Trout Unlimited

Team registration has been much slower this year than previous years. There are still 13 cook sites on the perimeter that are for motor homes and camper trailers only and 43 interior sites that are for teams without campers.

One reason could be the cook-off being a week later due to the air show, or the large numbers of other cooking events in the area are pulling folks away, but whatever the issue, the public can still keep this event one of the best chili cook-offs in Georgia. We definitely want more teams to register.

Many things in nature are interdependent and cannot exist on their own. One good example is the terrestrial orchid family. All terrestrial orchids such as the lady’s slipper, the crane-fly orchid and the yellow fringed orchids, which are all native to this part of Georgia, require certain types of fungus to be in the soil or they will not survive to reproduce.

There are about 30 or so other orchids that live in Northwest Georgia and each have a distinct fungus that is necessary for the plants to survive. I know many allergy victims suffer from ragweed this time of year. One of the primary foods of quail is the seed of the ragweed plant. If ragweed were to be eradicated would we still have quail?

Another example in nature is the Pacific salmon runs. Many of the upper tributaries of Alaska get their water from glaciers which are often void of nutrients, yet these rivers are the spawning grounds for salmon. If the salmon did not die after spawning in these rivers, would the young survive or even grow?

The answer is the decaying flesh supply nutrients that both feed the young fish as well as some of the insects in the stream. The largemouth bass guard their spawning beds and protect the young so they can survive, but the salmon give up their lives so that the species will survive.

The examples I gave above are all symbiotic relationships. Symbiosis is any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different biological organisms. Many other things have symbiotic style relationships. A good example is the automobile and roads. Without roads about 98% of the cars and trucks in the world would be useless. Also, what good would a light bulb be without electricity? The list can go on almost forever.

The purpose of the cook off is to raise money so that the Coosa Valley Chapter of TU can continue to fund its many educational and environmental projects in North Georgia. Without the teams and their many gallons of chili, and the folks that come to taste the chili, the chapter will have a hard time continuing to fund the scholarships at The University of Georgia, or support of the Arrowhead Environmental Education Center and the many stream enhancements that occur in the trout streams of Northwest Georgia.

In other words, there is a huge symbiotic relationship between the teams that cook, the success of the cook-off and the success of the chapter in achieving its goals.

Registering a team and choosing a cook site is easy and can be done online at http://coosavalley.tu.org. Be a team or a taster because of our symbiotic relationship. Without teams and tasters we cannot give to our many educational and stream enhancement projects.