• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Meet the Managers: Fisheries Management

Issue 4 > Meet the Managers

There are seven main programs in Resource Management and Science: (1) Air Quality, (2) Cultural Resources, (3) Fire, (4) Fisheries, (5) Inventory and Monitoring, (6) Vegetation, and (7) Wildlife.

This month, meet the people and projects in Fisheries Management and Science.

Smokies stream.

One of many streams in the Smokies that is home to native fish, insects, and other animals.

NPS photo.

Over 2,100 miles of streams thread their way through the Great Smoky Mountains. In each mile lives a diverse community of native fish, amphibians, insects, and larvae, some of which are found only in the Southern Appalachians.

Besides things we hope to find in our water, however, there are also many things that threaten Smokies’ streams: chemical contaminants, metals leached from rocks and soil, diseases, and non-native plants and animals. To tackle these issues, Park fisheries managers and university researchers monitor water quality, fish populations, and watersheds to better understand the dynamics of water running through diverse ecosystems.

The Park uses this science information to make rules about fishing, restore populations of native and endangered fish, and even influence national pollution laws. The Park also uses this information to educate the public and visitors about how they can help keep Smokies streams healthy.

Read about fisheries and water quality issues:

Return to Dispatches from the Field: Issue 4 main page.

Did You Know?

Flame azalea can be found growing on heath balds in the park.

The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...