By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Tuesday, March 26, the Gadsden Rainbow Fly Fishing Club gathered at Noccalula Falls to stock Black Creek Falls with 1,000 Coppernose Bluegill. Club members threw the fish in at the top of Noccalula Falls.
State Representative Craig Lipscomb, a member of Gadsden Rainbow Fly Fishing Club, said that the stocking was to increase interest in fly fishing in the area for spring and summer. But this is only the first step.
“The long-term goal is beginning sometime around the first of October to put a pretty substantial stock of Rainbow Trout in the water,” said Lipscomb. We’ve got a great habitat with great cover, everything here is just right for some Rainbow Trout. But in the summer months when they aren’t going to be as happy, [the Bluegill] are the perfect thing to keep everyone occupied.”
Lipscomb hopes that the new fly fishing opportunities will not only please locals, but also attract visitors from other areas.
“Everybody’s going to enjoy it,” said Lipscomb. “Of course, everybody locally is going to enjoy it. We’re hoping people outside of the area come and enjoy it too and spend some money in the area. It’s great eco-tourism for Gadsden and the surrounding communities.”
“I think it’s going to be a success. We’ve got a beautiful stream down here,” said club President Charles Baldwin. “People who haven’t been down in here don’t know what they’re missing, and that’s what we’re hoping for, to get people in the park and get them down there.”
The idea to stock fish came from the Gadsden Rainbow Fly Fishing Club, and Lipscomb said that the idea came together fairly quickly.
“Everybody was on board,” said Lipscomb. “The City of Gadsden was great. They’ve been very cooperative and engaged in the process. The Fly Fishing Club is going to be very hands-on with everything that happens here, so really there’s not a lot of city resources necessary. It’s the people that are going to be fishing that are going to maintain the fishing. It’s a great opportunity for everyone.”
Noccalula Falls Park Supervisor Christina Richardson said that the trout fishing will bring something new to the area.
“We don’t have a lot of places you can trout fish in Northeast Alabama,” said Richardson. “So, we’re really excited about that and that Rainbow Fly Fishing Club brought this on. It was something they wanted to do, and we loved the idea.”