At the TU annual meeting on October 5, 2019, the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream Program nominating committee announced that the Chattahoochee River Wild Trout Improvement Project was selected as a 2019 Embrace A Stream Grant (EAS) recipient (one of 29 across the country). EAS is a matching grant program administered by TU that awards funds to TU chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation.
In partnership with the Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area – a National Park Service unit, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Oconee River TU Chapter and the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the group identified the Embrace A Stream site, Crayfish Creek. Located near the Highway 20 Bridge in Gwinnett County, the creek is a heavily impaired tributary of the Chattahoochee River where streambank erosion and lack of riparian canopy cover is degrading water quality within reach of the well-known spawning habitat for wild brown trout.
To ensure the River remains a productive coldwater fishery and healthy source of drinking water, the Chattahoochee River Wild Trout Improvement Project will focus on improving water quality and habitat along Crayfish Creek by restoring native riparian vegetation, stabilizing eroded streambanks and removing non-native debris that is altering stream hydrology and contributing to erosion issues.
The Embrace A Stream Project team includes the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter TU, the Oconee River Chapter TU, University of Georgia 5 Rivers Club, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, CRNRA NPS, Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy, UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, River Through Atlanta, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Georgia Council of Trout Unlimited.