Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rush Darter Proposed for Listing as an Endangered Species

A rare fish that is found in the Clear Creek Watershed in Winston County is getting some attention. Today the US Fish & Wildlife Service announced in the Federal Register that it is proposing to list Rush darter, Etheostoma phytophilum, as an endangered species. The primary threat to this small fish and reason for the proposal is physical habitat destruction and/or modification. More information can be obtained from Bill Pearson, the Field Supervisor for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Alabama. His number is 251-441-5181.

Several years ago the Winston County Natural Resources Council, the Winston County Commission, the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service partnered on a road improvement project on Wildcat Branch to improve Rush Darter habitat in Winston County.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June Council Meeting Minutes

The WCNRC met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on June 17, 2010.  Members present were Mike Henshaw and Charlie Meek.  Several other members were working on the Renew Our Rivers Smith Lake Cleanup.  Items discussed:
  • Kids Fishing Derby
  • Renew Our Rivers Smith Lake Clean-Up
  • Alabama Smart Yards Publication
  • RC & D Council grant to install watershed signs on Smith Lake is progressing and the signs should be installed soon.
  • Charlie Meek is working on an invasive plant control grant proposal for Winston County.  If funded, the grant would demonstrate various techniques used to controlling invasive plants such as privet and kudzu.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June Meeting of WCNRC

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 17, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Be sure to see the blog post by Allison Cochran about the successful Kid's Fishing Derby.  The WCNRC is one of the key supporters of the fishing derby.

May WCNRC Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on May 20, 2010 at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

The following members were present:  Jim Hughes, Mike Henshaw, Johnna Franks, Carl Godsey, and John Creed.

The following items were covered:
  • Review of the Winston County Natural Resources Field Day
  • Rock Creek Watershed Grant
  • Forestry BMP's
  • Possible sites for the 2011 Natural Resources Field Day 
Johnna Franks, Treasurer, reported the Council has a balance of $6,459.

Mike Henshaw

Monday, June 7, 2010

Local Children Get Hooked on Fishing

The annual Kid's Fishing Derby was held Saturday, June 5, 2010 on the Bankhead National Forest. Fifty youths and their families came out for a morning of fishing and fun! Children participated in casting contests and learned about boating and water safety before wetting their hooks and filling their stringers with catfish. After lunch, trophies and prizes were awarded. Jake Hood of Houston won the Albino Catfish Award. In the 10 - 12 Age Class, Felicia Warren of Houston won 2nd place for the largest fish. Kelly Riddle of Double Springs won 1st place in that age class. Kelly also had the largest fish overall at 19 1/2". In the 7 - 9 Age Class, John Robert Garcia of Double Springs won 2nd place and Blayne Crawford of Danville won 1st place for the largest fish. In the 5 - 6 Age Class, Connor Haley of Hartselle won 2nd place for the biggest fish. A tie for first place went to Zachary Hill of Haleyville and Brilyn Dover of Addison. Casting Contest winners included Connor Winters from Double Springs, Hunter Warren from Houston and Zachary Hill from Haleyville.

This community event would not be possible without the support of several key sponsors and volunteers. These include the Bankhead National Forest, the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the Winston County Commission, Winston County Natural Resources Council, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Sipsey Strutters Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Double Springs Lions Club, and individual donors and volunteers. The Bankhead National Forest staff extend a BIG thank you to all who support the event and for all who participated!