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.

Recommended for You

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. Fly Tying

Perdigon Nymph

Charlie Craven - January 15, 2019

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game.

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done. Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

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

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

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

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

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

See More Stories

More Industry

Fly fishing world mourns as news breaks of well-known midwestern guides Brian Schumacher and his wife Janet Veit losing their lives in a fishing mishap in the frigid waters of Iceland. Industry

Well-Known Fly Fishing Guides Perish Tragically in Fishing Accident

Lynn Burkhead - May 22, 2018

Fly fishing world mourns as news breaks of well-known midwestern guides Brian Schumacher and...

A train derailment spilled some 4,000 gallons of diesel into the West Branch of the Delaware River. Industry

Train Spills Fuel Into the Delaware River

Rob Jagodzinski - August 13, 2018

A train derailment spilled some 4,000 gallons of diesel into the West Branch of the Delaware...

Tom Rosenbauer received the 2019 Izaak Walton Award on March 12, 2019. Industry

Tom Rosenbauer Receives Izaak Walton Award

Ross Purnell - March 13, 2019

Tom Rosenbauer received the 2019 Izaak Walton Award on March 12, 2019.

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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