Photos by Brown Hobson of Brown Trout Fly Fishing
As anyone in the Asheville area knows, the French Broad River has a major problem with siltation. It can take well over a week to clear after a heavy rain, and it often puts a halt to our summer smallmouth expeditions. In a small but important step toward solving this issue, a few of us participated in a bank stabilization project on Cane Creek, a tributary of the French Broad and a major source of silt.
Organizaed by mountaintrue, small projects like these are a truly hands-on and meaningful method of preventing streambank erosion. In addition to getting in the way of fishing, sediment pollution suffocates insect life and reduces the oxygen content of water. Muddy water is more than an inconvenience; cleaner water means healthier rivers.
So, along with my friends Austin (Orvis) and Brown (Brown Trout Fly Fishing), as well as Anna from mountaintrue and a couple of other volunteers, we set six-hundred willow and elderberry stakes in the banks of Cane Creek. Through the spring, it is estimated that about 30% of these will take root and begin to grow a framework that will slow the erosion of the banks and lessen the sediment burden on the French Broad.
Of course, Cane Creek is just one such problem area, and we only covered a few hundred yards. While mountaintrue organizes these events throughout the winter, they could always use a hand. I’m sure there are plenty of organizations that do similar work in your areas as well, and I encourage you to seek them out and lend a hand where you can.