Endangered Species Act protection not needed for sicklefin redhorse

Photo: Crystal Ruble collects sicklefin redhorse sperm. Credit: G. Peeples

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded the sicklefin redhorse doesn’t need to be placed on the Endangered Species list. Though long recognized by the Cherokee, this fish was discovered by science in the early 1990s.  It is found in Swain, Jackson, Macon, Clay, and Cherokee counties, North Carolina, and Towns County, Georgia.  For several years, it has been the subject of a focused conservation effort by
Photo: Biologists unload sicklefin redhorses for tagging. Credit - G. Peeplesthe Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Conservation Fisheries, Inc.  An agreement signed earlier this year formalized the partnership and brought in the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Duke Energy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Read more. Read more.

Biologists hit the water, preparing to expand snorkeling offerings

Photo: Steve Fraley show Erin McCombs a crayfish. Credit: G. Peeples

The Cherokee National Forest has been a leader in offering river snorkeling programs to forest visitors. The Little Tennessee Native Fish Conservation Partnership recently acquired several sets of snorkeling equipment in order to offer more snorkeling outings across the basin. Partnership members recently hit the Oconaluftee River to learnPhoto: Steve Fraley show Erin McCombs a crayfish. Credit: G. Peeples the ins and outs of offering a snorkeling program. Check out the photos.