Saturday, May 24, 2008

Great Smoky Mountains national park temporally removes size and quantity limits on Rainbow Trout in section of park.

The national park service has an ongoing Brook Trout Restoration Program in the Great Smoky Mountains national park and now anglers can help the program with a set of temporary fishing regulations. These special fishing regulations are limited to 2 bodies of water only in the Tremont Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains national park and are only valid from 7 am - 7 pm June 2nd through June 14th 2008.

The only places where the special Rainbow Trout fishing regulations will take place where fisherman can keep as many Rainbow Trout as they catch regardless of size are an 8 mile stretch of the Lynn Camp Prong River and the Lynn Camp Prong River's tributary Marks Creek. Both of these bodies of water are located in Blount County inside the national park and can be accessed by taking Middle Prong Road located off Laurel Creek Road west of the Townsend Wye to the end where the Middle Creek trailhead is. At this time it does not appear that the other tributary of Lynn Camp Prong called Panther Creek is affected by these special temporary fishing regulations.

Great Smoky Mountains national park temporally removes size and quantity limits on Rainbow Trout in section of park.

In order to help restore the native Brook Trout the non-native Rainbow trout must be removed. First the National park service is allowing anglers to get their fill of the fish and then come this September National Park Biologists will teat the water with the poison Antimycin A which will kill the remaining fish but does not harm non fish aquatic species such as the parks beloved salamanders and crawfish.

Once all the fish have been removed from the restoration area, a large cascade down stream will keep the non native Rainbow Trout from returning upstream to the area which will then be stocked with Native Brook Trout removed from another section of the park. The Brook Trout population will then be allowed to build by prohibiting fishing the area for a time period of between 4 to 7 years until the Book Trout's population is sustainable for harvest.

The special regulations require that you still have a valid Tennessee or North Carolina Fishing license which you will have to surrender for the day 1/4 mile up from the trailhead at the temporary National Park Service check-in station where you will receive at no charge a special daily fishing permit which you must keep visibly displayed at all times. You must check back in prior to 7 pm with all the fish you have caught to get your license back unless you are camping at the Tremont backcountry campsite #28.

You are still only allowed to use artificial lures with a single hook and normal Great Smoky Mountains National Park fishing regulations apply to fish such as Brook Trout or any other fish other than Rainbow Trout.

This is a great opportunity for fisherman to enjoy fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains national park while helping the park service and enjoying what can be a fantastic meal or 2 in the process!

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