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

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

What

What's Next for ASA & ICAST?

American Sportfishing Association president talks ICAST, coronavirus and the fishing industry.

Yeti Roadie

Yeti Roadie

Ross Purnell talks with Fly Fisherman contributor Hilary Hutcheson about the new Yeti Roadie.

Thomas & Thomas Paradigm

Thomas & Thomas Paradigm

Thomas & Thomas Paradigm

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

You can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here. Beginners

9 Best Fly Fishing Knots You Should Know

Fly Fisherman Staff | Illustrations by Joe Mahler

You can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here.

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen. Beginners

7 Tips for Rigging Your Nymphs like a Pro

George Daniel - March 11, 2019

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen.

The push for native trout preservation is at the forefront of fisheries management in the West. Trout

Rainbow Trout Suppression on the South Fork of the Snake River

Boots Allen - June 25, 2020

The push for native trout preservation is at the forefront of fisheries management in the West.

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

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

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

The 2018 Jackson Hole One Fly not only raises funds for conservation projects and organizations in the greater Jackson Hole region, but this year's event was a literally a 'win-win' for all. Industry

Conservation organizations Win Big at Jackson Hole One Fly

Brian la Rue - October 26, 2018

The 2018 Jackson Hole One Fly not only raises funds for conservation projects and...

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Most fly-fishing industry professionals we spoke with remain optimistic about the future. Industry

How Coronavirus has Impacted the Fly-Fishing Travel Industry

Bill Bowers - May 12, 2020

Most fly-fishing industry professionals we spoke with remain optimistic about the future.

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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