Bug Hunt in Coal Creek
Clinch River Trout Unlimited
July Meeting
Saturday, July 14, 2007



Introduction to Coal Creek
Aquatic Invertebrates

(Looking for Bugs and
Critters in Coal Creek)

Read article in the
Clinton Courier News

 


Hunting bugs and critters on a
Saturday morning in Coal Creek  = FUN
Being served Krispy Kremes by a
famous retired heart surgeon = PRICELESS

What happens in Coal Creek does NOT stay in Coal Creek.  Coal Creek flows into the Clinch River.  On Saturday, 14 July 2007, we had a field class to inform and educate anglers and non-anglers about the aquatic invertebrates (critters) and fish found in Coal Creek, a tributary of the Clinch River tailwater.

We were joined by special guest Sam Snyder from the University of Florida in Gainesville who is writing his doctoral dissertation on watershed conservation efforts.  Sam has selected Coal Creek as his success story and is spending the week with volunteers to interview them and gather data.

We also learned more about the history of Coal Creek by chapter member Barry Thacker.

The class included a general overview of invertebrate taxonomy and ecology focused on those invertebrates found in Coal Creek.  We got our feet wet and learned which ones are also found in the Clinch River, how to collect and identify them, and their importance to the diet of trout.  The class was conducted by John Thurman of the Clinch River Chapter and Charlie Saylor with TVA, who are professional aquatic ecology associates.  We also learned about the on-going Coal Creek Fish Restoration Project that is being led by UT and TVA.


John  Thurman goes over the list of
species found in Coal Creek today

SUMMARY OF THE DAY'S
SCIENTIFIC RESULTS
:
The group conducted an inventory of aquatic invertebrates in Slatestone Branch and Coal Creek adjacent to school property. "Bugs" were identified and placed into one of three categories: sensitive to pollution, somewhat sensitive to pollution, and pollution tolerant.

This cursory biological monitoring exercise revealed that upper Coal Creek has a good water quality rating.

As shown in photos below, we continued our day at the Blue Hole in historic Tennessee Hollow, then on to Cross Mountain Miners' Circle Cemetery.  Sam was given a tour of Militia Hill, Briceville Church and cemetery, and Leach Cemetery to learn more about Coal Creek history.  We also visited one of our bank stabilization projects at the Hayes' property.


Sam Snyder learns how to hold a
fish way out in front of you to
make it appear larger...

See a few of the photos from the field trip below. 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE:

BUG HUNT IN COAL CREEK AT BRICEVILLE SCHOOL:

BLUE HOLE AT TENNESSEE HOLLOW:
After our search in Coal Creek next to Briceville School, we drove to Blue Hole in Tennessee Hollow for a history lesson from Barry Thacker about the site where the Coal Creek War began.  When we arrived, a group was building a small dam across Blue Hole to hold a Baptism service there the next day.  The Blue Hole has been a place where church groups come for their baptisms for over 100 years. 

We then drove to Cross Mountain Miners' Circle Cemetery where many of the 84 miners who perished in the Cross Mountain Mine disaster of December 9, 1911 are buried.  

BANK STABILIZATION PROJECT AT HAYES' PROPERTY:

Barry Thacker discusses the bank stabilization project at the Hayes' property with Sam.

Sam makes a visit to Cross Mountain miner Eugene Ault's headstone at Briceville Cemetery.  Eugene's farewell message is carved on his headstone:  "Air is not much now. All be good and I aim to pray to God to save me and all of you.  Tell Clarence to wear out my clothes.  Give Bessie Robbins a stickpin of mine.  Tell her goodbye." (Clarence was his brother and Bessie Robbins was his girlfriend)
PARTICIPANTS:
Bates, Tom
Brown, Steve
Douglas, Terry
Geiger, Dick
Hahn, Scott
Harper, Joe
Hatmaker, Stone
Jenkins, Mary Jo
Jenkins, Bob
Jenkins, Jenny
McMahan, Denny
Moore, Carol
Oates, Frances
Saylor, Charlie
Snyder, Sam
Thacker, Barry
Thurman, John
Toyohara, Hiroshi
Wollard, Ron

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