As I ease my kayak down the Clinch River near Kyle’s Ford, Tennessee, I’m floating over some of the most imperiled aquatic species in America.
Along the Clinch, there are no fancy hotels within miles of the kayaking route. Visitors eschew the little-known river for larger waterways, but the Clinch River offers more than just a scenic paddle. Of the 222 native fish found throughout Tennessee’s river systems, 118 live in this stretch of water.
Mussels live here too – at least 45 species, including one found nowhere else in the world, according to the Clinch-Powell Clean Rivers Initiative.
– Heide Brandes is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 18 years of experience who started her own freelance writing company in October 2012.