Saturday, December 29, 2018

I don't know why it is called Whites "Creek" either

We released beetles at three locations today. Water was still high but not what it was yesterday (First two pics)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Season's Greetings from Whites Creek Gorge with Beetles

Lots of things are happening this time of year. One thing we are keeping a close eye on are the Hemlock Woolly Adelgids, HWAs for short. Left to their own devices they will exterminate Hemlocks in the eastern United States. The only long term solution is to develop populations of the predatory insects that keep the adelgids under control in other parts of America. In the Pacific Northwest they have hemlocks and adelgids co-existing nicely. This is because even though the adelgids are invasive, originally from Asia, strains of predatory beetles have grown to love them andprey almost exclusively on the adelgids, leaving all the other arboreal fauna and flora alone. We started releasing the Sasajiscymnus tsugae beetle nearly three years ago. They feed mainly in the summer and seem to be doing a good job where they are but they spread really slowly. Yesterday we started releasing a different beetle that has seen great success where it has been inoculated. We would like everyone to join us in welcoming Laricobius nigrinus to Whites Creek Gorge!
We released about 300 beetles in four locations and on both sides of Whites Creek. They aren't cheep by by means. $1500 worth of them came to us in a little bait cup. We will release all we can get tempered by what we can afford. There seems to be a lot of grant money for chemicals that are temporary treatments at best and some other things that aren't working all that well. Last big word on Laricobius, affectionately called "Larry", is that they get the job done, eating ravenously and reproducing joyously and copiously. Best of all, they spread out much faster than the other beetles. We need all we can get asap, but so does the rest of the world. Wish us and the Larries lots of love and luck. Cheers!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Judge's Ruling That Land Under Non-Navigable Waterway Belongs to Property Owner

There is a great degree of misunderstanding where streams are concerned. I post this Signed Judge's Order regarding Whites Creek hoping that sensible people will understand the nature of private property. The short version:

  Private property is private property even if water is flowing over it.   

The effect of this Tennessee state law is to protect property owners, even as it allows floating recreation on our streams. 

Let's say a kayaker puts in at a public access point on a waterway. The water belongs to the state of Tennessee and as long as the kayaker is floating in the water, all is well. This allows whitewater recreation during high water and protects landowner privacy during other times. 

On creeks where county roads cross at bridges, paddlers have the right to put in the water and paddle the waterways. They do not have the right to get on the private land along the bank or even technically rocks or islands in the stream without landowner permission, but as long as no trace is left and no harm done, most landowners are quite permissive and it's no big deal. A paddler can legally put in at Possum Trot bridge and paddle Whites Creek to Highway 27 and take out there. Hundreds of paddlers do so every year. 

Once the water gets too low to paddle, it is trespassing under Tennessee law to wade or walk upstream or downstream without the permission of the landowner who owns the land under the water. Here's the ruling that acknowledges this fact of law. I hope this clears up some misconceptions and keeps folks from needlessly getting in trouble. Simply put, You must ask permission and you must take "no" for an answer if that's what you get. Most landowners are reasonable. None of them like to be taken advantage of.

To: patrol supervisor's >

Just so that everyone is aware, Old Stage Road that runs off of Black
Creek Road is private property owned by Steve Scarborough. His
address is 680 Black Creek Road Rockwood. There is a Court Order
stating this property is not public property and is privately owned by
Scarborough. There is also an order in place designating the actual
Whites Creek as non navigational, meaning that someone cannot walk up
the creek across this private property.

Roane County Sheriff's Office
230 N. Third St.
Kingston, TN 37763
Office: (865) 717-4700
Fax: (865) 717-4766

Monday, March 26, 2018

March of the Salamanders

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Perfect Weather for...Spotted Salamander Love

Saw this little guy Saturday morning. We've had a lot of rain and continued drizzle so the puddles are full. This one is spring fed and will continue to have water well into the summer. So far we can see chorus frogs and spotted salamander eggs.  I have no idea what the solitary eggs are. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


More photos as I get to them. Check out the drooping and curling rhododendron hanging out over the left side of the falls. They droop at 25 degrees F and curl tightly by 20 degrees F. The technical name for this movement is thermonasty. There is a whole study of "nastic" movement in plants. It's complicated.