View of the Conasauga River
|Main source||Cohutta Mountain
~ 2,400 feet (730 m)
|River mouth||Oostanaula River near Calhoun, GA
~ 610 feet (190 m)
|Basin size||772 sq mi (2,000 km2)|
|Length||93 miles (150 km)|
The Conasauga River is a river that runs through southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia. The Conasauga River is 93 miles (150 km) long and is home to 90 species of fish and 25 species of freshwater mussels. The Conasauga River watershed encompasses over 500,000 acres (2,000 km2) in two states, multiple counties, and two ecologically different regions.
The only road access to the Conasauga is found via Old GA 2, GA 2, and Carlton Petty Road. Access via foot trail is located on Forest Service road (FS) 64 in Betty Gap. Three other trails descend from the west off FS 17 to intersect the river trail. From south to north they are the Chestnut Lead, 2.0 miles (3.2 km), Tearbritches Trail, 4.0 miles (6.4 km), and Hickory Creek Trail, 3.0 miles (4.8 km). Primitive camping is allowed all along the river.
At the core of the Conasauga watershed is the 35,268-acre (142.72 km2) Cohutta Wilderness, located in Fannin, Gilmer, and Murray counties in Georgia and Polk County in Tennessee. The United States Forest Service manages the area as part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and Cherokee National Forest. The preserve covers over 95,000 acres (380 km2) and contains approximately 15 miles (24 km) of the Conasauga.
The Conasauga River is home to more than 90 fish species, including 12 federally listed species of fish and mussels. Historically there were 42 species of freshwater mussels, however only 25 species still exist. It is estimated that only 1% of original population remains. The waters yield wild rainbow trout and wild browns, with rainbows up to 20 inches (510 mm) and browns to 9 pounds (4.1 kg). The managed land is populated by white-tailed deer, wild hogs, black bears, and smaller animals.
The Conasauga River is  a Category 1 priority watershed in Georgia’s Unified Watershed Assessment[when?] and 18 miles (29 km) of the river and 54 miles (87 km) of the tributaries have been on Georgia’s List of Impaired Waters for fecal, metal, toxic chemical, sediment, and nutrients.
Up to one-third of the summer flow taken in the vicinity of Dalton, Georgia is used for carpet production. The river has been contaminated with perfluorinated compounds used to make carpets stain-resistant.
- Connasauga River
- Connesauga River
- Conne-san-ga River
- Slave River
- Jacks River now is the name of a tributary of the Conasauga.
- U.S. Geological Survey. Dyer Gap quadrangle, GA. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington D.C.: USGS, 1988.
- U.S. Geological Survey. Calhoun North quadrangle, GA. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington D.C.: USGS, 1982.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed April 27, 2011
- Conasauga River Alliance Archived December 29, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- (2011) The Conasauga River Gorp.com, Great Outdoor Recreation Pages.
- Conasauga River Watershed Ecosystem Restoration Project
- "Conasauga River Watershed Planning" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Fuchs, Erin and Pam Sohn: "Study finds high levels of stain-resistance ingredient in Conasauga River" Chattanooga Times Free Press. (February 10, 2008). Accessed October 26, 2008.[dead link]
- "The Chemical in The Conasauga". Georgia Public Broadcasting. n.d. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Konwick BJ, Tomy GT, Ismail N, Peterson JT, Fauver RJ, Higginbotham D, Fisk AT (October 2008). "Concentrations and patterns of perfluoroalkyl acids in Georgia, USA surface waters near and distant to a major use source". Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 27 (10): 2011–8. doi:10.1897/07-659.1. PMID 18419175.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Conasauga River
- The Conasauga River - The Nature Conservancy no reference to Conasauga May 2016