2018 Projects and Activities
Here is a list of some of the current projects that we are working on as a chapter in 2018.
Doe River Fishing Trail
We are working with County and State officials to put in a series of parking lots and access trails along the upper Doe River gorge. This is a beautiful section of river and we are trying to get more people access to enjoy it. We have a river cleanup and trail cutting scheduled for late September 2018.
Rocky Fork Water Quality
OMTU, in partnership with Cherokee Chapter TU, Friends of Rocky Fork, East Tennessee State University, and Rocky Fork State Park, is getting ready to launch a project to monitor water quality in Rocky Fork Creek. The state park will be building a visitor's center and developing better roads and trails. This project will be vital to identifying and mitigating impacts to the creek as these activities occur. We need volunteers willing to commitment to a team to sample water a number of times a year at the park. No experience is necessary as you will receive training from ETSU faculty. This will be held in early to mid-October with monitoring beginning in November
Hampton Creek Cattle Crossing
This project consisted of installing a gravel cattle crossing on Hampton Creek to help eliminate some of the mud and settlement that gets into the creek. OMTU partnered with TWRA and the Nature Conservancy to complete this project. OMTU received a TU License Plate Grant to help pay for some of this project.
Blevins Road Handicap Dock
OMTU is partnering with TVA and TWRA to install a handicapped fishing dock on the Watauga River at the Blevins Road boat ramp. Construction of this dock is scheduled to begin in late fall 2018.
Women's Fly Fishing Clinic
This year we held our 2nd annual Women's Fly Fishing Clinic. Eleven women from around the area attended the one day clinic. In the classroom the women learned about knot tying, casting, entomology, and how to land fish. They then got out on the Watauga River to test their newly learned skills. The class was instructed by Jessica Callihan. All of the proceeds go towards sending a girl to the Trout Adventure Camp in the Great Smoky Mountains next year. Everyone involved had a great time and we look forward to having another women's clinic in the future.
Watauga Bluffs Trail Maintenance
Several times a year our chapter meets at the Watauga Bluffs and performs routine maintenance on the trail. This consists of cutting the grass around the parking lot and along the trail, and cutting brush and fallen trees from the trail. This year we also extended the trail by about 1/3 of a mile. The trail now traverses 1 mile total and goes to the end of the state property. There is now about 3/4 mile of river frontage for fishing.
Bill Beazell Memorial Cleanup
Saturday March 17th marked the 4th Annual Bill Beazell Memorial Cleanup. Despite the weather threatening with rain, we had a very successful cleanup. Over 75 people attended the event to help cleanup the Watauga River. We had five groups of people on foot covering several areas from land. The Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APES) and local drift boat fishing guides also played a huge role in this event. They floated the majority of the river cleaning up trash along the way and collecting trash bags from the land crews in hard to access areas. Together we cleaned up over 6 tons of trash. Thank you to everyone that came out to help. We couldn't have done this without all of your support.