing a program to raise southern strain brook trout, but fish are not yet available.

Rather than wait, the Little Tumbling Creek project team decided to get fish into the creek.

To ensure the purity of eventual creek-spawning trout, the brook trout stocked on Tuesday were sterile.

Because so-called triploid trout can not spawn, they tend to grow faster than nonsterilized trout because they don't put energy into spawning. So the trout should grow large enough to provide recreational fishing in a couple of years.

When southern strain trout become available, the stocking will shift to those fish with hopes that the population will eventually become self-sustaining.

Stakeholders used buckets and nets to transfer the little trout from the hatchery truck into the chilly, clear water.

In their new environment, the fish swam together in pools in tightly packed schools.

High-water events will help the fish spread throughout the 4-mile section, Kittrell said.

Aquatic insect populations, which will recover as the lime continues to work, will rebound, providing a food source for the fish. In fact, insect populations are already on the rise.

As American Electric Power, Trout Unlimited and DGIF personnel transferred fish to the creek, a few bugs buzzed above the water.

When one bug ended up on the water, a little trout quickly rose to swallow the insect.

The restoration was well under way.


Now, keep in mind that these West Virginia streams were all naturally trout streams to begin with, and that low pH was caused by rain and other factors. They were in the process of rehabilitating natural waterways. Here in Georgia we would be altering the natural geologic balance of our state's hydrology. It would be a mighty undertaking to say the least, and would require a lot of legislation on both the state and federal level. All of us know the story of how Kudzu was imported to the southern states to combat erosion along our newly built roadways, and then that God-forsaken plant took over the entirety of the region. So, while we take this under consideration, let's also consider the long term biological ramifications such an endeavor might have in the region. (Of course, I'm not trying to say that CaCO3 can germinate and reproduce to the detriment of our state. But let's just consider whether it is wise or prudent to try to force an issue. This is just an admonishment to temper our thoughts in this consideration.)
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Last edited by Swamp Angel; 05-23-18 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:00 AM   #16
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Old 05-24-18, 08:58 AM   #17
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I'm not a fisheries biologist, although I've stayed at holiday inn, and i have taken several classes in the subject matter.

My thoughts:

I know I've read stream restorations in the mountains where TU and other groups dumped limestone into SMALL streams prior to reintroducing SABT. On the small stream level (think blue lines) it is viable. On a large flow, esp like the hooch, i think there are several problems. To dump enough to chemically alter the balance of the water, it needs to be a very large amount. This can't be a couple boulders, because they don't have the surface area needed. A bunch of smaller rocks might help, but that is a BUNCH... Gravel is the easiest thing to deal with, but in most of our larger rivers, that will get spread around and slowly covered in silt, vs actually doing something in a small stream.

Bugs. I am not sure where stocking bugs falls legally. I know in most states, stocking fish requires habitat impact surveys which take a long time, and a lot of money.
To effetively stock bugs and have them actually stick around, the chemical/PH balance of the water would need to already be improved from where it is today- otherwise the bugs would already be there, right? So it's like a chicken and egg scenario. Maybe just improving the stream conditions alone would bring more bugs over time?

I think the biggest issue with doing any of this in the lower hooch is irregular dam flows and temperatures. If those two variables cannot be gaurunteed, getting somebody to buy off on a big project like this is a lost cause.

The only way to do this would be start somewhere small, and ideally a highly regulated stream that is easier to study.
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Old 05-24-18, 09:03 AM   #18
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fingerlings i am doubtful about for the hooch as well. Safety in numbers may work out for them, but I feel like there are so many bigger fish in the hooch that would simply gobble them up, that's prob a large part of why they stock bigger fish.

Again- small streams, i'm all for it. Throw fingerlings in just about any N. GA flow and it would prob be a much better deal than what they currently stock.
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Old 05-24-18, 09:40 AM   #19
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I think ISO1600 has some good points. Small streams may be the best option. The Hooch has way to much variable volume for limestone to have a measurable impact. The suggestion by others to work on water quality issues on tributaries such as Suwanee and Haw Creek is a good one.
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Old 05-24-18, 12:47 PM   #20
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There have been bigger waterways treated in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia that had larger drainage areas than the Hooch that have been successfully treated. This would not be a small undertaking within the Hooch. For implementing limestone in the hooch it would have to be in the riparian zone where the most fluctuation of flows occurs and with all sizes of limestone rip rap and gravels being used. That is part of the reason, with the irregular flows that the Hooch would be a good proving ground because everytime the water rises and falls it would stir these rocks and sediments up and would continually deposit some additional elements in the water as well as create 'island refuges' for the bugs themselves.
I agree on how the limestone sand has been utilized on SABT streams, what if that was also instituted along the feeder creeks that flow into the Hooch? How could that over time benefit the river? If some of the major feeder streams were worked with such as Suwanee Creek or even as high up as Haw Creek it would be interesting to see.
ISO1600, the 'Chicken & Egg' scenario referring to the bugs has me wondering if the bugs were originally there in the first place but over time due to flooding and what not, have disappeared. Similar to what happened with the Black Caddis dying off and then coming back strong this year for example. When bugs are added to the waters, especially with Caddis since they die in the stream, I would be curious to know if the volume of bugs increased also by proxy increased the available amount of calcium as their bodies are made of it. Another question parlaying off what you said; the Dam is known for having some of the slickest algae covered rocks around in the river but there are only midges and stoneflies. Caddis during the larval stage eat mainly algae. Would stocking Black Caddis at the dam assist in bug life thriving because of the algae covered rocks?
Is bug stocking illegal? That is a great question but that is also why I specifically named the Black Caddis, Stonefly & Hellgrammites. They all are found throughout Georgia as a major source of food in both the tailwaters and freestone streams we have. The volume of the stockings would be important because they would essentially kickstart the part of the ecosystem to get to self management. The more numbers of these common bugs we could get stocked in the river, the better the short and long term returns could be.
Stocking fingerlings has been shown to be VERY effective in freestone and tailwater streams and there are plenty of papers that support this ISO1600. I have not looked at some in awhile but if you have time, look some up and attach them here! All your points are great areas to think about on how to hone these ideas. I feel these ideas would be easier to get the public on board if we approach it from an equitable value approach. Literally meaning if we can show homeowners, HOA's and business owners how having a healthy and clean trout stream equates to added property value they would be far more likely to want to help out as it benefits their pocket books.
I found an extremely interesting paper from Penn. St. titled 'Passive Treatment Methods for Acid Water in Pennsylvania' that has some of the best data I have seen. This mostly focuses on treating either acidified streams from poor mining practices or acid rain. We do not have that much of an issue with heavy metals and acid rain like they do, but we do have very big issues with PH and lack of mineral content which it does address. Which some of the solutions offered in this paper could address this via the passive methods they describe. The biggest factor that it shows is cost. I invite everyone to check this paper out!!!
https://extension.psu.edu/passive-tr...n-pennsylvania
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