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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. 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?

Barn at the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

The barn at the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee Visitor Center is over 50 feet wide and 60 feet long. A modern 2,500 square foot home would fit in the upstairs loft of the barn and over 16,000 hand-split wooden shingles are required to roof it. More...