On July 25, 55 volunteers representing 5 different area Trout Unlimited chapters made their way to Martin Branch, a tributary stream to the Chattahoochee River, for the final TU stream restoration project of 2015.
Located just north of Helen, Martin Branch is a small mountain stream that was in need of structures and pools of water to support brook trout especially during hot dry weather. Brook trout are the only trout native to Georgia.
This effort was led by TU’s Upper Chattahoochee Chapter with participants from Savannah River, Oconee River, Foothills, Rabun, and Gold Rush Chapters. The effort was planned with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and participants were guided by U.S. Forest Service workers.
The stream was dug out in several places. A large pine tree was felled and cut into sections which were then hauled into the cleared stream spots to create deeper pools, where trout can thrive. It was hard, dirty work but done cheerfully by willing volunteers who know they are making a positive contribution to re-establishing a healthy mountain brook trout population and to the important headwater flow into the Chattahoochee River.
After completing this hard work, the volunteers chowed down on some great BBQ while swapping fishing tales.
To learn more about efforts to conserve, protect and restore our cold water fisheries and future volunteer activities, follow the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ucctu.