The fish’s nickname is a joke, but it’s spurring dam removal
On the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, conservationists are working to revive a fish they've jokingly dubbed the "southern Appalachian salmon." With its bright red tail and sharply curved dorsal fin, the sicklefin redhorse fish doesn't resemble salmon. Its jocular nickname points to similarities between the push to save it and the fight to rescue the Pacific Northwest's iconic fish. In both cases, dams are at fault. "Ela Dam is the Klamath [River] dam removals of the East Coast," said Joey Owle, the secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI).