In normal operation, the lake level is slowly lowered during the summer and late in the season the duskytail darters’ habitat should be exposed and make removing the minnows possible.
Darters from the Big South Fork River initially will be taken to Conservation Fisheries, a non-profit organization based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here, technicians will fine-tune proper techniques for propagating duskytail darters. Excess minnows will be sent to Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery for long-term maintenance,” Andrews said.
Conservation Fisheries has developed techniques to propagate the region's rarest fishes. The organization’s goal is to restore fish populations that have been eliminated because of pollution or habitat destruction.
Hamilton said he will be happy to go with McConnell to see duskytail darters once the minnows are sent to the National Fish Hatchery for safekeeping.
“Absolutely, I’ll go with him,” laughed Hamilton. No date for the field trip has been set because “ ... I haven’t talked with him since we talked by phone last Friday.” Of course, the field trip will have to wait until they propagate duskytail darters at Knoxville and send some of the minnows to the National Fish Hatchery.
Asked if environmentalists are happy about the duskytail darter solution, Andrews remarked: It’s not ideal, but it’s workable.”