October 10, 2019 – We’re proud to announce that the Sipsey Fork Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been awarded a 2019 Embrace-A-Stream grant from Trout Unlimited. Despite many applications from across the country, SFTU’s project, “Feasibility Study for Habitat Improvement on the Sipsey Fork,” was one of 29 projects selected to receive a 2019 EAS grant. Futhermore, our project was one of only three others selected in the Southeast. We’re excited that our stream restoration project on the Sipsey Fork will be receiving this generous financial contribution as well as more statewide and national attention.
“Feasibility Study for Habitat Improvement on the Sipsey Fork”
The Sipsey Fork Chapter (636) of Trout Unlimited requests grant funding for a feasibility study for aquatic and riparian habitat improvements along the Sipsey Fork tailrace in north-central Alabama. As required by the guidelines, all funds will be matched from sources not limited to cash gifts, in-kind donations of materials and/or volunteer labor. The project will be carried out over two phases ultimately resulting in significant habitat improvements benefiting the only cold-water fishery in Alabama.
Initiated by Alabama Power Company in consultation with State and Federal agencies, a hydrological contractor previously developed and implemented a riparian and aquatic habitat enhancement plan to improve the publicly accessible sections of the tailrace. More specifically, the portion of the tailrace beginning at the outflow of Lewis Smith Dam, downstream to U.S. Highway 69. As a result of the previous project approximately 1.5 miles of a 3-mile long section were enhanced. Sipsey Fork 636 wishes to explore the viability of habitat enhancement for the remaining accessible portions of the fishery. Funding received from the Embrace A Stream grant will go towards hiring a hydrological contractor to conduct a feasibility study of habitat improvement.
Sipsey Fork 636 is dedicated to promoting and improving planning and policy through education and outreach while partnering with public and private organizations within our region. As the southernmost fishery east of the Mississippi and the only one in Alabama, Sipsey Fork 636 will highlight the fishery’s significance while introducing the public to the Trout Unlimited mission. The Sipsey Fork cold-water fishery is a unique resource located in an area where people are generally unaware of the fulfillment and challenges of trout fishing. Awarding this grant will begin a growth process for our young chapter while promoting and expanding trout fishing’s mystery and enjoyment in the Deep South and beyond.
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Photos of impact area from our grant application: