One of five in a series on the wildlife of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The brook trout is the only native species of trout in the park, and a highly sought out fish by anglers. In fact, it was anglers who first protested in 1910 when the population was drastically reduced by erosion from the logging industry. The companies responded by restocking streams with non-native rainbow trout and brown trout, not realizing that the foreigners would out-compete the brook trout, forcing them into higher elevation (and more acidic) waters.
By the 70s, park administration recognized the damage and began an intensive program to remove non-native trout and restore the brook trout population, both in numbers and genetic diversity. Curiously, some brook trout now show morphological differences – larger fins to endure more powerful currents, or larger eye diameter to see in less sunlight – and will not interbreed. However, the trout have an important cultural legacy in Appalachia, and restoration efforts are going strong. To anglers’ delight, the park has determined that with reasonable precautions, fishing in the area has no significant impact on the population of the species.
This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.