9,700 acres in the heart of the Appalachians on the North Carolina/Tennessee border – adjacent to over 22,000 acres of National Forest and wilderness lands.
Over 16 miles of blue-ribbon trout streams. The property also hosts the Appalachian Trail, abundant wildlife and world class outdoor recreation opportunities.
30 miles from Johnson City and Asheville. Permanent conservation will ensure continued access and enjoyment for the region's sportsmen and women.
The Opportunity: Currently held by The Conservation Fund, the entire property is not yet permanently protected. The core section of the Rocky Fork watershed must still be protected by the Forest Service through congressional appropriation. Trout Unlimited can make a significant and unique impact in protecting one of the Southern Appalachian Mountain's best wild trout resources.
The Fishery: While in private ownership, Rocky Fork and its tributaries were open to public angling and hunting for over 50 years. Under threat of massive development, The Conservation Fund purchased the property as an interim owner and has continued the open access policy for non-motorized hunting, fishing and hiking. Rocky Fork is stocked from the entrance gate downstream, and strong wild trout populations persist within the property's perennial streams. Like many mountain streams, the upper reaches are brook trout territory, followed by both brook and rainbow trout downstream, with rainbow trout only in the lower reaches.
The Future: The Forest Service has purchased significant portions of the upper elevation lands. But over 2,800 acres in the center of the property, including the majority of the trout streams, remain in limbo. By acting to support congressional appropriations and assist with project costs, TU will secure both a pristine fishery for the region and show the land conservation community that we are serious about protecting coldwater resources.
Read more about the project and see photo galleries on The Conservation Fund’s Rocky Fork website.
How you can help: