TVA Discovers New Fish Species In Tennessee River Watershed

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced that its biologists have identified a new fish species. Percina apina, or Logperch, that lives in Duck River tributary streams in middle Tennessee.

“This fish is a significant find because it tells us that our work to preserve and protect the Tennessee River Watershed is paying off,” said Jeff Simmons, TVA aquatic biologist who helped make the discovery. “Percina apina can only live in the cleanest of streams.

Mr. Simmons named the fish after the clean, clear waters where it lives. Apina is a Greek word meaning “clean” or “without dirt”. Its use in the new fish’s name refers to the silt-free substrates that the fish requires to thrive, hunting aquatic insect larvae such as blackfly, caddisfly, mayfly and stonefly.  

For 84 years TVA has monitored water quality and today it assesses over 700 sites throughout the Tennessee Valley, creating scorecards for each one. Clean water is one reason why a 2017 University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture study found that the value of recreation on TVA’s reservoirs is worth about $12 billion per year to the regional economy.

The Tennessee River is one of the most aquatically biodiverse river systems in North America; home to about 230 species of fish and 100 species of mussels, many of which are common to the watershed.

Though it is a small fish (4-6 inches), Percina apina plays a big role in the Tennessee Valley environment.

“This is the only Logperch species common to Tennessee, and though you might not see it right away, there is a web of other species that are interconnected to it,” Mr. Simmons said. “Keeping our water clean, keeping this fish alive—this is our natural heritage. This is what we have to pass down to the next generation.”



Wayside Exhibits Bring New Perspectives To Moccasin Bend Hiking Trail

The National Park Service and National Park Partners invite the public to join a celebration of the newest improvements to the visitor experience within Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, a 768-acre portion of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park across the Tennessee River from downtown Chattanooga. On Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m., three new interpretive ... (click for more)

TWRA Sanctioned Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt Is Oct. 15 And 16; Enterprise South Nature Park To Be Closed

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports Enterprise South Nature Park will be closed Oct. 15 and 16 for a TWRA Quota Hunt.   This past spring, the TWRA informed the Hamilton County Commission the deer herd at ESNP is exceeding carrying capacity.   To ensure the continued health of the herd, TWRA recommended opening ESNP to a Wounded ... (click for more)

City Placing New Penalties On Use Of Cell Phones In School Zone And By Drivers Under 18

The city is setting new penalties for use of cell phones in school zones.  Drivers 18 and older may not use hand-held devices while in the zones, but they can be on their hands-free units. Another section of an ordinance change would not allow those 18 and under to be talking on a cell phone while driving. That includes even if the device is hands-free. The ordinance ... (click for more)

Rhea Puppy Mill Dogs Slowly Recovering From Years Of Abuse, Neglect

Five days after Watson and 108 other dogs were rescued from a dark, filthy puppy mill in Rhea County, the frightened 12-pound Yorkie mix doesn’t look like the same animal. Watson got lucky; he was one of the 28 puppy mill survivors that wound up at Chattanooga’s Humane Educational Society. There, volunteer groomers from Pet Smart shaved away the heavy, massive tangle of ... (click for more)

Walker County Needs A Board Of Commissioners

On Nov. 6, voters in Walker County, Ga. will vote on a referendum to determine if the county will move to a five person board of commissioners or stay with a sole commissioner form of government. The referendum is the result of several years of debate and discussion within the county. In 2012,  Dr. Paul Shaw, in his attempt to unseat then-Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Coach Who Said ‘No’

I couldn’t tell you the first time I met John Gagliardi … 30 years ago? 40? … and I never saw him nearly enough. He was a Division III football coach at some monastery of a place in Minnesota and that’s a long way from the Southeastern Conference. Our orbits rarely overlapped but somewhere down the line we were at the same table for dinner. Once that happened, it seemed like the ... (click for more)