Conservation Priorities

Little Tennessee River Native Fish Conservation Area

NCWF initiated the Native Fish Conservation Area (NFCA) project in North Carolina by convening a broad group of agencies, organizations and businesses to develop strategies for the conservation of native fishes. An outcome of the meeting was the Little Tennessee River Native Fish Conservation Partnership.

The Little Tennessee River system represents a biological and cultural treasure for North Carolina that also supports important recreational and economic activities. The collaborative efforts of NCWF and its conservation partners offer a promising strategy for sustaining the system and its resources for succeeding generations.

The Little Tennessee River Basin stretches from north Georgia, across the western counties of North Carolina and into Tennessee. It has long been recognized for the incredibly rich diversity of fish and wildlife found within the river and tributary streams. The basin is home to more than 100 species of fish, as well as mussels, snails, crayfish and aquatic plants, including a number of state and federally listed threatened or endangered species.

NCWF and partners are engaging in a non-regulatory, collaborative approach to conservation that incorporates biological needs and local community values into watershed management practices. This effort includes removing stream obstructions such as culverts that impede fish passage, restoring riparian stream banks and increasing fish, mussel and other aquatic invertebrate population numbers, development of video segments emphasizing the important resources of the river and development of an interactive, web-based map that can be used by researchers and interested citizens.

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