Duck River God's Gift to Tennessee

Duck River

A Stretch of the Yanahli Scenic River site showing the Duck River.
A Stretch of the Yanahli Scenic River site showing the Duck River. | Source

Map of entire Duck River

The entire stretch of the Duck River is completely inside the borders of Tennessee.
The entire stretch of the Duck River is completely inside the borders of Tennessee. | Source

Duck River

Since I live just a stones throw from the Duck River, I decided it is time to write an article about it, which would require research and a chance to get to know it better. A February 2010 article in National Geographic concluded that the Duck River was 'the richest river in variety of freshwater animals' on the North American continent. That is why I created the title to my article The Duck River God's Gift to Tennessee.

I had heard many times from the local inhabitants of the town in which I live ( Shelbyville ) that it has the most diverse species of fish in the United States. Upon further research I have found that it has 151 fish species, 55 freshwater mussel species and 22 aquatic snail species.

Because mussels are very sensitive to pollution and are actually thriving in the Duck River, their presence goes a long way in providing proof of the water quality of the river.

Many other animals thrive in the Duck River eco-system including but not limited too, river otters, minks and beavers. Many species of birds thrive in the rich environment the Duck River provides such as osprey, hawks, herons and a wide variety of ducks from which it gets its name. Bald Eagles the symbol of American freedom can often be seen along the Duck River eco-system.

The Duck River meanders through 284 miles of Middle Tennessee, originating from an area known as the Highland Rim. It meets up with the Little Duck River at the city of Manchester which is a minor tributary. This confluence meets at the Old Stone Fort State Park named after one of the oldest ( 2,000 years old ) Native American freestanding structures in North America.

Typical Duck River Scenery

Eroded cliffs and steep banks covered in thick foliage line the Duck Rivers shores.
Eroded cliffs and steep banks covered in thick foliage line the Duck Rivers shores. | Source

Wood Duck

A wood duck enjoying a lazy day on the Duck River
A wood duck enjoying a lazy day on the Duck River | Source

Headwaters

The headwaters of the Duck River begin in what is known as the Highland Rim, at an elevation of nearly 1,200 feet. This area was the traditional home of the Chickasaw Native Americans known as fierce warrior's, as opposed to their closest relatives the Choctaw which were more of an agricultural tribe.

This area of Tennessee near the site of the Old Stone State Park in Manchester has shown evidence of being inhabited by Native Americans for nearly 8,000 years.

The interesting aspect of the Duck River is that for the most part this river flows from East to West where it empties into the Tennessee River near the town of New Johnsonville. The Duck is only the second river in Tennessee since 1970 to be named a State Scenic River, which is designated from the Iron Bridge Road to the Maury and Marshall County line, a stretch of 37 miles.

Its main tributary is the Buffalo River, named for the fish of the same name that inhabits its waters. The Buffalo River is the only non impounded river in the State of Tennessee and empties into the Duck near its mouth at the Tennessee River.

The largest town on the Duck River is Columbia with a population of nearly 40,000 people, otherwise it flows through mostly rural uninhabited regions of the Central Basin and Western Highland Rim.

Calm Water

Long stretches of calm water make for constant but easy paddling while traversing the Duck River.
Long stretches of calm water make for constant but easy paddling while traversing the Duck River. | Source

Headwaters of the Duck River

The headwaters of the Duck River near Manchester, TN
The headwaters of the Duck River near Manchester, TN | Source

Little Duck River

The headwaters of the Little Duck River that flows into the Duck River near Old Stone Fort.
The headwaters of the Little Duck River that flows into the Duck River near Old Stone Fort. | Source

Tree Frog

Tree Frogs are a unique creature native to the area and sound like a song bird at night.
Tree Frogs are a unique creature native to the area and sound like a song bird at night. | Source

Yanahli State Park

Floating down the Duck River is a peaceful and enjoyable experience for any outdoor enthusiast, whether you are there to fish or just enjoy the scenery. There are many ways to enjoy this river's diverse ecology, but renting a canoe or kayak from any one of a number of outfits offers the most unique view and is friendly to the budget.

The Yanahli Wildlife Management Area was designated a Tennessee resource in 2002, by the TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency) for public use and is made up 12,600 acres near the town of Columbia.

Yanahli which is a Chickasaw word that means 'to flow' is also the name of a local canoe and kayak rental company run by Tennessee native Steve Tyndall called the Yanahli Kayak & Canoe Co. which offers affordable trips down this beautiful river. There are other companies that offer the same services but his was the only company willing to talk to me when writing the article so he gets the nod.

The Duck River while offering visitors a beautiful and diverse eco-system is also unique in the fact that it has many endangered species of plants and aquatic animals living in or around it. Some of these animals and fauna are (but not limited too), the birdwing pearly mussel (Lemiox rimosus), the leafy prairie clover (Dalea foliosa), the limestone blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana var. gattingeri), and the limestone flame flower (Talinum calcaricum) to name a few.

There are also a rare species of wood rat and gray bats that live in the area of the Rummage Cave system that covers an area of 50 acres. This cave is system has a series of five oval 'rooms' that are 15 feet high by 30 feet wide, perfect for tribes of indigenous people to live in.

According to archaeological research done by the University of Tennessee, small bands of hunter/gatherers have used the Cheek Bend Cave system for over 10,000 years.

This area of the Duck River offers boaters long deep pools that alternate between shallow stretches of mini-rapids. Many different species of trees live on the banks of this river including cedars, sycamores, willows and oaks. This area is also a great spot for fisherman interested in catching small game fish such as smallmouth bass, striped bass, rock bass and what locals call redeye a hybrid bass, catfish are also abundant.

Yanahli WMA

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Comments 23 comments

Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

My gawd! The Duck River is just a few miles down the road from me... Oh, great, that means we got two lunatics on HubPages from basically the same area. *Sigh* Well, I haven't went fishing lately, how about your self? LOL!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Didn't we get in an argument over something stupid, I don't remember the reason, but since I'm always right does it really matter?

No I haven't been fishing yet, waiting for it to warm up just a bit, It should be interesting when we actually meet since we both use pen names perhaps it has already happened!

That is really interesting it could be a lesson about who you piss off on the internet he or she could be your neighbor and since everyone in TN has a gun, well you get the picture . . .

Didn't the Hatfields and McCoy's live in TN?


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

Yeah, we were in disagreement about the existence of Planet X and/or Planet Nibiru, as you claimed that it existed and I said it didn't. But either way, you're right about one thing, Tennessee is well known for their guns, alcohol, drugs, and fishing poles... Ha-ha!

It's all good, though, as I'll most likely just bring beer and a fishing rod with bait (snub nose .38 isn't always required). See ya at the river, just call me Eastwood upon meeting, if ya suspect a .357 magnum is at hand, but hey, perhaps it will be for a new fishing technique... Ha! Just kidding... Actually, I could really go for some deep-fried catfish right about now; yummy! :D


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Well I don't reckon I will make your day, I just watched Gran Torino and think it is the only movie I have seen Clint die in, could be wrong though it has happened before just not about Nibiru/Planet X!

Yeah I just moved to Shelbyville, originally from Colorado, came to TN to get sober and liked it so stayed. Still working on becoming a redneck, hillbilly peckerwood tho I just don't have my yonders and reckons down quite right.

Where is the best sporting goods store around here, Shelbyville doesn't have one and I ain't driving to Nashville?


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

Actually, I'm not a redneck and I'm obviously suffering from terrestrial displacement albeit I feel like I've landed on the wrong planet, at times, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it sounds like I'm a bit further northwest from you in this lovely state, but the Duck River covers quite a bit of territory, now doesn't it? Ain't that a sigh of relief... Ha-ha!

Uh, you're in a small town too, so it would be better if you just drove west and found a bigger town to shop for sporting goods OR you can simply order online. :)

Oh, yeah, I seen Gran Torino a couple years ago and it was a pretty decent flick. Yeah, Eastwood dies in that film, but he was at the end-stage of his career, ya know, so it was fair timing. I thought it was a good movie and I liked how it added a nice racial mixture, etc.

Oh, wait a minute! This Hub is about Tennessee and Duck River, and here we are rambling on about random subjects like it is some free-hosted blog! LOL!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

That doesn't bother me as I'm in control and can delete you at a moments notice, which is kind of cool. I wasn't implying that you are a redneck, I'm just a city kid and everybody outside the city limits is a redneck.

I really like living in a small town and although I'm a good fisherman, no one has ever taken me hunting so I never learned but want to learn how to shoot a bow.

Plus one of the reasons I wrote this article is because I want to buy a kayak or canoe, but preferable a kayak and do some floating and fishing and get to know the area better.

I used to play softball and umpire all my life and am tired of it and want to get back into nature and do some serious fishing.

I love to argue especially about Nibiru cause no one can prove it one way or the other so anybody could be right or wrong for that matter, that is no biggie to me!


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

Why would you want to delete an Insane guy like me?

I've totally been thinking the same things, as I would love to get back into my old hunting & fishing hobbies that I used to enjoy so much, and to also get back in touch with nature.

I totally agree, but if ya want to argue about Nibiru, I'll see ya on another hub. Ha!

By the way, is there anything else you like to debate about? I'm currently banned from the forums on here due to my offensive intellect, but just wondering...


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Is it Offensive intellect or Superior intellect?

let's see, go to my hub on Imagination which I just published and pick any of my hubs in the links section a the bottom, which are kind of out there if you know what I mean and we can argue about those . . . seeya


RobSchneider 4 years ago

I've only been in your neck of the woods once and only for a week. It's a magical part of the world. What a fantastic hub! Please read my latest hub and comment. It's partly about you and your argument with the bard. Title is "What is the Hotel California?"


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

I don't know why I took the bait, I promised myself I wouldn't let him get to me but like an idiot, I did. It was dumb on my part and I'm kind of embarrassed by it.


RobSchneider 4 years ago

You're not alone. I spent way too much time on a forum responding to some moron's persistent complaints about Sihanoukville. Then I went to the top of the thread and discovered he'd been making those remarks since 2009 and wouldn't listen to anybody's counter-arguments.


RighterOne profile image

RighterOne 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois - USA

Wo-ow, I love the Duck River - quack, quack! I never knew tree frogs lived THIS far north - that's amazing! Thank you for writing this article. I've driven through Tennessee on a few occasions on my way to Orlando and New Orleans - and it is a beautiful place, the mountains are simply gorgeous!

How about you guys let me know when you go fishing, I'll drive out and join you for a few days? You can bring your double-barrels and handguns too, and I'll bring my license.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

I will, no doubt . . . but let's wait until it warms up a bit and which direction would you be driving from?


RighterOne profile image

RighterOne 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois - USA

I thought I commented back... (damn you, HubPages!)

I would be driving from Chicago, IL - northern edge of the soon to be 'Mississippi Sea.'


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Yes, so you have been paying attention!


RighterOne profile image

RighterOne 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois - USA

I never said I agree (yet). However, I do know much about the New Madrid Fault Line - and I know about the insane earthquakes that have happened here in the 19th century. I read the eye-witness accounts, and I've heard LaRouche and his PAC team talk about this at length, as well as about preventive measures that our nation can take.

That said, I definitely see how this could easily occur...


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Yeah as you know being convinced and truly knowing are actually two different concepts, so I agree with you I just was rattling your cage.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

Very interesting story, thank you for 'opening my eyes' to a wonderful part of the world...and thank so much for stopping by in my parts and exploring my part of the world...by sharing we become more travelled and wiser...thank my fellow hubber and all the best:)


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

As i said before I bought a Kayak and spent three hours on the Duck Saturday, although I didn't catch any fish, I wish I had brought my camera.

Perhaps a part two is in order or an ongoing Hub keeping my readers abreast of the Duck (pun intended) as i said before this seems to be a decent hour for you in OztrailYa . . .


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

Yes indeed...the scorching hour of lunch break, 40 degrees outside:)...it is no wonder that Aussies are 'hot headed' and have a 'sunny disposition' to their personalities:)


Somethingnewtry profile image

Somethingnewtry 4 years ago from India

I truly appreciate your comments on my work. I think it was really well written. Hope to get in touch with you more often as I guess our tastes match. Your article on the Duck is truly interesting. Really need to learn a lot from some of you guys especially the way you express yourself. Any way , goodbye and good luck


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Your welcome somethingnewtry,

We make money by keeping visitors on our pages longer if we give them something interesting to read it accomplishes the task.

Pictures are great but can be viewed quickly plus providing substance helps readers to visit more of our work.


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