The Transylvania Times -

Conservation Groups Work With Agencies To Improve Key Sections Of The Davidson River

 

Last updated 7/27/2020 at 3:14pm



Two chapters of the national conservation organization Trout Unlimited (TU) have partnered with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) to improve a section of the Davidson River.

In addition to funds from Pisgah and Rocky River TU chapters, two conservation organizations, TU’s Embrace-A-Stream program and the Trout and Salmon Foundation awarded grants to the $28,000 project that begins near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County.

Decades ago, when lumber mills operated on the Davidson River, this section was straightened and larger rocks removed to allow cut logs to be easily transported downstream to the mill.

Today, this section downstream of the NCWRC Bobby N. Setzer Fish Hatchery is dominated by shallow river habitat known as riffle.

In addition to creating more diverse habitat, areas currently experiencing shoreline erosion will be stabilized and planted with native trees and shrubs.

The project is set to begin on Aug. 3 and take one week. Under the supervision of TU Pisgah Chapter volunteers and USFS staff, contractors will install boulders and logs following a specific plan designed by USFS hydrologists.

This work along 600 feet downstream from the Pisgah Center entrance will create areas of deeper water, increase water flow, and provide habitats required by many river animals.

Hellbenders are protected in North Carolina and are one of the largest species of salamanders in the world.

Long-lived, hellbenders create dens under submerged rocks and logs. In addition, habitats created by this project will benefit fish including trout.

The project will also improve designated locations for anglers to safely access the river. Designated access points protect shoreline vegetation that stabilize banks, reduce sedimentation, provide habitat for birds, and shade the river maintaining lower water temperatures required by trout and hellbenders.

To ensure public safety during the two-week project, the public is asked to avoid accessing the river and work site until construction is completed.

About Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited (TU) was founded by 16 anglers in July 1959 on the banks of the Au Sable River near Grayling, Mich. Since, the organization has grown to 387 chapters and over 370,000 members throughout the world.

Dedicated to the conservation of coldwater fisheries, TU mission is to protect, reconnect, and restore the places people love to fish.

Through a vast network of public agencies, nonprofit conservation organizations, and businesses, TU develops partnerships, empowers volunteers, and generates funding for thousands of projects to better conserve our waters and educate the public.

A key grants program that partially funding the Davidson River project is Embrace-A-Stream.

About Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Formed in 1969, Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited members number in the hundreds and live all over the country. Conservation and education programs are run by volunteers and are focused in the Pisgah National Forest and other public lands within Henderson, Transylvania, and Polk counties of Western North Carolina. Current President: Jim Rumbough, Hendersonville, N.C. Their website is http://www.pisgahTU.org or visit them on Instagram and Facebook at @pisgahTU.

About Rocky River Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited founders and early leaders hailed from the Charlotte, North Carolina area and the Rocky River Chapter formed during the 1970’s from an earlier Charlotte-based chapter. Rocky River is one of the strongest chapters in North Carolina and most active nationwide.

Their mission is to conserve, protect, reconnect, restore and sustain coldwater resources with an emphasis on educating and engaging youth in conservation programs.

About Trout and Salmon Foundation

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Trout and Salmon Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1969.

Their mission is to enable and accelerate the work of local conservation organizations, landowners, and government agencies by providing grants to restore cold water fish habitat.

 
 

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