Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NEW WATER

click photo to enlarge

 Its late morning and they materialized from nowhere.  It is silent here without the noisy clutter of engines and cars.  The human element is also missing.  They are beautiful - innocent.

TWRA's Reservoir Fisheries Department is planning on adding water to our data collection responsibilities.  It was mentioned that the water detention pond that lies upstream from the John Sevier Steam Plant on the Holston River would be assigned to me.  I knew nothing about it.  The 300 acre pond's water is used by the plant to cool the power generators.  No one could give me good directions how to get there.  A 300 acre pond presents work related logistic issues due to its size.  That's boring so I won't go into it here.  I have been working huge lake 50 miles long and 300 acres seems like a pot hole full of water.  Indian Boundary Lake, one of my favorites, is around 97 acres.  Its been spoken about on this blog numerous times.  I canoe there.  This lake is three times larger.  Oh well - I'll have to check it out.  So, I unhooked the boat this morning and off I went in search of this new water.  The ride to Rogersville is long.  I had no idea how to find the little puddle I sought.  I got directions from a clerk in an auto parts store.  A half hour later I was pulling into the tiny parking area where the boat ramp was situated.  This was not the little reservoir.  This was a very small creek.  It was a sensational looking creek!  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
Above:  Yep - that's the boat ramp.  The name of this little creek is Beach Creek.  It meanders down through forest and pasture past this point and continues down stream and dumps into the little reservoir that I am searching for.  I still can not see the reservoir.

The pond I am looking for can only be reached by travelling down this little creek, under the bridge and around that left curve way down stream.  Its about a mile from this boat ramp.  Not bad.  I later found out that there are no roads to the pond and no boat ramp.  Its isolated accept for this narrow creek.   The bridge is an old railroad bridge that no longer is used.  I can't believe the quiet here.  I turned and walked onto the motor car bridge to look upstream.
 Wow!  Look at that pretty little waterway.  Perfect canoe water.  Perfect!
A small jon boat materialized from under a tree upstream.  It was electric motor powered and contained three people.  I spoke to them when they took the boat out of the water.  Two men and one woman were fishing for shellcrackers.  They all wore a pistol at their waists.  Even the lady.  Well, this is a pretty isolated area and Tennesseans do like their pistols.  
When queried about where the pond was located, they directed me downstream.  I had the picture.
The water was stained, no doubt due to heavy rain run off from the farms that lie upstream.  These folks told me that this creek does not drain when Cherokee Lake is drawn down.  The little pond downstream is kept full year round - hence this creek remains constant.  That was great news.


 They were still there.  I kept watch the whole time.



The lady asked me about my camera and I told her I like to collect wildlife on photographs.  She opened up.  I was then told by her about all the beaver on this stream and the bald eagle nest down by the reservoir.  She further said that she thought she was seeing muskrats for years until her brother in law said they were otter.  Bingo!  She pressed my magic excitement button.  I will be here with the canoe next day off.  Guaranteed!
The water grasses remind me of a cold, pure Pennsylvania spring fed creek.  I don't know about this one.  Agriculture run-off is an influence here for sure.  Its a pretty little creek.  I didn't expect to find this.  Now, I can't wait to see the tiny reservoir that is hiding downstream.  Stay tuned in.  I suspect some delightful surprises from this waterway.