Creek stomping as of late has me worried. Looking down into the clear water, the rocks on the creek beds all look the same, green and brown. Picking up a stone and scrubbing away the tenaciously clinging algae reveals the splendid and multifaceted coloration I have been accustomed to seeing my whole life.
Becky Jane and I visited a favorite creek of my youth near Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains a few years ago. I noticed then and remarked to her how silty the bottom was. I could not recall a cloud of silt surrounding me most everywhere I went from those days long ago.
Even now, we explore spring creeks in our south central middle Tennessee region and find silt and thick algae covering the stream beds. No construction or agriculture zones seem to be in close proximity to many of these pristine areas. Those cannot be blamed, because the smaller spring creeks are too far upstream.
However, the stream fauna still exists. Whether or not they are thriving I cannot say. I am no biologist.
Pursuing native brook trout in the high Appalachians with flyrod, spinfishing for stocked rainbows in the lower elevations and tubing and canoeing the creeks and flowing tributaries for fun has taken me on numerous, memorable adventures. And I always have and continue to scrutinize the rocks and the critters under them.
Kinda wish I did not have to scrape the algae from them to appreciate their true character. Didn’t used to have to.