GOING UNDER - Kevin Merrill’s outfit, Oxbow, offers ecology-driven river snorkeling adventures.
“I love to introduce people to the freshwater environment. It’s something that scientists have been trying to protect for decades, but it’s a struggle to educate people about it.” —Kevin Merrill
Fishy Territory - Among the 45 species of fish found in the French Broad, the river chub plays a vital role as a nest builder during the spring spawning season.
Hellacious - Our writer’s underwater sojourn turned up a dead hellbender. According to Merrill, the salamanders are being impacted by Chytrid fungus.
OUT OF THIS WORLD - Merrill says he’s constantly amazed by the variety of what he finds in the relatively shallow French Broad River, one of several waterways where he regularly takes people snorkeling.