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Arkansas Community Lake Trout Stocking Underway

leah kirk

ark trout stocking.jpg

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Family and Community Fishing Program is kicking off winter in style by releasing hundreds of tagged rainbow trout in program ponds throughout the state. Each year, rainbow trout raised at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Springs are delivered to community ponds in Arkansas once the water temperatures have cooled enough to accommodate the cold-water fish. According to Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program Coordinator, the fish will be delivered beginning this week, and all program ponds scheduled for trout should have fish swimming in them in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"This year, we are increasing the size of trout stocked to give anglers a little more pull on the end of their lines," Jackson said. "These trout will be stocked from November until March when we'll switch back to catfish stockings."

The traditional catfish stockings also have a treat in store for anglers this week. Throughout the year, specially tagged prize-winning catfish were stocked in FCFP ponds around the state. Anyone who caught one of those fish could turn them in for special prize packages, such as fishing rods, bait, tackle boxes and other fishing goodies. They also were automatically entered in a special drawing that will be held on the evening news on KTHV (Channel 11) on Thursday, Nov. 16. One lucky angler will win the grand prize of a two-night, three-day stay for up to 14 friends at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Center near Columbus, in Hempstead County. Guests can canoe, fish, shoot trap, hike or shoot archery equipment during their stay.

Special tags also will be placed on trout being stocked this winter. If an angler catches one of these special fish, they can send the tag to the AGFC to collect a special prize package of fishing equipment. All tag winners also will be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of this year's trout season for larger prizes.

Visit to learn more about the Family and Community Fishing Program and to find a pond near you participating in the winter trout stocking schedule.

Oklahoma Winter Trout Stocking Underway

leah kirk

okie trout.jpg

Wildlife Department Fisheries technician Charles Baker runs a netful of trout from the stocking tank to the Blue River. Trout stocking is underway at all six of the state's seasonal trout fishing spots. (Matt Gamble/ODWC)

               The flow of water from Broken Bow Lake into the Lower Mountain Fork River has been reduced, as seen in this photo, so repairs can be made to a release valve. The Wildlife Department plans to continue stocking trout in downstream areas even as the water flow is reduced. (Don Groom/ODWC)

Anglers needn't hang up their gear just because winter's getting near. There's still plenty of fishing fun to be found at Oklahoma's seasonal and year-round trout fishing areas. Each year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation stocks trout at six seasonal trout fishing areas across the state, beginning Nov. 1 and continuing into March or April. Those areas are Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Medicine Creek and Lake Carl Etling. For more information, go to

In addition to these "cold weather" trout fisheries, the Department also operates two year-round trout fisheries in the Lower Mountain Fork Riverbelow Broken Bow dam and in the Lower Illinois River below Tenkiller Ferry Dam. Trout are normally stocked in these areas every week or two, as long as water conditions are conducive to trout survival.

Anglers on the Lower Mountain Fork are currently seeing lower flows of water in the river because of unscheduled repairs by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to a release valve at the Broken Bow Lake spillway. The low flows are not due to bridge repairs. Don Groom, Southeast Region Fisheries supervisor for the Wildlife Department, said trout stocking will continue despite the lower flows, but most stocking will take place in downstream areas rather than in upper areas closer to the dam until repairs to the spillway valve are completed.

Trout, both rainbows and browns, are introduced species to Oklahoma. They thrive in colder waters and make excellent table fare. Using ultralight fishing gear with 4- to 6-pound test line and small hooks can lead to some thrilling action. But anyone can catch trout using regular angling gear with small jigs or spinners, prepared bait or live bait. Trout fishing is also available from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 at two Close to Home Fishing locations in major urban areas: Oklahoma City's Dolese Youth Park Pond and Jenks' Veterans Park Pond. Trout anglers must carry a resident or nonresident fishing license while fishing. In addition, trout anglers at Dolese Youth Park Pond must have an Oklahoma City fishing permit.

The Wildlife Department's winter trout fishing areas are:

Blue River: This river flows through the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area near Tishomingo. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 toMarch 31. From Tishomingo, go 4 miles east on State Highway 78 and then 6 miles north. Bank access and wade fishing is available throughout the area. Primitive camping is allowed at the Blue River campground.

Lake Carl Etling: This lake is at Black Mesa State Park in Cimarron County. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to April 30. From Boise City, go 28 miles west on U.S. 325. Boat ramps are on the south and east sides of the lake. Primitive and developed camping facilities are available at the park.

Medicine Creek: This trout fishery runs through the town of Medicine Park from the Gondola Lake Dam on the north to the State Highway 49 bridge on the south. Access is easy from a sidewalk along the creek's east side. Trout stocking season runs from Nov. 1 to March 15. Camping and lodging are available nearby.

Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park: This 32-acre lake was built in the mid-1930s and offers ample bank access and a boat ramp on the west side of the lake. From Perry, go a mile south on State Highway 86. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 31. Lodging is available in Perry.

Robbers Cave: In Robbers Cave State Park, the Robbers Cave trout fishery is in the Fourche Maline River directly below Carlton Dam to the south boundary of the park. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 15. From Wilburton, go 5 miles north on State Highway 2. Bank access and wade fishing is available anywhere within state park boundaries. Camping facilities and cabins are available at the park.


Lake Watonga: This 55-acre lake is in Roman Nose State Park. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 31. From Watonga, go 7 miles north on State Highway 8A. Bank access and a boat ramp are on the west side of the lake. Camping and lodging are available at the park.

New Fishing Initiatives to Increase West Virginia Tourism

leah kirk

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Three new initiatives designed to increase fishing ing opportunities and to attract outdoor recreation tourism have been announced by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel.

The DNR is exploring opportunities to enhance trout fishing in and around state parks beginning in 2018. Hatchery personnel are making plans to stock trout in many state parks lakes on Saturdays. In addition, selected trout streams within a 10-mile drive of these state parks will be stocked on Fridays. The Saturday trout stockings will be announced in advance to give anglers the chance to plan weekend trips, including overnight stays at state parks.

“We believe stocking these lakes and streams on Fridays and Saturdays will provide an excellent opportunity for people, especially new anglers, to improve their chances of catching a trout while visiting our beautiful state parks and forests,” McDaniel said. “This should help attract families looking for additional weekend activities and those who work or attend school on weekdays during the regularly scheduled trout stockings.”

The DNR is also exploring the concept of establishing a special catch and release regulations for brook trout on streams located within four major watersheds in the Monongahela National Forest. These include portions of streams within the drainages of the Middle Fork of Williams River, Tea Creek, Red Creek and Otter Creek. These watersheds support more than 130 miles of native brook trout habitat and, if approved, will bring the total miles of catch-and-release and fly-fishing-only waters for brook trout to approximately 200 miles statewide.

“The purpose of these proposed catch-and-release regulations for brook trout is to provide added protection to these fisheries and to make these areas more attractive to both resident and out-of-state anglers. We think this will encourage them to stay overnight and enjoy our state’s many outdoor recreation opportunities,” McDaniel said.

The concept for establishing these catch and release regulations for brook trout will be finalized and presented to the Natural Resources Commission during its quarterly meeting scheduled for Feb. 25, 2018. These proposed regulations will also be presented for public comment during the 12 sectional meetings scheduled March 12-13, 2018.

Florida Salmon Coming Soon

leah kirk

In the not so distant future, that salmon you buy at the market may be from Miami, Florida. A Danish company is about to begin construction on a massive salmon farm in the Redland, Florida area. Atlantic Sapphire USA, a subsidiary of a Norway’s Atlantic Sapphire A/S, just raised half a billion kroner ($76M) to begin work. The project is said to be fully approved.

The salmon farm will be America’s biggest  – by far. It aims to eventually produce 90,000 tonnes of salmon per year – five times all of current U.S. production, and around 20 percent of annual U.S. consumption. Danish technology will allow the farm to use a fraction of the water normally required by similar farms and avoid the use of dye and medicines. Underground wells will provide saline water. Drilling for water to raise green rated salmon in South Florida

Breaking News: 5 Leaders in TU Thomas & Thomas Rod Giveaway

leah kirk


Launched with intentional lack of fanfare, the Southern Trout Magazine’s first every Shootout closes on December 31st. What is it you ask? Good question.

We’ve made special arrangements with Thomas & Thomas Rod Company to give away five of their new 9’ 4wt fly rods. The catch? Well in a moment of divine inspiration, we here decided to hold a contest pitting the sixty or so Trout Unlimited chapters against on another to see who could sign up the most people to receive a free subscription to STM. We divided the southeast into five regions: GA/SC, TN/KY, NC, VA, and WV/MD. Each region has roughly the same number of chapters.

We made it simple. Even if you receive STM, your vote counts. Upon the conclusion of the contest on December 31st, the winners will be announced. So far voting has been brisk. A quick look revealed the following leaders at this point

GA/SC                   Blue Ridge TU Chapter

NC                         Hickory TU Chapter

VA                         Little Stone River TU Chapter

TN/KY                   Appalachian TU Chapter

WV/MD               Capital TU Chapter

               Winners of the rods get a very nice auction item for a fundraiser. For more info go to or 

Tennessee Urban Trout Schedule

leah kirk

Below is the Tennessee Urban Trout Schedule the end of 2017. A trout fishing license is required at these stocked locations.
November 2017       Day         Location City

28 Tuesday Shelby Bottoms Park Nashville

28 Tuesday Sulphur Fork Creek Springfield

29 Wednesday Cumberland Mt. State Park Crossville

29 Wednesday West Fork Stones River - Manson Pike Trailhead Murfreesboro

30 Thursday Lafayette City Park Lafayette

30 Thursday Marrowbone Lake Joelton

December 2017

1 Friday J. Percy Priest Tailwaters Nashville

1 Friday Lake Graham Jackson

5 Tuesday Shelby Farms Memphis

5 Tuesday Cameron Brown Lake Germantown

5 Tuesday Edmund-Orgill Park Millington

5 Tuesday Bolivar Park Bolivar

5 Tuesday Johnson Park Lake Collierville

6 Wednesday Bradford City Pond Bradford

6 Wednesday Milan City Pond Milan

6 Wednesday Martin City Pond Martin

6 Wednesday Union City Reelfoot Packing site Union City

6 Wednesday Paris City Park Paris

6 Wednesday McKenzie City Park McKenzie

6 Wednesday Cane Creek Park Cookeville

6 Wednesday Stone Bridge Park Fayetteville

6 Wednesday Billy Dunlop Park Clarksville

7 Thursday Kingston Springs Park Kingston Springs

7 Thursday J.D. Buckner Park Dickson

7 Thursday Davies Plantation Park Bartlett

7 Thursday Yale Road Park Bartlett

7 Thursday Valentine Park Lake Munford

8 Friday Nice Mill Smyrna

8 Friday Harpeth River (Old Dam Removal Site) Franklin

8 Friday McCutcheon Creek Spring Hill

12 Tuesday Beech Lake Lexington

13 Wednesday Meadow Creek Lake Monterey

Alpharetta Outfitters’ November Classes

leah kirk

Jeff at Alpharetta Outfitters has announced classes for fishermen in November. Saturday, November 11th, 10-1:00 pm is the Delayed Harvest Fly Tying Class with Steve Hudson ($30). With Delayed Harvest season, here again, fly fishers are understandably excited about hitting one of Georgia's five great DH streams. But what flies should you take? Is there anything special about the flies you use for DH fishing? 
               The answers to those questions are fascinating, and in this unique fly tying workshop, we will be using those answers to create some unique and highly effective flies especially for DH and other stocked trout. The patterns that we'll cover -- patterns such as the Enhanced Y2K, the Hudson Streamer, the Cheraw Fly, and more -- have been designed with an eye toward how stocked trout behave. They'll be familiar in some ways but a bit out of the ordinary in others. 
               "These are the flies that I fish through the DH season," says workshop leader Steve Hudson. The patterns were developed as he worked on the book TYING FLIES FOR STOCKED TROUT, a tying guide which takes a "behavioral" approach to fly design while paying special attention to Delayed Harvest trout and to how DH trout think. The result was a suite of flies that gets the job done on Georgia's DH streams -- and that's what you'll be learning to tie. Please note that this is an intermediate class. It is assumed that participants have mastered basic tying skills (pinch wraps, thread management, finishing knots, and so on).

                Tuesday, November 14th, 7- 9:00 pm. Is the free Fly Fishing 101. Have you ever thought about trying your hand at fly fishing but didn't know where to begin? Our popular Fly Fishing 101 clinic is the perfect opportunity to learn about this exciting and enjoyable sport! In this free two-hour clinic, you'll explore the basics of fly fishing:

 * What is fly fishing?

* How do I cast a fly rod?

* What kind of gear will I need?

* What about flies...which ones do I need?

* Will I need waders and other accessories?

 * Where can I fish, and what will I catch?

This clinic is presented by the noted fly fishing teacher and author Steve Hudson. Steve has led fly fishing clinics from Alaska to Florida and has taught hundreds of people the art of fly fishing. He's also the author of more than 20 books, including the acclaimed "101" series of introductory fly fishing

 Thursday, November 30th, 6-8:30 pm Delayed Harvest Tying Class w/BigT ($30). This is round two of DH fly tying with a twist!  In this class, Stephen Tomasovich will be sharing his take on a variety of his favorite DH patterns.  Join us for an evening of tying a variety of egg, mop, squeech flies, and more.
Please note that this is an intermediate class. It is assumed that participants have mastered basic tying skills (pinch wraps, thread management, finishing knots, and so on). 

Texas: Rainbow Trout Stocking Begins

leah kirk

Each winter from December through early March, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks rainbow trout in more than 100 locations across Texas. The hatchery-reared trout are 9 to 12 inches long and create a put-and-take fishery: we expect that most will be caught within a few weeks after being stocked. In spring and summer, most Texas waters are too warm to provide suitable habitat for rainbow trout. Trout stocking has been completed for the 2016-2017 season. Next winter's stocking schedule will be posted here in mid-November.


Low Oxygen at Lake Taneycomo Impacting Trout

leah kirk

The Missouri Department of Conservation has a message for people fishing in Lake Taneycomo right now.  Biologists say they need to keep in mind that current water conditions make this a stressful time of year for trout. There currently are low levels of dissolved oxygen in the lake, and until cooler temperatures remedy the situation, anglers who fish there and plan to release trout need to minimize the time they take to reel in and release them.  When they’re unhooked, gently hold them under water until they can swim off on their own.

According to MDC, beginning in late summer and continuing through fall in most years, cold water coming into Taneycomo from the depths of Table Rock Lake diminishes DO levels due in an annual process known as stratification that occurs over summer in Table Rock. Warm water that’s less dense with adequate DO near the surface does not mix with denser, cooler water deeper in the lake. This depletes DO in the deep layer of the lake.

Trout are also more lethargic right now and less likely to take a lure.  Fishing will improve as dissolved oxygen levels improve.

TU Plate Sales Fuel Brook Trout Restoration

leah kirk

TU Plate Sales Fuel Brook Trout Restoration.jpg

               Despite their undeniable beauty, the Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout found in Southeastern streams are really just gilded aquatic invaders. Rainbows are native to waterways west of the Rockies, and Browns arrived in the late 19th century. Since their introduction to the Eastern U.S these trout have often out-competed Brook Trout. Consequently, the modern Southern Appalachian Brook Trout only occupies a fraction — less than 15 percent — of its historical range in Tennessee.

               Through the sale of special TU license plates the TU Appalachian Chapter has supported efforts by the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute to better understand and restore the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout to its native range.

               Recently, Steve Fry, the chapter’s president, presented a check for $7,500 to Aquarium Vice President of Conservation Science and Education Dr. Anna George. This grant is TU’s third contribution to the Institute’s ongoing research into and propagation of these fish.

“The biologists here are the experts,” Fry says. “They ensure these fish have the correct food, water conditions and temperatures. That’s their thing. We know they’ll do it right.”

               The TU grant will be used to fund the rearing of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout at the Institute’s new freshwater science facility. The fish raised through this program will be released into Stoney Creek, a waterway about 15 miles northeast of Johnson City, Tennessee.

               Several years ago, scientists at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute pioneered techniques to rear Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in a recirculating system. Using a closed system indoors has several advantages over outdoor flow-through systems, especially when it comes to harsh weather conditions, Fry says.

               “Last year, we had problems with a historic drought and the water temperature got too hot,” Fry says, referencing conditions at an outdoor hatchery. “The system wasn’t set up for the heat because the water comes from a creek, and the creek got too hot, so they couldn’t raise fish last year.”

               Despite a range that extends north into the Great Lakes, Canada and New England, the southern strain of the Brook Trout is genetically distinct from its northern cousins. A 2014 grant from Trout Unlimited also helped fund efforts by scientists at the Conservation Institute to conduct genetic testing on populations of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout released into another stream.

               The ongoing support of Trout Unlimited is bolstering a multi-faceted approach to understanding and conserving this vitally important native species, says ichthyologist Dr. Bernie Kuhajda, the Institute’s manager of science programs.

               “With the support we’re getting from the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited, we’re able to do some scientific investigations into why Brook Trout do what they do but also help to improve the status of a population,” Kuhajda says. “We’re coming at it both from the scientific side and the management side.

PHWFF 5th Annual Fly Tying Competition Finalist Set

leah kirk

The 5th Annual Fly Tying Contest began on January 2 and concluded on September 15, 2017. During this time period, dozens of amazing flies were submitted by veteran participants from across the country. Each fly was judged by a fly-tying panel comprised of PHWFF volunteers, celebrity fly tiers and professionals. Out of the many incredible flies entered, a total of 5 finalists were selected.,

We’re pleased to announce the five finalists for the 5th Annual PHWFF Fly Tying Competition! The contest is a way for PHWFF program participants to showcase the skills, talents, and creativity they’ve gained from program classes, meetings, and independent study in a casual and fun contest.

               The 5th Annual Fly Tying Contest began on January 2 and concluded on September 15, 2017. During this time period, dozens of amazing flies were submitted by veteran participants from across the country. Each fly was judged by a fly-tying panel comprised of PHWFF volunteers, celebrity fly tiers and professionals. Out of the many incredible flies entered, a total of 5 finalists were selected. Each of the finalists are invited to attend the International Fly Tying Symposium at the Marriott Hotel in Lancaster, PA November 11-12.


While attending the two-day symposium the finalist will demonstrate their fly tying skills at the PHWFF booth. They will also have opportunities to attend the many free programs and fly tying demonstrations offered during the event. In addition to this, there will be an awards ceremony set up for the five finalists. During the awards ceremony we will announce the winners: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and who the two honorable mentions are.


We are also excited to announce that TyWheel will sponsor this year’s 1st place award! This award includes a complete TyWheel set-up along with the original prizes: a PHWFF regal vise and PHWFF fly tying tool kit. 2nd place will receive the PHWFF Regal vise. Third place will receive a PHWFF fly tying tool kit.


The five finalists are:

Jeremy Bristol

Syracuse PHWFF Program

Northern New York Region


Trent Myer

Ft. Drum PHWFF Program

Northern New York Region


Robert Fletcher

Denver PHWFF Program

Rocky Mountain South Region


Joe Jackson

Indianapolis PHWFF Program

Midwest Region


Son Tao

Indianapolis PHWFF Program

Midwest Region

Breaking News: The WNC Fly Fishing Expo Less Than a Month Away

leah kirk

WNC Expo.jpg

The WNC Fly Fishing Expo is less than a month away. Here is the what you can expect t find there.


Kevin Howell-    Secrets to Success on the Davidson River

Mac Brown-       Trout Subsurface Strategies & Fishing the Film

Star Nolan-         How Fly Fishing Contributes to Healing from the Trauma of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Gary Dubiel-       Salt Water Casting & Pop-N-Fly Techniques For Salt and Fresh Water

Jacob Rash-        An Overview of the State’s Trout Waters and NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Trout

John Miko-         Tenkara A to Z

Patrick Brady-    Strait Line Nymphing


Friday Evening "meat" up- BBQ, Beer and B.S.- Dinner, Drinks, and FF Films

6:30 - 8:00

Kids Activity Area and Scavenger Hunt

Great BBQ Lunch/Dinner, Craft Beer & Wine

Free Beginners Classes



Tent A

1:15       Mac Brown- Trout Subsurface Strategies

2:45       Star Nolan-  How Fly Fishing Contributes to Healing from the Trauma of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment 

4:00       Kevin Howell- Secrets to Success on the Davidson River

5:15       John Miko- Tenkara A to Z


Tent B

12:30    Capt. Gary Dubiel- Salt Water Casting & Pop-N-Fly Techniques For Salt and Fresh Water

2:30       Jacob Rash- An Overview of the State’s Trout Waters and NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Trout Management Activities

4:00       Patrick Brady- Strait Line Nymphing

5:15       Basics of Fly Fishing- How to Get Started


Beginners Booth

3:00 New and First Timer Casting Class


Casting Pond

2:30       Capt. Gary Dubiel- Salt Water Casting

4:00       Mac Brown- Change Direction Casting

Throughout the Day- IFFF Fly Casting Lessons and rod demos


Featured Fly Tyers-

2:00       Shane Bucker- Articulated Poppers

3:30       Tradd Little- Trout Flies


Grill & Bar/Theater Area

Throughout the day- BBQ lunch and fly fishing films

Beer, BBQ & BS: 6:30 - 8:00 dinner, drinks, films & fish tails (vendors and public meet up)



Tent A

10:00     John Miko- Tenkara A to Z

11:30     Capt. Gary Dubiel- Salt Water Casting & Pop-N-Fly Techniques For Salt and Fresh Water

1:00       Star Nolan- How Fly Fishing Contributes to Healing from the Trauma of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment 

2:15       Patrick Brady- Strait Line Nymphing


Tent B

9:30       Kevin Howell- Secrets to Success on the Davidson River

11:00     Jacob Rash- An Overview of the State’s Trout Waters and NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Trout Management Activities

2:00       Mac Brown- Fishing the Film


Beginners Booth

1:00 New and First Timer Casting Class


Casting Pond

11:15     Mac Brown- Presentation Fly Casts

2:00       Capt. Gary Dubiel- Salt Water Casting

Throughout the Day- IFFF Fly Casting Lessons and rod demos


Grill & Bar/Theater Area

9:00-11:00 coffee, casual seating & fly fishing films

11:00 - 3:00 BBQ lunch, beers & fly fishing films


Featured Fly Tyers-

9:30       Capt. Gary Dubiel- Pop-N-fly for Fresh and Salt Water

11:00     Shane Bucker- Articulated Poppers

1:00       Tradd Little- Trout Flies

“Health of the Headwaters”

leah kirk

A dozen students studying everything from mountaintop forests to river basins are currently living at the Highlands Biological Station, enrolled for the semester through the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment. This year, focus is on the “Health of the Headwaters” initiative, in which students examine issues through their coursework in relation to the Blue Ridge Escarpment headwater streams and groundwater dynamics. Students live and study at the biological station from late August through mid-December, with an emphasis on fieldwork and experiential learning. They’re also required to complete an internship with a local organization or independent study with a faculty member.

Proposed NPS Fee Increases at Shenandoah National Park

leah kirk

Hide the children and bar the door, the evil NPS fee grabbers with at the Shenandoah National Park on the move again. If the proposal becomes policy, driving into Shenandoah National Park during peak season will cost $70. And walking in will cost you $30.

So what do you get for a $30 entrance fee to fly fish for trout in the Shenandoah National Park. Well, not a damned thing!! Of course you can pay the $70 year round fee, which if you are a fly fishermen, it’s a deep stab in the hiney.  ATC is in the process of drafting a formal position which will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, prior to the comment deadline. Of course, we all know the “fix” is in. This is merely a well rehearsted like act they go to when they want money. If you think it will help, the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website accepts comments until November 23, 2017. Follow the link to learn more and comment:

Pisgah Wildlife Education Center November Workshops

leah kirk

Pisgah Wildlife Education Center.gif

BREVARD, N.C. (Oct. 26, 2017) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is offering free outdoor-related workshops for people of all ages and skill levels throughout the month of November. Online registration is required for the workshops, which are open on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nov. 3 - Introduction to Fly Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. Join our experienced instructors for a day of fun as you learn the basics of fly-fishing. Topics include appropriate equipment, knots, casting techniques and aquatic entomology. Equipment and materials provided. Attendees should bring a lunch and non-slip shoes or waders.


Nov. 6 and Nov. 16 – Nature Nuts: Foxes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and it is open to ages four through seven. Is it a cat or a dog? Can they climb trees? Is there more than one species of fox living in N.C.? Learn the answer to these questions and more as we spend the morning learning all about foxes.

Nov. 6 and Nov. 16 – Eco Explorers: GPS for Wildlife from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to ages eight through 13. Whether you are on a hunt, out fishing or exploring the forest, you need to know how to navigate your way in the world. Come join Pisgah Center staff as we learn the fundamentals of using a hand-held GPS unit while learning about wildlife.

Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 - Hunter Education Course from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Everyone must successfully complete a hunter education course before hunting in N.C. This all-ages course, which covers hunter responsibility and firearms, is accepted in every state in the U.S. This course is offered over a two-day period and attendees must be present both days.

Nov. 9 - On the Water: Tuckasegee River from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. Practice your fly fishing skills on the Tuckasegee River under the supervision of our instructors. Learn about Delayed Harvest regulations, wading, reading the water, fly selection, presentation, casting, knots and stream entomology during a fun, relaxing morning of fishing. Equipment and materials are provided.

Nov. 15 - On the Water: North Fork Mills River from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. Practice your fly fishing skills on the North Fork Mills River under the supervision of our instructors. Learn about Delayed Harvest regulations, wading, reading the water, fly selection, presentation, casting, knots and stream entomology during a fun, relaxing morning of fishing. Equipment and materials are provided.

Nov. 17 – Leader Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. One often overlooked aspect of fly fishing is the leader. In this workshop, you’ll learn why different leaders make your fly fishing more effective. You’ll also be able to try your hand at constructing your own furled and hand-tied leaders for fly fishing.

Nov. 18 – Outdoor Cooking from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. Whether in a camp setting or at home, you can learn how to prepare a tasty meal over an open wood fire or charcoal briquettes. Participants help prepare and eat the food created in this class.

For more information on the Wildlife Commission’s four wildlife education centers and other activities and events, visit

Elkmont Exchange Ready for Business

leah kirk


Knoxville, Tenn. — The founders of Downtown North’s upcoming Elkmont Exchange | Brewery & Eating House have assembled a talented management team. Chris Meadows, former Lead Brewer at Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company, will join Alex Violette in the brewery as Head Brewer. Jon Newman, acclaimed charcuterie maker in Nashville, will assist Ryan Davenport in the kitchen as Sous Chef. JT Dewitt, nationally accomplished restauranteur, will assume the role of General Manager.

Brewmaster Alex Violette has maintained a strong connection with SweetWater Brewing Company throughout his career. His best friend, brother, and many friends have been employed by the Atlanta brewery, including Chris Meadows. After visiting Knoxville and learning about Violette’s concept, Meadows was enthusiastic to relocate after eight years with SweetWater in order to accompany the Elkmont Exchange team. In his time at SweetWater, Meadows gained experience in every aspect of the brewing process, assisted in the development of the company’s celebrated barrel aging program, and attained a degree in Advanced Brewing Science and Engineering from the American Brewers Guild. He was acknowledged as Sweetwater Brewing Company’s Brewer of the Year in 2016.

Executive Chef Ryan Davenport developed a wide range of culinary knowledge working at Nashville’s popular fine dining restaurant, Flyte. It was here that Davenport met Jon Newman, an experienced butcher and charcuterie maker. Newman displayed a strong passion for using whole animals and aging meats that was impossible to overlook. As Davenport developed Elkmont Exchange’s menu, he reconnected with Newman and proposed a Sous Chef position, to which he responded with excitement. Newman has a Food Science degree from Grand Rapids Culinary College in Michigan and has spent his career working at Cypress and Husk in Charleston as well as The Southern in Nashville.

JT Dewitt has joined the Elkmont Exchange team with twenty years of restaurant industry experience. Dewitt travelled the Southeast setting up and managing Darden Group restaurants for ten years. He then managed the Bonefish Grill in Naples, Florida before buying into the franchise in Madison, Mississippi. After seven years in Madison, Dewitt moved to Knoxville to become part of the Babalus Tacos and Tapas opening team. Dewitt understands the importance of structure in a restaurant while providing a fun and diverse workplace where both employees and guests can enjoy a great experience. After meeting the Elkmont Exchange team, Dewitt admired their dedication and passion, and is excited to use his talents to help Violette and Davenport develop and present their beer, food, and concept.

               Elkmont Exchange is located at 745 North Broadway in the Downtown North neighborhood of Knoxville. For more information go to

Casting for Hope's 5th Annual Winter Music Fest

leah kirk

The Casting for Hope Winter Music Fest is coming back to Morganton's CoMMA Auditorium on December 16, with doors opening at 5:00 pm and the first performance kicking off at 5:30 pm.  You want to be there for one of the most enjoyable nights of the year in Morganton, North Carolina.  This is annually Casting for Hope's largest single fundraiser and a good way for the Casting for Hope family to support the work we do by taking in some really great music to get your Christmas season started.

As we have traditionally done with this event, there are three levels of tickets:  VIP ($80), Deluxe ($55), and regular admission ($15).  We are nearly sold out of our VIP tickets with only 10 left and Deluxe tickets are going fast as well, so if you want to be part of a really fun scene in Morganton, get in touch with us ASAP about those tickets before they are gone.  We hope to sell CoMMA out this year, so even after the VIP and Deluxe tickets are gone, we hope you will help us spread the word about this event by forwarding this note to anyone in your circles who may be interested--and if you'd be willing to put up posters in your places of business, churches, entertainment spaces, we'd love to put some in your hands!

•             The VIP tickets are the best seats in the house and give ticket holders access to the benefit dinner and VIP lounge in the Mezzanine lobby at CoMMA where additional acoustic entertainment will be performed and dinner will be served catered by Countryside Catering.  The VIP tickets also admit entrance to the ever-popular After Party, which is also being catered by Countryside Catering.  These tickets can only be purchased from Casting for Hope staff and volunteers.

•             The Deluxe tickets admit access to the next best seating in CoMMA for all of the MainStage performances and the After Party for complimentary food and drinks.  These tickets also can only be purchased from Casting for Hope staff and volunteers--they are not being sold at CoMMA.

•             The Regular admission tickets offer seating at CoMMA for the entire suite of MainStage music performances and can only be purchased from CoMMA.  You can do that here by going to the online box office or by giving them a call at 828.433.SHOW

Key Details

•             When:  December 16, doors open at 5:00, first performance 5:30.

•             Where:  Morganton's CoMMA Auditorium

•             Who:  Virginia Man Band, Tellico Band, Angela Easterling, Swamp Rabbit, Beth LeCroy, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and Casting for Hope's favorite band and yours, too back for their fifth performance!  Our official schedule and line up announcement coming soon!

•             Why:  To support Casting for Hope's work to raise live-saving dollars for women and families in western North Carolina battling gynecologic cancers!

•             Remember:  VIP and Deluxe tickets are moving faster than ever before and will be gone soon, so make sure you give us a shout to claim yours before they are gone.  To purchase regular admission tickets, head on over to the CoMMA website for the Winter Music Fest or give them a call at 828.433.SHOW.

The Fly Fishing School at Habersham Mills

leah kirk

This is the best fly fishing school in the country! Over the course of two days, participants will gain an understanding of basic fly fishing knowledge to help them get out on the water and be successful. If you or a friend are interested in fly fishing, this is a great way to shorten the learning curve and gain some knowledge of the sport. This school consist of two days, with the second day being all on-the-water fishing experience. Christmas is just around the corner, and this is a great gift for that aspiring fly angler in your life. Our next class will be on November 11th and 12th. Give us a call to get in on this great experience.

For more info contact the Unicoi Outfitters at flyfish@unicoioutfitters. or 706-878-3083

Breaking News: It Really Did Sound Like a Good Idea

leah kirk

Taney County Missouri Department of Conservation agents knew something was fishy with their story, as it's not particularly hard to catch rainbow trout out of Lake Taneycomo near Branson. After all, tens of thousands are stocked annually in the lake from the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery below Table Rock Dam. However, there is a limit to what an angler can keep, as two fishermen recently discovered.

Taney County Conservation Agent Chris Boyd encountered two anglers who had 10 rainbow trout in their possession. According to MDC fishing regulations, an angler with a proper permit can keep four rainbows per day. According to a recent news release, both men knew about the daily possession limit but claimed they didn't know they had 10 trout in their boat's live well until they got back to their boat dock.

As the investigation continued, several more bags of trout were recovered from these individuals — which ultimately put them at 42 trout over their possession limit. Boyd issued several citations and seized the 42 trout, which were later donated to a needy family within Taney County.  The anglers could lose their fishing privileges and face fines of up to $1,000.

Well, at the time it certainly did seem like a good idea.

2017 West Virginia Fall Trout Stockings Completed

leah kirk

ELKINS, W.Va. – West Virginia’s annual two-week fall trout stocking is complete.The following waters were stocked the week of Oct.10-13, 2017:

Anthony Creek                                  Big Clear Creek

Blackwater River                               Brandywine Lake

Buckhannon River                            Buffalo Fork Lake

Coopers Rock Lake                           Cranberry River

Elk River                                               Evitts Run

Glade Creek of New River             Knapps Creek

Lost River                                            New Creek Dam 14

North Fork South Branch               Opequon Creek

Pinnacle Creek (lower section)   Pond Fork

R. D. Bailey Tailwaters                    Rock Cliff Lake

Seneca Lake                                       Shavers Fork (Bemis)

Shavers Fork (lower)                       Shavers Fork (upper section)

South Branch (Franklin)                 South Branch (Smoke Hole)

Spruce Knob Lake                             Summersville Tailwaters

Summit Lake                                      Sutton Tailwaters

Teter Creek Lake                              Tygart Headwaters

Tygart Tailwaters                              West Fork Greenbrier River

Williams River