CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Appalachian Chapter of Trout Unlimited has donated $11,000 toward the restoration of the southern Appalachian brook trout.
The money aids the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute in Chattanooga.
According to the aquarium, deforestation and competition from introduced species have reduced the range of the region’s only native trout to just 15 percent of its historic range.
Propagation efforts include bringing wild adults to the institute’s freshwater science center to spawn. The offspring are then raised by biologists until they are hardy enough to be re-released into their ancestral streams.
Trout Unlimited supports the efforts with funds raised through the sale of vanity license plates.
Tennessee Aquarium Reintroduction Biologist Meredith Harris says that in addition to funding, Trout Unlimited provides invaluable support by spreading the word about threats to the fish.