Due to the scheduled native brook trout restoration project, four hiking trails will be closed from 8:00PM September 7, 2008 until 8:30 PM September 19, 2008. The four trails impacted are the Middle Prong Trail, Panther Creek Trail, Lynn Camp Prong Trail and the Greenbrier Ridge Trail. Additionally, backcountry campsite number 28 will also be closed.
All four trails and the campsite are located along the Middle Prong Little River and its tributaries in the Tremont area.
Park biologists plan to treat an 8-mile long section of Lynn Camp Prong with a fish toxin in order to remove the non-native rainbow trout. They plan on re-stocking it with native brook trout captured from other park streams. Once the rainbows are removed, a large cascade downstream from the treatment area will block their return.
Park Fisheries Biologist, Steve Moore explained, "In the years after logging had ended, non-native rainbow trout were stocked into Lynn Camp Prong, and many other streams, where they breed and grow faster and out-compete the native brookies.”
Funding for the project, which covers the cost of the chemicals and labor, came from a $14,000 donation from Trout Unlimited.
Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, hiking gear store, and more.