- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

VONORE, Tenn. (AP) - The dogwoods were in bloom, the warblers were singing, and America toads were sounding their soft, trilling mating calls along the river bank.

But the most dramatic sign of spring that day was the thousands of smallmouth buffalo - a member of the sucker family - making their annual spawning run up the crystal clear, knee-deep waters of Citico Creek. The 5- to 15-pound fish hovered over the gravel stream bottom in massive schools.

Every year in early April the buffalo make a spectacular spawning run from Tellico Lake up Citico Creek. They spawn in other East Tennessee streams, too, but nowhere are they as bunched up and as visible as in Citico Creek, which flows through the Cherokee National Forest in Monroe County.



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