The Chattooga River Chapter of Trout Unlimited has donated $10,000 to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources' Native Brook Trout Genetics Study. Brook trout are South Carolina's only native trout species. The effort by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is part of a major brook trout restoration program in South Carolina.
The $10,000 donation to DNR from the Chattooga River Chapter of Trout Unlimited was obtained from the Pete and Sally Smith Foundation, administered by Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services. The funds will be used to cover the costs of genetic analysis by a contracted biotechnology lab. The genetic screening will ensure wild brook trout used in restoration efforts are from pure native sources and maintain sufficient genetic diversity. The funds will also support brook trout restoration in Jocassee Gorges, and Trout Unlimited will recruit at least 25 members to assist in the work done by DNR. Duke Energy is also a major partner in the Eastern brook trout work done by DNR.
The Pete and Sally Smith Foundation, based in Charlotte, N.C., supports charitable causes in the areas of education, environment, and medical research/disease management in Rhea County, Tennessee and Oconee County, South Carolina.