Joyce A. Coombs

Bringing Back Aquatic Diversity, The Pigeon River Recovery Project

In 2001, a cooperative effort was begun to restore native fish populations to the Pigeon River, once so polluted that all mollusks and many fish species were extirpated. Volunteers from federal and state agencies, industry, and private organizations created the Pigeon River Recovery Project to begin re-introduction of fish and other aquatic species. Early successes in Tennessee led to the expansion of the project into western North Carolina. More than 29,000 individuals representing 20 species of fish and 220,000 snails (six species) collected from the French Broad basin and the upper...