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waterwolf
03-29-2012, 02:57 PM
Here is proof of what we discussed last year regarding natural reproduction in the Clinch. I caught this little guy this morning on the Clinch, and saw plenty of others this size or smaller around the logs on the bank. This one hopefully moves back towards the bank, because if he hangs out where he was he won't last long.

TWRA has claimed forever that there was no natural reproduction in the Clinch, and there have been plenty here who advocated on their behalf. Hopefully this will provide solid evidence that shows they are clueless or deceitful in their statements. My guess is they are more clueless then actually being deceitful, especially after some of the magnificient statements they have made over the years.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u52/limbhanger_photos/IMAG0429.jpg

Rodonthefly
03-29-2012, 08:25 PM
I don't know where you fished today, honestly I thought as long as it was some kind of killin' season, you was a killing. I took half a day off and fished from the church up to the bend. I picked up a few decent fish, but was finding a lot of little guys my self. I also seen them tucked in close to cover. I have never doubted the fact that we have spawning on the Clinch. Anyone in their right mind can go up above the weir starting in October and see fish paired up and reds around the island. But who's to say anyone that's associated with a government agency knows their *** from their head?

David Knapp
03-29-2012, 10:32 PM
That's clearly a wild trout from the Smokies since trout don't reproduce in that particular tailwater...hahaha, just kidding. Just goes to make you wonder how they come up with the "science" to support their ideas... Thanks for sharing that picture!

waterwolf
03-29-2012, 10:38 PM
I don't know where you fished today, honestly I thought as long as it was some kind of killin' season, you was a killing. I took half a day off and fished from the church up to the bend. I picked up a few decent fish, but was finding a lot of little guys my self. I also seen them tucked in close to cover. I have never doubted the fact that we have spawning on the Clinch. Anyone in their right mind can go up above the weir starting in October and see fish paired up and reds around the island. But who's to say anyone that's ***ociated with a government agency knows their *** from their head?

I was at Coldwater this morning until around noon. I personally felt fishing was sluggish for this time of year, and the numbers of decent fish were few and far between compared to what I have done this time of year. I caught enough to keep me interested, but was not overly impressed by the river today. It is only a small snippet seeing how I was out for 3 hours, but enough to get me by until mid may when turkey season closes.

That's clearly a wild trout from the Smokies since trout don't reproduce in that particular tailwater...hahaha, just kidding. Just goes to make you wonder how they come up with the "science" to support their ideas... Thanks for sharing that picture!

Their science comes from theories discussed in their offices in Nashville, they have never once acknowledged what most of us long time Clinch folks know to be facts.

Grumpy
03-29-2012, 11:13 PM
I've been arguing this for years, but, they have biology degrees & spend 2 or 3 days a year on the river, it's all i could do to finish high school(37 years ago) because i liked being on the river more.
Now, who would you believe?

Grumpy

Rodonthefly
03-30-2012, 08:40 AM
"I was at Coldwater this morning until around noon. I personally felt fishing was sluggish for this time of year, and the numbers of decent fish were few and far between compared to what I have done this time of year. I caught enough to keep me interested, but was not overly impressed by the river today. It is only a small snippet seeing how I was out for 3 hours, but enough to get me by until mid may when turkey season closes."


You know, I'm not one to ever play the weather card, but Saturday and Sunday both I had good days on the water. All slot fish with maybe just a couple under (10-12 inche fish). I talked to a couple of friends that fished around Jim Jones place on Monday and they reported the same. Maybe yeasterday was just the day all the small guys were out and about. I friend came behind me yesterday and turned some decent fish down by the Church. Prehaps the front thats comming in had something to do with it? Anyhow, I don't think the Clinch is in to bad of shape, bu activity seems healthy and so do most of the fish.

troutmanbrook
03-30-2012, 09:16 AM
I was able to take off work a little early yesterday. I wanted to go to the church, but decided not to wade. I pulled into miller's parking lot about 4:30, and there was a stock truck pulling out. I looked in the water, and in the boat ramp pool I saw about 300 trout. I should be ashamed about harassing these guys, but some were of significant size! I was using a dry dropper and caught 2 fish at once twice within thirty minutes. I would say within an hour I caught at least 30-50 of these guys :redface:

No Hackle
03-30-2012, 12:21 PM
I've also caught some of the smaller rainbows. I got to thinking I wonder why I never catch browns that size. I wonder if its different for them spawning in the fall and the conditions they deal with through winter. I just can't remember catching browns that size.
Lynn

Bfish
03-30-2012, 02:56 PM
...TWRA has claimed forever that there was no natural reproduction in the Clinch, and there have been plenty here who advocated on their behalf. I have only heard them claim that any natural reproduction (if there is any), does not significantly contribute to the fishery. In other words, most years naturally spawned fish don't stand a chance, and in optimum years the numbers are only a very small percentage of the population (ie insignificant).

Hopefully this will provide solid evidence that shows... If the pictured fish was born in 2011, it sure showed incredible growth, White River like size on that 1-year-old. I have seen many fish that size and smaller stocked (particularly from Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery). Especially early in the year (such as the recent stockings). Sorry but I see nothing that indicates that the pictured fish was naturally born.

waterwolf
03-30-2012, 09:24 PM
I've also caught some of the smaller rainbows. I got to thinking I wonder why I never catch browns that size. I wonder if its different for them spawning in the fall and the conditions they deal with through winter. I just can't remember catching browns that size.
Lynn

I have never seen any evidence of brown trout spawning in the river. No fingerlings/young of the year or anything else. I have also never seen browns occupying redds like I have rainbows. That doesn't mean they don't try, but the population of browns is fairly low considering the numbers of rainbows in the system and that may be the biggest factor holding them back.

I have only heard them claim that any natural reproduction (if there is any), does not significantly contribute to the fishery. In other words, most years naturally spawned fish don't stand a chance, and in optimum years the numbers are only a very small percentage of the population (ie insignificant).

If the pictured fish was born in 2011, it sure showed incredible growth, White River like size on that 1-year-old. I have seen many fish that size and smaller stocked (particularly from Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery). Especially early in the year (such as the recent stockings). Sorry but I see nothing that indicates that the pictured fish was naturally born.


Of course they claim that, because if they said otherwise they would be forced to manage the river completely different. Keep in mind this is the same outfit that tried to convince everyone pressure had no impact on the fishery, only to do an about face several years later and admit pressure had a huge impact. Hence the new slot limits which are working, and which TWRA biologists claimed wouldn't be effective. Now they say they are working, go figure.

The Clinch has remarkable growth rates, according to every single growth study every done on the river our fish grow about 2" per month, making this fish the exact size of a fish which hatched last spring or summer, given the slower growth rates which will always be present during the first few months.

Fingerling stockings in the Clinch are done usually late May or early June, they are done this late to prevent possible loss due to abnormally high flows from heavy spring rains and spillage from the dams. This is common sense, and common knowledge.

According to TWRA who I contacted yesterday the only fish stocked this year so far have been "catchable" sized fish, those average roughly 9" and anyone who has caught them knows the obvious difference between those and the picture above.

Naturally you don't see anything that makes you think that fish was river born, they don't wear name tags which state such, and they certainly don't sport clipped fins like many hatchery released fingerlings do in the Clinch.

You also must not fish the Clinch too much or not be very observant when on the river. Fish have spawned for decades up the tributaries, and the redds from this year can still be seen all over the river. Those 2" fry which can be found by the thousands each fall certainly would disprove your uneducated opinion as well.

Want to talk about comical.... there are actually people out there that still believe TWRA is being truthful, and honestly manage our trout fisheries the best they can. Keep in mind these are the same biologists who had difficulty accurately identifying a brown trout, and labeled it a Ranbow trout in a slide.

So yes, I disagree with you, and sadly the only thing comical is the fact that there are folks that think TWRA is doing a swell job.

I do hate TWRA, and anyone who has hunted/fished in this state for more then a year or two would more than likely agree there management on most fronts is horrific.

mstone
03-30-2012, 11:12 PM
I have to agree with Waterwolf on TWRA. After hunting waterfowl in east and middle Tennessee for the last thirty five years, it's fairly obvious that they don't put forth much of an effort. Seems most of our money goes to finance new vehicles while there are major issues with what habitat is left for fish and game.

GrouseMan77
03-31-2012, 09:44 AM
I have to agree with Waterwolf on TWRA. After hunting waterfowl in east and middle Tennessee for the last thirty five years, it's fairly obvious that they don't put forth much of an effort. Seems most of our money goes to finance new vehicles while there are major issues with what habitat is left for fish and game.

As a grouse hunter who is not into the "big game" stuff I agree 100%. Very little is actually done. If you feel different please give examples.

Bfish
03-31-2012, 01:41 PM
The Clinch has remarkable growth rates, according to every single growth study every done on the river our fish grow about 2" per month, making this fish the exact size of a fish which hatched last spring or summer, given the slower growth rates which will always be present during the first few months. Using your 2'/month growth rate, a 4" fish would have been hatched in Nov/Dec and 6" fish would have been hatched in Oct/Nov. Time for egg development to swim-up is 30-45 days. Actually growth is quite rapid the first few months, and then it slows down.

I believe your growth rate is based on you mis-interpreting this Table (table 1 on page 7) that Habera likes to use:

http://www.tn.gov/twra/fish/StreamRiver/tailtrout/Norris%20TW%20mgt%20plan%2008%20final.pdf

Which states years to reach 15 inches, as 1.9 years. However one must apply the footnote (b) which says when stocked as a 5-inch fish. 1.9 years plus 1 year equal 2.9 years old. Works out to be a month growth rate of around 0.4 inches/month, not 2 inches/month that you stated.

Fingerling stockings in the Clinch are done usually late May or early June, they are done this late to prevent possible loss due to abnormally high flows from heavy spring rains and spillage from the dams. This is common sense, and common knowledge. Yes that is the preferred timing of stocking of fingerlings. In the past, Eagle Bend stocks when fingerlings get to 2" regardless of preferred timing, as lack of hatchery space dictates immediate release.

According to TWRA who I contacted yesterday the only fish stocked this year so far have been "catchable" sized fish, those average roughly 9" and anyone who has caught them knows the obvious difference between those and the picture above. As I mentioned in my previous post, if the stockers came from Dale Hollow, especially early in the year, they tend to run undersize. Often by a lot. Anything that doesn't squirm through a crowding gate of a certain size bar spacing (say 1.5 inches) is magically a catchable (ie 9"). While it certainly true in September and August that the bar spacing has an average size of 9 inches, it does not hold true early in the season. Lots of smaller fish are always stocked early in the year (exception being hold-overs that have been fed all winter at the hatchery).

Naturally you don't see anything that makes you think that fish was river born, they don't wear name tags which state such, and they certainly don't sport clipped fins like many hatchery released fingerlings do in the Clinch. About the only time trout are fin-clipped is when they are targeted for a study. You are correct, I don't see anything that identifies the fish as river born. A 2011 naturally spawned fish would be larger, IMO. Not all hatchery trout have eroded fins, especially in the smaller sizes (less crowding in the raceways now, due to all fish being smaller).

You also must not fish the Clinch too much or not be very observant when on the river. Fish have spawned for decades up the tributaries, and the redds from this year can still be seen all over the river. Those 2" fry which can be found by the thousands each fall certainly would disprove your uneducated opinion as well. I suggest you read (or re-read) Bettoli, P. W., and L. A. Bohm. 1997. Clinch River trout investigations and creel survey. Fisheries Report No. 97-39. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, Tennessee. As it documents the tributary spawning, not only that but it also documents the insignificant impact it has on the population. Yup that is right, 15 years ago. FYI, just because their are redds doesn't mean the trout spawn. Just because you see trout attempting to spawn, doesn't mean they were successful in fertilization, just because you see eggs doesn't mean they will hatch, just because you see fry doesn't mean they will survive to fingerling. It takes several million eggs for a single natural spawn fish to grow to a catchable size. With annual stocking rate of over 800 trout/surface acre of water, I sort of doubt the three C creeks, even if every single egg survived to catchable size, would significantly (ie 5%) affect the population.

...I do hate TWRA, and anyone who has hunted/fished in this state for more then a year or two would more than likely agree there management on most fronts is horrific. While by no means are they perfect, but compared to other states (include several bordering states) in my experience, they do a fair job. Plenty of room for improvement, but not horrible either.

waterwolf
03-31-2012, 09:13 PM
I suggest you read (or re-read) Bettoli, P. W., and L. A. Bohm. 1997. Clinch River trout investigations and creel survey. Fisheries Report No. 97-39. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, Tennessee.

End of my participation in this topic, anyone who would actually use this study as being some sort of bible is not even remotely able to understand one iota of anything related to the Clinch. Sorry, but that is by far the worst scientific study ever done on the Clinch. It is so bad it is embarrassing that our license dollars actually went to help fund it.

That is the rag which directly cited that fishing pressure had no impact on the fishery. Enough said.

Enjoy your spring/summer fishing Bfish, you and I see the world entirely different if you think the aforementioned nightmare is valid science.

Jon
04-01-2012, 12:04 AM
TWRA is a good organization. Of course I would like to see the Clinch, The SOHO, The Watauga, The Caney Fork, The Elk, and the Holston managed much better. The regualtions that are on the Caney should be on all of these tailwaters in my opinion.

Paula Begley
04-01-2012, 07:13 AM
There won't be any need to place bets and I've deleted the posts which were saying that, or egging on a fight; I've edited others to remove language of that nature.

This isn't going to turn into an argument. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, right? It's perfectly fine to debate TWRA findings and reports, so please feel free to carry on with that, if you wish.

Intentionally provoking another member is against the site rules (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_b), please keep them in mind.

Thanks,

Paula

jrose
04-25-2012, 05:34 PM
Hey, not to stir the pot, but I wonder if some of the information from this story in yesterday's Knoxville News Sentinel might shed some light on the debate: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/apr/24/tennessee-trout-hatcheries-facing-threat-of-cuts/.
Especially, note the second paragraph and the photos.
But no matter the source of the fingerlings, it can't be a bad sign that adult rainbows are constructing redds in the Clinch.

Jack

waterwolf
04-27-2012, 09:04 PM
Hey, not to stir the pot, but I wonder if some of the information from this story in yesterday's Knoxville News Sentinel might shed some light on the debate: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/apr/24/tennessee-trout-hatcheries-facing-threat-of-cuts/.
Especially, note the second paragraph and the photos.
But no matter the source of the fingerlings, it can't be a bad sign that adult rainbows are constructing redds in the Clinch.

Jack
They do stock fingerlings this time of year every year, and it is a welcome stocking for us as fisherman for the future, and the bigger browns who gorge themselves. However, note the picture I posted is well before they stocked fingerlings this year and note how different the picture I posted looks from the stockers.

MadisonBoats
04-28-2012, 01:21 PM
I was able to take off work a little early yesterday. I wanted to go to the church, but decided not to wade. I pulled into miller's parking lot about 4:30, and there was a stock truck pulling out. I looked in the water, and in the boat ramp pool I saw about 300 trout. I should be ashamed about harassing these guys, but some were of significant size! I was using a dry dropper and caught 2 fish at once twice within thirty minutes. I would say within an hour I caught at least 30-50 of these guys :redface:

Danny,
Those stockers are pitiful. One thing I hate to see is the fish mongers crowding around the ramp pulling fish after fish out of the water. I heard one guy bragging last year that he had caught 80 fish and had to take them home and get another cooler. I hope TWRA keeps an eye out on these areas for a month or so....

As for TWRA's stance on reproduction; I have chatted with many of the agents about this topic and it is my opinion that they do believe rainbow reproduce on the Clinch; however, it does not occur well enough to maintain the depletion rate. Also; if they endorse the idea that rainbow trout reproduce effectively on the Clinch; then, it is hard to justify the funds to continue stocking it.

I do think it could be stocked with a better method and practices. Also; the '97 TWRA Report and the more recent assessments of the Clinch are very generalized in my opinion. I think they could be more accurate if they had the funds and time to assess the river more often. Also; I think it would be a good idea to include a fisherman's report from surveys on the river. It all comes down to funds and resource allocation. I hope they get more of it and are not impacted by any more cuts.

Most of the employees I know want to make the fisheries better and are active in improving and promoting better fish management.

Just my opinion.

Corbo
05-01-2012, 09:34 PM
Well Gang.

You may not realize how good you got it here in East TN.... when it comes to trout densities per river mile.

I moved here from Maine two years ago; a place most folks figure is LOADED with salmonids, char and trout. Nothing could be farther from the truth when it comes to rivers or sections of rivers where stocked fish are the only game in town. The famed Kennebec has naturally producing landlocks, rainbows and some brook trout in the upper river close to Moosehead lake but the middle sections rely totally on stocking and areas of several miles and as long as 15 miles might ONLY receive a totally of 3500 stocked fish! Hernce catch & release.... not enough to keep a fish and "fish killers" are likely to have flat tires or busted windsheild.

Despite the low numbers of stocked trout (mostly browns) the fish grew fat and healthy, the would make redds at the Shawmut tailwater but it's doubtful that adequate "rearing habitat" existing for juvenile fish born in the river.

The "good news" is that stocking so few fish it was entirely possible to FIN CLIP them so anglers and biologist could determine what year class a fish was when caught. The adipose was the "b" fin and the right & left "E & F".

Many of us kept fishing diaries for many years (these were printed in booklet form by the biologists) wherein we recorded the clip, date and length as well as time of day and location on the river. Fish from above the shawmut dam were not clipped so it was possible to determine tailwater contribution fish from up-river.

The Shawmut tailwater despite only receiving a few thousand fish per year was considered one of the best tailwaters on the east coast for 15 years and regularly produced enormous brown trout until about 6 years ago when the fishery totally collapsed for unexplained reasons... they still stock it but there are few hold-over fish now. some believe that years of heavy scvouring decreased the bug life that supported the trout diet.

Anyway; a few weeks back I was fortunate to float and fish the Clinch with Shawn and ****ation are there a lot of trout in the Clinch! I wish I lived close to it as I would go about every day. (Funny Greenbriar flows out my backyard and I don't fish it).

So while it would be nice if trout did indeed successfully reproduce in the Clinch and whether you like or agree with TWRA staff or studies or opinion you ought t6o count your blessings for having such an awesome river to enjoy that's totally full of easy to catch rainbows.

Just my DOLLAR & TWO CENTS.