NANFA-- Mountain Fork trip

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sat, 23 Sep 2000 20:48:36 EDT

We were able to get out to the Mountain Fork of the Flint River in Madison
County, AL, today. Casper is composing a complete species list and account
we'll post later, but it was more diverse than I had hoped for. Four of us
went (Casper, Rob, John Alderman & myself) and found both high shiner and
darter diversity. The only odd thing was we found no Fundulus killifish.

Related to previous discussion today, I was surprised at first at stream
health because it is largely surrounded by cotton fields. But, it's also
towards the head of this system and is spring-fed so there seems to be
little nutrient enrichment. Another plus for this stream is that it is still
lined by large trees so the water remains cool (Casper and Rob wore wet
suits while snorkeling, and for good reason). This corner of Madison County
has been settled by Euro-Americans since about 1800 (Cherokee before then)
and has luckily survived intact. I know one family just upstream in this
valley whose white ancestor settled there at this time, married into the
Cherokees, and grew tobacco and corn for market (corn likker, yeah!). This
seems to be lighter on the land than intensive animal ranching, which leads
us back to the discussion on farm ponds as a recent innovation.

Until our full report,

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

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