8th annual Tailwater Roundup continues Tri-Cities tradition of river cleanup

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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The 8th annual Tailwater Roundup is set to kick off, continuing a tradition that began in 2017 when local guides and the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited collaborated to conduct an annual river cleanup of the South Holston River and the Watauga River.

This endeavor has proven immensely successful, resulting in the removal of tons of trash and thousands of tires from the rivers. Such achievements have been made possible through the generous support of entities like the TVA, major corporations such as Orvis, the angling community, and numerous local businesses, many of which may not have an obvious connection to the rivers or the fishing industry.

However, the primary driving force behind this success has been the unwavering support of Tri-Cities citizens, who have turned out in large numbers every year regardless of weather conditions.

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This year’s cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, starting at 8 a.m. Individuals interested in working on the Watauga River will convene at Ingles in Elizabethton, while those focusing on the South Holston will meet at the Bluff City Boat Ramp. Participants will be equipped with gloves, trash bags, and a commemorative T-shirt.

Guides will utilize their boats to extract tires from the rivers, while Trout Unlimited members will collect bags of trash along the riverbanks throughout the day.

Following the cleanup efforts, a celebration for participants will take place at the Watauga River Lodge (643 Smalling Road, Watauga, TN 37694) starting at 4 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a complimentary meal and have the chance to win prizes in a participation drawing.

For further details, interested individuals can visit omtu.org or find information on Facebook @overmountaintu.