“East and northeast Alabama have a lot of great places to fish, especially the redeye bass,” he said. “Redeye bass are endemic to Alabama, which means they don’t live anywhere else. These fish like current in cool Piedmont streams with a lot of flow. They like clean water. This river is so clean, and it has so much oxygen in the water that these fish live in the shoals on this big river.
“Redeye bass are our own version of trout fishing, but I think it’s cooler than that because the redeyes are native. They are colorful, very aggressive and eager to eat. I think this is something really special for Alabama to have in our waters.”
A water trail that flows through the heart of Alabama’s biodiversity.
via Cahaba Blueway
Four states in particular emerge from these analyses as having exceptional levels of biodiversity—California, Hawaii, Texas, and Alabama.
Last week, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose Cahaba Beach Road, a proposed project which would allow the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a road and bridge through the heart of an undeveloped area that safeguards Birmingham’s drinking water.
Along with numerous conservation organizations, local communities and elected officials, SELC and partners Cahaba River Society and Cahaba Riverkeeper have expressed serious concerns about the project’s harm to drinking water quality for the Birmingham region.
Wigginton works for the Westervelt Ecological Services, a division of the Westervelt timber company that owns 400,000 acres across Alabama, including this 3,000-acre pine plantation along Tallatchee. Westervelt, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, placed 335 federally threatened orangenacre muckets — mussels — into the creek with hopes of revitalizing a near-extinct species.
So far, the conservation efforts look promising. The service credits Westervelt, in particular, for its role in conserving at-risk species and habitats. The Tuscaloosa-based company, through its ecological services business, buffers streams, restores creek beds, educates contractors on environmental precautions and runs for-profit mitigation banks to conserve large swaths of land.
The river is changing, and it’s changing quickly.
The biggest culprit, Butler says, is the massive, rapid development throughout much of the watershed, as fields and forests turn into subdivisions, stores, and parking lots. That’s less sensational or obvious than toxic waste barrels being dumped into the water, but it still can cause problems.
Drought conditions in Alabama left many hunters unable to plant fall food plots. Those that did plant likely have very poor food plots due to the lack of rain. While food plots provide great hunting areas, and food in times of nutritional stress, they are only one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes managing for white-tailed deer and other wildlife. Those that have been managing for natural food sources likely have healthier deer herds and increased deer sightings.
The heavy rain last week from Tropical Storm Cindy washed away the last remnants of Alabama’s devastating 2016 drought.
The Mobile River System — which includes every stream that flows into Mobile Bay, from the Cahaba, Coosa, and Tallapoosa in the north part of the state, to the Tombigbee, Alabama and the rivers of the Delta in the southern part – has been named one of the ten most endangered river systems in the country.
In announcing the listing, the conservation group American Rivers cites the system’s claim to fame as America’s Amazon, a reference to the film and AL.com series of the same name, which both highlighted the exceptional diversity of plants and animals in and around these rivers. Thanks primarily to the life in these rivers, Alabama ranks number one in the nation for the number of aquatic species, including fish, turtles, mussels, crawfish and snails.