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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 14:24

Conservationist recognized for Dillsboro Dam work

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out tuckU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have honored a Duke Energy scientist for his work in helping to restore aquatic species near the Dillsboro Dam.

 

Hugh Barwick, a senior environmental resource manager, was named Regional Recovery Champion for his work on the Tuckasegee River. Barwick and a group of biologists spent several days collecting and tagging Appalachian elktoe freshwater mussels and then relocating them upstream of the Dillsboro Dam before the dam’s scheduled demolition in the winter of 2010. Barwick served as the lead scientist for the group and oversaw various phases of the project. As planned, the demolition was completed by the following spring’s spawning season. Since the dam’s removal, monitoring of the one-mile stretch of restored river has determined that its aquatic ecosystem has recovered, and that the endangered Appalachian elktoe freshwater mussels are reappearing. “Hugh’s efforts to restore rivers back to free-flowing conditions have helped tremendously in recovery efforts for species like the Appalachian elktoe and for rare fish like the sicklefin redhorse,” said Leopoldo Miranda, assistant regional director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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