NANFA-- Upper TN Valley Fish-a-ree

Bob Culler (
Sat, 29 Jun 2002 00:13:38 -0500

Upper Tennessee Valley Fish-a-ree Update: (6-28-02)

There has been one major change, and some new sites added.

Dates: July 5, 6, 7, 2002 (That's next week, folks!)

The Plan: Meet at Bays Mtn. Park Friday evening (July 5) for a tour of the
facilities. Proceed to spend the night at my family's Possum Creek cabin.
Spend Saturday (July 6) collecting, mainly in Clinch River, Big Moccasin
Cr. and Possum Cr. in southwest VA, and Holston River and Horse Cr. in
northeast TN. Maybe spend Sunday doing some more. We will <not> be
collecting in Copper Creek, as I have been informed that the yellowfin
madtoms will be spawning.

Bays Mtn. Park's website (Friday's meeting point).

Saturday morning we will sample some sites in VA. We will shoot for a 9 AM
start. For those needing to purchase a VA license, we will make a stop on
the way to the Clinch. Our first site will be the boat ramp area at
Clinchport. Just upstream is a nice shallow run with good current. I caught
mountain madtoms, Tippecanoe darters, redline darters, and banded darters
earlier in the year. There are currently several longear sunfish nesting in
the area, too. Lots of unidentified minner types in the area as well. The
Clinch is also one of the best places left in the world observe (no
collecting) freshwater mussels.

Our second stop will be downstream a couple of river miles to the
confluence of Copper Creek and Clinch River. There is a large, deep pool in
the river there that is rumored to have walleye and musky. We can send Gill
Man out to verify. Just upstream of the pool is a nice riffle area. Most of
my sampling at this site has been with hook and line (some decent
smallmouth bass and rockbass).

Our third stop will be site on Big Moccasin Cr. upstream of Gate City, VA.
Very nice little creek with very good-looking habitat. Again, most of my
sampling at this site has been with hook and line. I caught some beautiful
redbreast sunfish there a couple of days ago.

Our fourth stop will again be on Big Moccasin, but downstream of town.
There is a sewage treatment plant a ways upstream, so <I'm> not going
snorkeling. :)

Our fifth stop will be back at the Possum Creek cabin, where we can relax
and play in the creek. I have caught lots of different fish here, and I'll
expound upon my family's history in the area to anybody who will listen.
I'll clean out the horseshoe pits, too, so we can pitch a few.

Most of these sites should be good for snorkeling if the weather and the
cows cooperate. We have gotten some thunderstorms the past couple of days,
so the creeks are a little muddy right now.

Sunday morning, we'll see how many are willing to stay for more abuse.
There are several small streams in the area (TN and VA) that we could
probably hit. This may be the time to visit Horse Creek and the Holston.
We'll see.

This list of sites is subject to change. I will be working to add a couple
more, including Kevin Hamed's TN dace site and maybe one more on the TN
side of the line.

As for meals, most will probably be fast food we grab on the way to where
ever. I may try to grill some burgers at the cabin Saturday night. Any
vegetarians planning to attend? If so, there are plenty of roots and
berries in the woods behind the cabin. :) Let me know of any special diet,
and I'll try to accommodate.

If you arrive Friday, come on up to Bays Mountain Park. From Interstate 81,
take exit 57-b. This will put you on I-181 north to Kingsport. Go to Exit
52 (Meadowview Parkway). Take a left onto Meadowview Parkway. Meadowview
Parkway becomes Reservoir Road in about a hundred yards or so. Stay on
Reservoir Rd. for about 3 miles, then take a right onto Bays Mountain Park
Rd. Where the road forks, take the left fork and you will be in the park.
Tell Deborah the gatekeeper that you are with the NANFA group and she will
direct you from there. The park closes at 8PM, so if you arrive later, we
need to make other arrangements.

If you come in from US 23, it becomes I-181 at the TN state line (on both
the NC and VA sides).

If you arrive Saturday morning, the easiest thing to do would be meet in
Weber City, VA. Let me know if you plan to arrive Saturday.

Accommodations will be a rustic 2-room cabin, no electricity, no running
water. We will have a nice outdoor toilet, though. There are 2 beds in one
room, so most of us will be sleeping on the floor. Plan accordingly! You
are also welcome to bring a tent, as there is plenty of fairly level yard
space to pitch one.

<Please let me know as soon as possible if you plan to attend.> This is
coming up fast, folks! Try to let me know by Monday (7-1), if possible,
that you are coming.

Contact info: H 423-247-5237 W423-229-9447 Cell (only on Friday and
Saturday, probably) 423-341-7752.

Come on down and have some fun !!

Ranger Bob
Kingsport, TN
"The power of humans to degrade the natural world is awesome; the
capability to reconstitute it later is mythical."
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