Native brook trout make a mountain comeback
(Asheville Citizen-Times) Western North Carolina’s only native trout are strikingly beautiful and live in remote, high-elevation streams. “They almost look hand-painted,” said Curtis, owner of Curtis Wright Outfitters, a fly shop and guide service with shops in Asheville and Weaverville. “The fall colors, when they’re spawning, are really vibrant. They live in beautiful places. The scenery and seclusion are part of the experience for me.” The Southern Appalachian fish, genetically distinct from their northern brook trout cousins, have suffered declining numbers for decades because of habitat loss, acid rain and competition from nonnative fish such as rainbow and brown trout. But thanks to well-coordinated collaborative efforts by federal and state agencies along with private groups to restore native brookies to their original range, Curtis and other fly fishermen have more stream miles to pursue the prized fish.
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