Skip to main content

SE Wildfires Threaten Angling Resources

SE Wildfires Threaten Angling Resources

Wildfires Threaten AnglingA spate of wildfires raging in wildlands and National Forests across western North Carolina, northern Georgia and northern Alabama are threatening quality fly fishing resources, including a river listed by Trout Unlimited as one of the 100 Best Streams in America. The causes of almost all but one of these blazes are now being attributed to being man-made, or currently under investigation.

Beginning in early November, several wildfires started in the wilderness of extreme western North Carolina, affecting forests and watersheds that are crucial habitat for both fish and wildlife.  The region enjoys a robust tourism economy, and the effects are potentially devastating.

As reported in the Asheville Citizen-Times,  concerning evidence has come to light as to the cause of the blazes.

"The majority we believe to be started by arson." said Cathy Dowd, spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service in Asheville. "Some signs of arson are the presence of accelerants, something used to start a fire quickly. Another sign is the absence of a fire ring.  With a campfire, you will see a fire ring."


The Nantahala National Forest, the largest wilderness area in the region, has been subject to emergency closures. WSPA.com out of Greenville cited Forest Service officials taking immediate action.


"The area closures we have put in place are critical to firefighting efforts to ensure the safety of both the public and our firefighters," James Melonas, Deputy Forest Supervisor for National Forests in North Carolina explains. "We will be working with our fire managers to assess the situation on a daily basis to reopen these areas as soon as possible."

The Nantahala River is potentially affected with both immediate and future concerns. Known worldwide as a kayaking and whitewater destination, the river is also considered on of the premier trout fisheries in the southeast.  The Natahala Outdoor Center, a long-standing wilderness education organization, saw their headquarters threatened by the fire, with staff evacuations. As of this writing, the property was still intact.

Wildfires are devastating events, even when they are the result of natural causes.  Stream ecologies in particular are subject to major disruption due to influx of ash and hydrocarbons that are toxic to both fish and insects.  That the current situation may have been created by deliberate acts is tragic and should be responded to with the strongest measures possible.

Courtesty NOC


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish to billfish.

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Hobie's MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system offers ultimate kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.Hobie 360 Drive Kayak Propulsion Technology: Power and Control in Any Direction Accessories

Hobie 360 Drive Kayak Propulsion Technology: Power and Control in Any Direction

OSG Editorial Staff - November 01, 2020

Hobie's MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system offers ultimate kayak control with more...

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones are brightly colored treasures.Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters Trout

Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

The top eight spots for lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.Locating Stillwater Trout Beginners

Locating Stillwater Trout

Ross Purnell

The top eight spots for lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp flies!The 15 Best Carp Flies Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Ryan Williams used only a fly rod to compete.Fly Fisher Wins Bass Tournament Industry

Fly Fisher Wins Bass Tournament

Fly Fisherman Staff - January 12, 2021

Ryan Williams used only a fly rod to compete.

$20 Million will go to 1,000 grassroots organizations including CalTrout, BTT, and the Wild Salmon Center.
Patagonia Consumers Donate $10 Million, Company Will Match Industry

Patagonia Consumers Donate $10 Million, Company Will Match

Fly Fisherman - January 06, 2020

$20 Million will go to 1,000 grassroots organizations including CalTrout, BTT, and the Wild...

New, alternative ways to connect with the community during a time of crisis.Orvis Introduces 'Virtual Casting Instruction' Industry

Orvis Introduces 'Virtual Casting Instruction'

Fly-Fisherman Staff - September 17, 2020

New, alternative ways to connect with the community during a time of crisis.

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now