Cherokee Chapter Happenings
The month of May is a really busy month for the members of the Cherokee Chapter. Thought it would be nice to provide an update on all that has occurred. And also direct you to our Facebook page (link) just to the left on this Home page; go to Photos to album pictures of most of the events described below.
Our biggest community event is our “Kids Fishing Day” up on Viking Mountain in the Cherokee Forest; the 29th year of this event at Dillard Ponds. The weather forecast predicted rain, but even though the day remained overcast, the rain stayed away. We had just over 200 kids (ages 12 and under) registered to fish for free, accompanied by an adult. Each registered child received plenty of give-aways from the US Forest Service and our Cherokee Chapter. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) and the Erwin National Hatchery provided the rainbow trout for the event. Many children were able to take home the four(4) trout limit; some trout as big as the child catching it!
Our chapter typically pulls together a fly fishing weekend once a year. The past few years we have stayed at the Bee Cliff Cabins on the Watauga River; a really beautiful location. However, this year we decided to try something different and opted to go to Bryson City, NC. We fished Raven’s Fork on the Oconaluftee River (Cherokee Reservation), floated the Tuskaseegee River (with the Tusckaseegee Fly Shop www.tuckflyshop.com/) and also fished the Davidson River on the way home. When not fishing we spent time perusing the Fly Fishing Museum in Downtown Bryson City https://flyfishingmuseum.org/;a must see for any fly fishing enthusiast. The three day/two night stay at the local rental cabin was very nice; complete with a fire pit, grill and Jacuzzi. We told many fish stories over BBQ, beer and S’mores.
Trout in the Classroom (TIC) participants headed out to their local coldwater streams for rainbow trout releases. There were mixed results/successes with the size and number of trout each school raised, but most schools had participated in a fieldtrip. Morristown East High School spent the today at Paint Creek where students released their fish and snorkeled with the US Forest Service biologists. Unicoi High School at Limestone Cove did the same in North Indian Creek. TWRA provided conservation instruction/demo for remaining schools in the Tri-cities area. Lake Ridge Elementary released at Riverside Park, Elizabethton and afterwards toured the fish hatchery in Erwin. Holston View Middle, Emmett Elementary, Avoca Elementary and Sullivan East High Schools combined their fieldtrips to all meet at the South Holston Weir Dam on the same day. There had to be at least 125 students who were divided up into groups and shuttled between stations (fish release, TWRA demo, Fly Rod casting, bug hunt and river conservation question/answer). Dobyns Bennett High School and Roosevelt Elementary both met at Dan Shupe’s place to release their trout on the South Fork Holston River (just downstream of the Ft Henry Dam). Cannot thank Dan enough for allowing our TIC students the opportunity to utilize his property and taking the time to coordinate with the area law enforcement for school bus traffic safety. None of this would be possible without the support of the Erwin National Hatchery who supply the rainbow trout eggs and trout food, dedicated teachers (and their principals) and all the volunteers/parents; as well as the US Forest Service and TWRA biologists. Thank you all!
The month’s activities conveniently wrap up with our Cherokee Chapter picnic on May 21st at the Tusculum City Park at 5:30pm.