The Harpeth Conservancy is grounded in the idea that our community has a distinct ability to come together, champion clean water, and fulfill the vision of healthy ecosystems for all rivers of Tennessee. However, what is so intrinsic to this idea is how connected we as a community are to the rivers, and to the wildlife that lives within them. This is exactly how David Pelren, a Fish and Wildlife Biologist of the USFWS approached this week’s Conservation Conversation regarding fishing in Tennessee, centered around the pivotal question of what we can do as people that influence our rivers.
A key topic of the night was how fish depend on the same four pillars of life that we do: water, food, shelter, and reproduction. From substrate to temperature, “good” fish habitat is contingent on the ecosystem as a whole.
Additionally, David highlighted how various artificial modifications can tremendously affect rivers. For example, while a bridge helps preserve the natural passages of migratory fish, a dam on the other hand can be detrimental to native species that rely on these natural river movements.
The more healthy the habitat, the more healthy fish available to catch! Geoff Luckett, an ACA L2 River Kayak expert focused on how to successfully navigate kayak fishing throughout all four seasons. Safety precautions are a must, while bait choice shifts between weather, flow, and, of course, the target catch.
September’s online education conversation is perfect for those looking to improve their fishing skills around Middle Tennessee, while also being a great example of how our community can work together to create healthy fish habitat. Not only can we enjoy the river to keep an eye out for our favorite catch, but our recreational use of the water also provides an extra eye on the conditions of our waterways.
If we value the ecosystems in which we fish, we must equally value the changes we make to the ecosystems themselves. This perspective can be translated into any recreational activity rivers provide to our community. The Harpeth Conservancy uses science based research to conduct restoration projects along our rivers so that we may continue enjoying the beauty of Tennessee. These projects are even more effective with help from volunteers like you!
We encourage you to watch the full discussion with these experts here to learn more about fishing in Tennessee. Keep an eye out for more of our upcoming events like October’s Conservation Conversation, where we’ll be discussing the role of burning on water quality, and November’s River Cleanup!