Sullivan County resident Tom Morton owned around 65 acres of prime real estate along the South Holston River in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Then, the time came for Morton to sell his property, and he had more on his mind than just making money with the sale.
It was a transaction that will benefit outdoor enthusiasts for generations to come.
It should be easier for South Holston River fishermen to land the catch of the day like rainbow and brown trout. The Big Springs Access Area is now open on South Holston River near Bluff City.
TWRA Regional Manager John Gregory told us about the site. "It's been recognized as one of the better nationally-recognized trout streams east of the Mississippi, so it's great to be able to provide some more facilities for folks," he said.
Building the access site was a seven-year process to reel in according to Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey. "I actually had this property listed for auction is how this all came about. The owner said he'd be willing to sell it to TWRA," he said. "This is one of those cases where my real estate side, my private business and my public side, Lieutenant Governor came together."
After buying the 65-acre site, the TWRA hooked up with the TVA for a partnership.
More boats in the water means more money flowing into the county's economy. "We are highly dependent on the fishing economy here in Sullivan County," Ramsey said. "The fishermen come from all over the world, literally, to fish this river."
They'll be fishing by boat and by bank at this new access along with a possible float trip, and maybe another occasional use. "I suspect going back to when I was a kid and we'd float down the Clinch, I'd be really surprised if there's not a baptizing or two that takes place here as well," said TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter.
The new South Holston River Access site is located about five miles northeast of Bluff City along Big Springs Road.