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MadisonBoats
08-21-2012, 09:09 AM
I wanted to expand and continue discussion on the threats and opportunities of the Clinch River Environmental Health. My intent is to not invoke negative information. I would like to promote and continue thoughtful discussion on how to improve conservation of the Clinch River and its resources.

Previously related topic: http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16332&page=5&highlight=clinch+river

TVA: Environmental Reviews: http://www.tva.gov/environment/reports/norrisfinal/index.htm

TWRA: '07 Clinch River Trout Report: http://www.tn.gov/twra/fish/StreamRiver/tailtrout/clinch_trout_07.pdf

TWRA: Fishery MGMT Program: http://tnfish.org/NorrisReservoir_TWRA/NorrisLakeInformation_TWRA.htm

USDA/NRCS Report 2009: http://www.lowerclinchwatershed.org/m/LowerClinchRWA.pdf

Notable References:
• Cumberland Plateau (68a) tablelands and open low mountains are about 1000 feet higher than the Eastern Highland Rim (71g) to the west, and receive slightly more precipitation with cooler annual temperatures than the surrounding lower-elevation ecoregions. The plateau surface is less dissected with lower relief compared to the Cumberland Mountains (69d) or the Plateau Escarpment (68c). Elevations are generally 1200-2000 feet, with the Crab Orchard Mountains reaching over 3000 feet. Pennsylvanian-age conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, and shale are covered by well-drained, acid soils of low fertility. Bituminous coal that has been extensively surface and underground mined underlies the region. Acidification of first and second order streams is common. Stream siltation and mine spoil bedload deposits continue as long-term problems in these headwater systems. Pockets of severe acid mine drainage persist.I believe this is an issue that greatly affects the Eastern Edge of the Cumberland Plateau that drains in to the Clinch River Watershed. There are many beautiful streams in the Briceville, Devonia, New River, etc. areas that are crystal clear. However; they virtually have not aquatic life because they are too acidic.

Almost 30 percent of the Lower Clinch River Watershed’s stream miles are listed as impaired by the state of Tennessee due to excessive nutrients, pathogens, siltation, alteration of streamside vegetation, low dissolved oxygen, thermal modifications, and contaminants such as PCBs, mercury, and chlordane.Sub-Watershed
Coal Creek Watershed

Leading Pollutants/Stressors of Surface Waters within Sub-
Biological integrity loss due to undetermined causes, E. coli, and thermal modifications and habitat loss due to stream flow alterations on the upper part of the Lower Clinch River below Norris Dam Minor Municipal Point Source, Septic Tanks, and Upstream Impoundment (Norris Dam)

Bacteriological contamination (Coal Creek)I do think the USDA/EPA & local community should continue to address the water quality issues of Coal Creek others that flow in to the Clinch. There have been some great improvements to the shoreline stabilization in Coal Creek thanks to CRTU and others...http://www.coalcreekaml.com/BANKstabLINKpage.htm. However; I think the issue of flood waters invigorating and transporting acidic sediment continues to impair the ph and clarity levels of the water entering the Clinch River at the Coal Creek Tributary.

waterwolf
08-21-2012, 05:32 PM
The biggest threat by far is the management of the resource, and IMO there isn't a close second.

Run off is essentially a non issue because the 3 tribs are in decent shape, especially Cane and Clear creeks. Coal creek probably puts a little nastiness in the river but it is very minor.

Stripers pose a small but easily fixable problem.

In general water quality is excellent and we are fortunate in that regard.

One thing to note; New river, and any of the other streams that form in Scott county or the plateau where various forms of mining occur have zero impact on the Clinch. Those are entirely different watersheds and could not pose any threats to the Clinch. Currently there is no active mining in the Clinch watershed and the old mines have far surpassed an age of causing any issues.

Varmitcounty
08-21-2012, 06:31 PM
I think one of the biggest problems on the Clinch is that there are not enough agents out there monitoring who is fishing and what they are taking out by the stringer load. I have absolutely no problem at all with a person taking some trout for their table as long as they are abiding by the rules of the game. I have been fishing the Clinch for many years and as best as I can recall, I don't think I have ever seen a TWRA agent.

I think the Clinch has become a victim to an abundant overpopulation of anglers. You can visit the big three spots (Church, Miller's, Wier) and need to carry your own rock to stand on. Watercraft can get you from the crowds, but if you wade, your choices are few. The only time I will fish the Clinch is on a weekday and even then at times it is crowded.

Just curious, how many of the people who have an issue with the quality of the river are active members of the Clinch TU chapter?

Corbo
08-21-2012, 09:24 PM
Thank you VARMIT for your last question.

I am a life member not assigned to any chapter in TN; still a member of the Kennebec Chapter in Maine but lived here two years now.

I admire all of you who are conservation minded..... but lacking organization, money, will-power and a dedication to see a mission come true it's pointless.

Been on the soap box here before and my "call to action" has never been answered by a single soul. Oh well.

Corbo
08-21-2012, 09:29 PM
MORE DRY FLIES!

I think the Clinch needs more POOP in it so the hatches will be better and recommend dumping copious amounts of cow turd into the river at various places so that the bugs have more food.

It would be great if some biological yoyo could explain why the soho has fabulous hatches and the Clinch does not. More dry fly action would spur the local economy.

Flat Fly n
08-21-2012, 10:09 PM
Corbo,
Leave your poop in the potty, or to Maine streams, they are already brown, but isn't that from tannic acid?. The water is warmer in the S. Holston than the Clinch. I have performed numerous randomized and often double blinded tests by falling in and I can say with a pValue of 0.05 that the Clich is statistically colder, therefore a less diverse hatch chart, as say the S. Holston, or Holston. Maybe it's all the crap from Tennessee Eastman in Kingsport....who knows! heck, all I need is one more species to waste my time tying 20 patterns to.

Lack of TWRA presence up and down the river is my concern. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CHECKED ON THAT RIVER AND I HAVE FISHED IT SINCE 1986! Now there I said it.....Heck you could probably use blasting caps on a Saturday above the weir and never get questioned.

It is the simple DeBakey rule of why TWRA does not patrol that river at least on a weekend!

waterwolf
08-21-2012, 10:43 PM
Just curious, how many of the people who have an issue with the quality of the river are active members of the Clinch TU chapter?

No offense meant to anyone who is a member of the Clinch Chapter, but seeing how I was one a handful of people who founded the chapter I will proudly say I disavowed them sometime ago.

They took radical views that were not in tune with normal conservation views and sided with the bait slinger crowd known as LUCRO who spear headed the movement to remove the quality zone. The straw which broke their back was when they again sided on the side of the bait slingers and protested the current slot limits.

They have stood in the way of progress on the river for a good while now, and the only thing TU about them is their name.

MORE DRY FLIES!

I think the Clinch needs more POOP in it so the hatches will be better and recommend dumping copious amounts of cow turd into the river at various places so that the bugs have more food.

It would be great if some biological yoyo could explain why the soho has fabulous hatches and the Clinch does not. More dry fly action would spur the local economy.

Corbo, again this isn't Maine and we have a whole load of issues which differ from north of the Mason Dixon line.

The biggest limiting factor to our benthic diversity is water temps. The Clinch averages such cold temps year round that it significantly reduces the bugs which can thrive.

John Thurman has done and knows more about the benthic population then anyone, has narrowed the list down to about 3 variances of sulphurs, 1 caddis, and the little black stones. Other then the midges, scuds, and sowbugs there is nothing that appears to be able to survive the temps.

We don't need anymore poop in the river, and any float down the river will reveal more than enough cattle utilizing the river on a hot summer day.

Corbo
08-22-2012, 01:33 AM
Well thanks for your insight fellas on the POOP issue but you do need nutrient to make bugs and for all I know water temperature has much to do with what bugs can survive or thrive in the Clinch compared to the soho.

I might mention that the Kennebec and other rivers in MAINE are cold; it's a cold place and in the winter they get "anchor ice" which is where the river freezes right down into the river bottom and they still get bitchin hatches.

Same with out West; really cold water in the Rockies and awesome hatches.

Would sure like to know if data exists on average temperatures of TN's various tailwaters. Same with water chemistry and POOP/nutrient.

Seems to me that I shiver in the Soho but not in the Clinch.

One thing I know for certain is that despite few TWRA people patrolling, stripers etc there are certainly a lot of trout dumped into the Clinch... so I won't bitch at TWRA too much.

I will refrain from comment on the local TU Chapter as I know none of the folks involved or much about all that has gone on before now.

I will say it is a shame though that a bunch of folks cannot seem to group effectively together to be advocates of this awesome resource...

MadisonBoats
08-22-2012, 06:48 AM
Corbo,
...who knows! heck, all I need is one more species to waste my time tying 20 patterns to.
Is that not why fly tying is all about? :)
Lack of TWRA presence up and down the river is my concern. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CHECKED ON THAT RIVER AND I HAVE FISHED IT SINCE 1986! Now there I said it.....Heck you could probably use blasting caps on a Saturday above the weir and never get questioned.

... From my understanding; this will be changing soon with the addition of a new jet boat.

......
One thing to note; New river, and any of the other streams that form in Scott county or the plateau where various forms of mining occur have zero impact on the Clinch. Those are entirely different watersheds and could not pose any threats to the Clinch. Currently there is no active mining in the Clinch watershed and the old mines have far surpassed an age of causing any issues. I should have clarified my quote in my original post. Yes the watersheds are completely different systems. However; they lay in close proximity and are generally similar. For Instance; in my opinion-The Big South Fork is in bad shape with heavy metals and acidic runoff. I believe the mountains that drain in to the Clinch are currently being promoted and used as 4-wheeling trails. Also; there are numerous oil and gas wells in place. We need to put thoughtful consideration in how these are and will affect the lower lands in the future. Not that they cannot coexist peacefully with cooperation and monitoring.

.....

John Thurman has done and knows more about the benthic population then anyone, has narrowed the list down to about 3 variances of sulphurs, 1 caddis, and the little black stones. Other then the midges, scuds, and sowbugs there is nothing that appears to be able to survive the temps.

... Jim, I believe you may be looking at this issue at face value. I have put in thousands of hours over the past few years on the Clinch and found a great variety of benthic life. I am working on my own macro spreadsheet with pictures and fly patterns at the moment. One bug that I think many fly fishermen overlook is that of beetle larva.:biggrin: Also; there are the potentially hazardous aquatic worms in the Coal Creek Influx.:eek:

*I forgot to note that multiple selections can be selected in the poll.

waterwolf
08-22-2012, 07:15 AM
I don't know that the ATV riding in Royal Blue, Brimstone, and Sundquist wukk have any effects on the Clinch. The watersheds are completely separate from the Clinch watershed. Big South Fork feeds the Cumberland.

The Clinch is fortunate because it has an extremely small watershed below the dam. There are only 3 tribs, and all of those have very small drainages as well.

On the benthic stuff, I don't spend much time looking for bugs and with John's work I generally yield to his opinion. He has been doing it for a very long time.

Corbo
08-22-2012, 07:34 AM
I don't know that a jet boat won't be anything more than a new toy for the game wardens... most "offenders" park and walk to the water making them readily approachable by an officer patrolling on two feet.

By most accounts "offenders' are readily observed at the more popular areas closer to the dam then down to Millers. My son & his friends have never seen a warden and some of them have carried away a bucket of trout this year with many in the protect5ed slot length without a worry at all.

Sorry to call them "wardens" but that's what they are called in Maine where you can bet they are constantly on the prowl for violators and always seem to go the extra mile to make a bust. They are as thick as mosquitoes which serves as a deterant because you never know where they might be at any given time.

I don't know how many TWRA guys patrol a given area but have been on Douglas on a Saturday and seen as many as six at the Gator Point Marina enjoying the festivities, live music and fireworks, The Lakes seem to draw away their attention compared to stomping the banks of a tailwater and getting their boots dirty.
.

Varmitcounty
08-22-2012, 11:31 AM
Another thing to consider is the body of water that is feeding the Clinch. Norris Lake is almost to clean. Ultra clean super cold water coming in limits the numbers and growth of bugs which in turn lowers the growth of the fish.

Honestly, I haven't fished the Clinch since March and will probably not go back until November or December. To crowded to really enjoy and the quality of the fish just can't match what I can find on the Holston or South Holston. I cut my teeth on the Clinch, but it ain't the same Clinch anymore.

If what has been stated about the Clinch TU Chapter is true, then they perhaps should engage in a restructuring of what the think and how they attack the issue. As I have learned in recent weeks, with proper leadership and funding, a lot can be done if they are willing to do the work to enact change. I am a member of the Little River Chapter now, but if they wanted to me to get involved, I would put my hands to work if it seemed that they were organized and had a static game plan.

Paula Begley
08-22-2012, 11:37 AM
No offense meant to anyone who is a member of the Clinch Chapter, but seeing how I was one a handful of people who founded the chapter I will proudly say I disavowed them sometime ago.

They took radical views that were not in tune with normal conservation views and sided with the bait slinger crowd known as LUCRO who spear headed the movement to remove the quality zone. The straw which broke their back was when they again sided on the side of the bait slingers and protested the current slot limits.

They have stood in the way of progress on the river for a good while now, and the only thing TU about them is their name.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but mine doesn't agree with yours, Waterwolf. There are two sides to every story; the quality zone issue is long, involved and sordid. And I don't want this to become a battle about that old fight, but there were some very questionable practices that went into its enactment, which is why the Clinch River Chapter didn't agree with it.

As to them being TU in name only, perhaps you are unaware of their excellent fly tying class held each year, or their outreach programs to attract youth to the sport in the form of a week long school at Tremont.

Personally, I think they embody what a Trout Unlimited chapter should be.

Paula

Varmitcounty
08-22-2012, 12:55 PM
Thank you Paula. I am sure that they are doing all they can to fix whatever is wrong, or at least looking for answers. Once again, thanks.

William
08-22-2012, 02:41 PM
Though I have nothing to contribute, I'm following this thread very closely. Subscribed.

waterwolf
08-22-2012, 02:53 PM
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but mine doesn't agree with yours, Waterwolf. There are two sides to every story; the quality zone issue is long, involved and sordid. And I don't want this to become a battle about that old fight, but there were some very questionable practices that went into its enactment, which is why the Clinch River Chapter didn't agree with it.

As to them being TU in name only, perhaps you are unaware of their excellent fly tying class held each year, or their outreach programs to attract youth to the sport in the form of a week long school at Tremont.

Personally, I think they embody what a Trout Unlimited chapter should be.

Paula

There was a bunch of spin thrown out during the QZ debate that would remind all of us what goes on daily during our national political races. All of the BS about not contacting landowners, ramming it through in the middle of the night etc etc, was just that it was BS. Fortunately I was involved in the process and none of that stuff occurred.

What happened was, none of the bait slingers were paying attention and TWRA passed a law which they didnt agree with.

Thus came the threat of a Private Act by the slingers to make their own laws, and TWRA back down.

That is the short version.

About the Clinch Chapter....I do not consider fly tying classes part of a conservation organization. Maybe great for a fly fishing club, but a conservation organization should focus on conservation, and not recreational activities.

One of their esteemed board members with the initials of B.S. has had numerous fiery run ins on the Clinch where he was openly violating the slot, and boasting about it in public. That is not a characteristic of a conservation organization.

The simple fact they were absent on the push to help support TWRA and the new slot limit is all the evidence it should take to illustrate where their loyalties are, and that they do not seem to care one iota about the health or future of the Clinch.

Paula Begley
08-22-2012, 03:36 PM
I said I didn't want this to turn into a battle about that, Waterwolf.

The point I was trying to subtly make is I don't want you (or anyone else) bashing the Clinch River Chapter on this forum. Now, is that clear enough? Stop it. You have your opinion. I don't share it. Move on, please. Capisce?

If this keeps coming up, this topic will be removed; that would be a shame because the issues that face the Clinch should be discussed. And they can be, without bashing the Clinch River Chapter, or any of its members, or rehashing the past. When the question was asked, you could just as easily have said, "I don't know what the Clinch River stand would be, maybe if they have members on here they'll chime in." Your comments were unnecessary. Both times.

Paula

waterwolf
08-22-2012, 04:47 PM
I said I didn't want this to turn into a battle about that, Waterwolf.

The point I was trying to subtly make is I don't want you (or anyone else) bashing the Clinch River Chapter on this forum. Now, is that clear enough? Stop it. You have your opinion. I don't share it. Move on, please. Capisce?

If this keeps coming up, this topic will be removed; that would be a shame because the issues that face the Clinch should be discussed. And they can be, without bashing the Clinch River Chapter, or any of its members, or rehashing the past. When the question was asked, you could just as easily have said, "I don't know what the Clinch River stand would be, maybe if they have members on here they'll chime in." Your comments were unnecessary. Both times.

Paula

Understood, and this has hijacked a good topic where real issues were being discussed.

Just one thing that should be said. Maybe an open air conversation should be had and maybe changes can occur to have a valuable ally to help the Clinch moving forward. If all of this is kept hush hush, then nothing will ever change.

You know me better than to think I would just stay quiet :biggrin:

MadisonBoats
08-22-2012, 05:12 PM
Understood, and this has hijacked a good topic where real issues were being discussed.

Just one thing that should be said. Maybe an open air conversation should be had and maybe changes can occur to have a valuable ally to help the Clinch moving forward. If all of this is kept hush hush, then nothing will ever change.

You know me better than to think I would just stay quiet :biggrin:

Again; my intent with starting this topic was not inflammatory. I desire to solicit the opinions and thoughts of fellow fishermen/women on how to make the Clinch River a better ecosystem. Everyone has an opinion and it should be heard. However; I hope that our ideas can voiced as constructive and not condescending.

I am actually a bit surprised to see fisheries mgmt. as being the biggest threat/concern to the Clinch River's Conservation.:eek:

Paula Begley
08-22-2012, 05:41 PM
Just one thing that should be said. Maybe an open air conversation should be had and maybe changes can occur to have a valuable ally to help the Clinch moving forward. If all of this is kept hush hush, then nothing will ever change.

You know me better than to think I would just stay quiet :biggrin:

I'd be thrilled for you to reach a detente with the Clinch River Chapter; one way to start in that direction is to adjust your attitude. And you know me better than to think I will tolerate comments like yours on this board. That. Is the last word on that.

MadisonBoats please carry on. I appreciate you opening a dialog. I'm sure from this point forward everyone who participates in the discussion will do so with the site rules (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_b), particularly #6, in mind.

Paula

waterwolf
08-22-2012, 06:54 PM
Again; my intent with starting this topic was not inflammatory. I desire to solicit the opinions and thoughts of fellow fishermen/women on how to make the Clinch River a better ecosystem. Everyone has an opinion and it should be heard. However; I hope that our ideas can voiced as constructive and not condescending.

I am actually a bit surprised to see fisheries mgmt. as being the biggest threat/concern to the Clinch River's Conservation.:eek:

It has been and will continue to be until TWRA understands how valuable a resource the Clinch is to this state and their interests.

The Clinch could be so much better than it is now, and anyone who remembers the QZ era will understand what I mean.

Joe Congleton
08-23-2012, 10:22 AM
Having been in the business of giving advice for many years i can tell you that most folks have a hard time taking it, even when they pay you to give it . Free advice is even less respected ...but here goes anyway---

Here are some facts . Not opinions but facts . I have flyfished on the Clinch about 45 years. In the late sixties when i joined Trout Unlimited there were less than twenty members in Tennessee. I helped to organize the first TU chapter in this end of the state ,the GSM chapter, and there were less than 20 TU members east of Chattanooga. I was the first true organizational president of the GSM chapter and it grew to over a hundred members in two years . We looked for projects in the Park Tellico and on the tailwaters. We rolled rocks planted trees and tried to make meaningful ties with TWRA and TVA USFS and the FWS. We got the GSMNP to stop all hatchery fish stocking in the PArk. In short the organization was a working conservation entity and also a fishing club of sorts. This GSM chapter and the then newly formed Chattanooga chapter formed the TU council for Tenn early on. Subsequently a chapter in tri cities emerged (bluff city) and began to work on the south holston TU was the primary leader in the Tellico Dam fight. Hundreds of TU members from all over country gave a lot of money to fund that fight. TU national offcie worked the Washington DC governmental entities and we darn near won the battle over the Tellico dam. (A new book is scheduled to be out soon that will detail all this Tellico work --it will be titled "Little Fish", out next year i think).

Anyway, as the Tellico fight was ongoing other talwater issues came to the forefront. InFollowing the release of the Study for Alternatives to the Tellico Dam some of the TVA directors came to realize the potential economic gain from enhanced tailwater fisheries. Plus, legal issues surrounding point source designation under the Clean Water Act prodded TVA to correct water edficiiencies. By personal meetings with the TVA board memebers TU was at the forefront of getting the tailwater water issues in dissolved oxygen, minimum flows ) addressed meaningfully for the first time. The weir dams came about directly and absolutely in response to this work and potential environmental litigation over the past water quality releases. As the Weir dam construction and designs improved the fisheries improved dramtically. TU at work.
Now to some opinions: Having served as State Chairman and a National Director of TU qnd based on the matters mentioned in the preceeding paragraph, i can tell you firsthand that the organization does and can make a difference . But making a difference doesnt mean in all instances being a litigant or a complete adversary to the governmental groups who oversee the resources. That role often is last resort. In my youinger days, I was like several of you who obviously care about the resources. I srongly urge that you attend some TU meetings and voice your concerns there or contact the TU leadership on the state and get involved rhere.

Lone Rangers dont usually win a lot of these regulatory or conservation fights or solve the bigger issues. An organization that is already in place with working relationships with the governmental agencies is the place to start: your local TU chapter. You will have a postive impact with your participation. Self declared experts on the internet may think they are the drum major but if they look around and no band is following them they might want to go find the band first, join it, and then use it for a forum to begin a plan to solve their concerns. TU is pursuing all the real issues in the poll in some fashion or another, depending on the matters in focus. I attended the annual TU Tva TWRA joint taliwater review session in july. with About 25 TU leaders. Folks attended From several different Tenn chapters. Every concern about the Clinch was addressed . Some fairly serious and vigorous discussions addressed potential solutions. Not a lot of *** kissing took place. While TWRA biologists say analytically that the Clinch is the current most productive tailwater in Tenn , it is my impression that most anglers who fish it regularly are frustrated that the fishery is nowhere what it could be with some tweaking. because we see the POTENTIAL for it to be great, day to day and year to year--just as i saw ot forty plus years ago and Waterwolf sees it today. Everybody there at the meeting, governmental or volunteer wanted the Clinch and other tailwaters to improve but there are obvious limitations that hinder progress in some areas. Fixing some issues is not an overnight project. Tilting at windmills such as "acid drainage" is not beneficial to the debates (i do not believe there is or ever has been a acid mine drainage source designation by the Dept of Interior or water quality enforcement agencies in the Tennessee Clinch watershed) While enthusiasm is a great asset it is important to get facts straight in order to have credibility with resource managers, which at the end of the day hold the trump cards in matters of water and fish management.

I Suggest anyone who wants these water to improve needs to find the TU chapter near you or near "your" water and get involved. Dynamic young ideas are welcome.

cockeye valdez
08-23-2012, 11:07 AM
"Whell" after a borderline contentious disagreement between me and my siblings. The idea of discussing improvements to the Clinch is a large idea and I thank Shawn for placing it on the table. I sponsor a fly fishing club at a local school. We have 12 members, we talk about conservation as well as casting, tying, and entomology. I plan to take them to the Clinch next month.
These kids and others like them are the future of the sport we love. Their involvement will determine the future of our sport.
We need, for our kids, to have this discussion on a civil level. Shawn, you put it on the table and perhaps we should pursue it. You can be the drum major, I'll be in the band.
I'm a member of Clinch River T.U. they're great guys. Glad they let me in.
c.v.

Byron Begley
08-23-2012, 04:10 PM
I have been a member, leader and supporter of Trout Unlimited for 30+ years, not as long as Joe has but still for a long time. I started as a member and director of the Cumberland Chapter in Nashville. After moving to Townsend over 20 years ago I transferred my membership to the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter and attended meetings in Knoxville. Then with the encouragement of the Tennessee Council and the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter I started working on a new Chapter in 1992 to assist Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We chartered in 1993, I served as the first President and we called ourselves the Little River Chapter. Soon after, the Clinch River Chapter was formed.

Anyone in the fisheries department at Great Smoky Mountains will tell you, the relationship that began 20 years ago has benefited the Park by $2.5 million. That includes volunteer labor from several TU Chapters, FFF, the Tennessee Council of TU, grants and donated cash. Before 1992, the Park Fisheries Department did not work with outside organizations. The Little River Chapter and Great Smoky Mountains Chapter changed that.

Due to the efforts and partnership with Trout Unlimited and the Park, most of the closed brook trout streams are now open to fishing. Most streams above natural barriers have been restored to pure strains of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.

A few years ago I attended a Tennessee Wildlife Commission Meeting in Gatlinburg. An important issue to me was a slot limit on the Clinch River. I knew that idea had the overwhelming support of Trout Unlimited. I also knew TWRA supported this management practice. I sat next to Frank Fiss, who is the Assistant Chief of Fisheries at TWRA. I knew Frank wanted the slot limit. There were several TU members present to support the slot limit. When it came time for the public to speak, I spoke out in favor of the slot limit. Joe Congleton and George Lane spoke in favor of the slot. There were two people there who were opposed and they said they represented a landowner group on the Clinch. The Commission voted in favor of the slot limit which remains in place today.

What I am getting to is this, get involved with Trout Unlimited, either the Clinch River Chapter or the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter. Work with the agencies, TVA and TWRA. Support them. Tell them about the river cleanups the Clinch River Chapter does every year. Tell them about the bank stabilization efforts. Talk about the work John Thurman has done. Talk about getting young people involved to become our future stewards. Discuss water flow. Look at dissolved oxygen problems, water temperature, didymo, lack of food, abundance of predators, pollution and enforcement. Learn how to work with them, not against them. Make collective decisions on what can be done to improve the fishery. Raise money to help them do their job better.

My experience is, that is the only way you can improve fishing in the Clinch River. Maybe the fishing is fine. Maybe there isnít a problem. I donít know. I suspect all of the issues Shawn listed in this poll are important. Donít dwell on the past. Look to the future. Sacrifice your time and money to be a better steward and make a difference. Start by getting involved with Trout Unlimited.

Just my 2 cents and ho.

Byron

MadisonBoats
08-29-2012, 07:18 AM
Having been in the business of giving advice for many years i can tell you that most folks have a hard time taking it, even when they pay you to give it . Free advice is even less respected ...but here goes anyway---

Here are some facts . Not opinions but facts . I have flyfished on the Clinch about 45 years. In the late sixties when i joined Trout Unlimited there were less than twenty members in Tennessee. I helped to organize the first TU chapter in this end of the state ,the GSM chapter, and there were less than 20 TU members east of Chattanooga. I was the first true organizational president of the GSM chapter and it grew to over a hundred members in two years . We looked for projects in the Park Tellico and on the tailwaters. We rolled rocks planted trees and tried to make meaningful ties with TWRA and TVA USFS and the FWS. We got the GSMNP to stop all hatchery fish stocking in the PArk. In short the organization was a working conservation entity and also a fishing club of sorts. This GSM chapter and the then newly formed Chattanooga chapter formed the TU council for Tenn early on. Subsequently a chapter in tri cities emerged (bluff city) and began to work on the south holston TU was the primary leader in the Tellico Dam fight. Hundreds of TU members from all over country gave a lot of money to fund that fight. TU national offcie worked the Washington DC governmental entities and we darn near won the battle over the Tellico dam. (A new book is scheduled to be out soon that will detail all this Tellico work --it will be titled "Little Fish", out next year i think).

Anyway, as the Tellico fight was ongoing other talwater issues came to the forefront. InFollowing the release of the Study for Alternatives to the Tellico Dam some of the TVA directors came to realize the potential economic gain from enhanced tailwater fisheries. Plus, legal issues surrounding point source designation under the Clean Water Act prodded TVA to correct water edficiiencies. By personal meetings with the TVA board memebers TU was at the forefront of getting the tailwater water issues in dissolved oxygen, minimum flows ) addressed meaningfully for the first time. The weir dams came about directly and absolutely in response to this work and potential environmental litigation over the past water quality releases. As the Weir dam construction and designs improved the fisheries improved dramtically. TU at work.
Now to some opinions: Having served as State Chairman and a National Director of TU qnd based on the matters mentioned in the preceeding paragraph, i can tell you firsthand that the organization does and can make a difference . But making a difference doesnt mean in all instances being a litigant or a complete adversary to the governmental groups who oversee the resources. That role often is last resort. In my youinger days, I was like several of you who obviously care about the resources. I srongly urge that you attend some TU meetings and voice your concerns there or contact the TU leadership on the state and get involved rhere.

Lone Rangers dont usually win a lot of these regulatory or conservation fights or solve the bigger issues. An organization that is already in place with working relationships with the governmental agencies is the place to start: your local TU chapter. You will have a postive impact with your participation. Self declared experts on the internet may think they are the drum major but if they look around and no band is following them they might want to go find the band first, join it, and then use it for a forum to begin a plan to solve their concerns. TU is pursuing all the real issues in the poll in some fashion or another, depending on the matters in focus. I attended the annual TU Tva TWRA joint taliwater review session in july. with About 25 TU leaders. Folks attended From several different Tenn chapters. Every concern about the Clinch was addressed . Some fairly serious and vigorous discussions addressed potential solutions. Not a lot of *** kissing took place. While TWRA biologists say analytically that the Clinch is the current most productive tailwater in Tenn , it is my impression that most anglers who fish it regularly are frustrated that the fishery is nowhere what it could be with some tweaking. because we see the POTENTIAL for it to be great, day to day and year to year--just as i saw ot forty plus years ago and Waterwolf sees it today. Everybody there at the meeting, governmental or volunteer wanted the Clinch and other tailwaters to improve but there are obvious limitations that hinder progress in some areas. Fixing some issues is not an overnight project. Tilting at windmills such as "acid drainage" is not beneficial to the debates (i do not believe there is or ever has been a acid mine drainage source designation by the Dept of Interior or water quality enforcement agencies in the Tennessee Clinch watershed) While enthusiasm is a great asset it is important to get facts straight in order to have credibility with resource managers, which at the end of the day hold the trump cards in matters of water and fish management.

I Suggest anyone who wants these water to improve needs to find the TU chapter near you or near "your" water and get involved. Dynamic young ideas are welcome.

Very good information Joe! I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate and give your opinion! One thing to consider; just because something has not been flagged before as an issue does not mean it is not a problem. As I wrote earlier; I am not trying to point any fingers. I would like to work together and openly discuss ideas and issues we feel could hinder the Clinch River. I am from Lake City and have many years of playing in Coal Creek. I truly think there are some pollutant issues in this creek and I would like to work at reducing them. I know some conservationists have already tackled this issue and made great strides. I appreciate the work that Barry Thacker, CCWF, TU, and many others have done to improve the coal creek watershed.

Here is a link to a fabulous article and excellent read that offers some great insight on previous conservation efforts in Coal Creek!

Corresponding Article:
Collaborative Conservation: Leopold's Land Citizenship in Coal Creek By: Samuel Snyder
Link:http://www.humansandnature.org/collaborative-conservation--leopold-s-land-citizenship-in-coal-creek-article-6.php

Varmitcounty
08-29-2012, 08:28 AM
Are you a member of the Clinch river TU chapter Shawn? Seems to me that getting your chapter members on the same page with a game plan might be the best place to start.

Corbo
08-30-2012, 03:58 PM
Good question VarmitCounty; but shouldn't you ask it of everyone?

Perhaps there ought to be a "CLINCH COALITION"?

This might unite all the various stake holders. In Maine we formed the Kennebec Coalition to bring all the NGO stake holders together in an effort to remove the Edwards Dam.... a tough fight to restore a river but WE won!

Working together clearly works better than working alone; success comes with numbers of folks with a common dream and lots of resolve.

Government, Industry, TVA and others can be moved by a large group of concerned citizens.... a single person gets blown off but a constituency makes you powerful and difficult to ignore. You also need money; sometimes a lot of it. Most of all you need to have a group that leads by example because it demonstrates you care about the resource.

If you are hoping TU National will do something for you then you are fooling yourself... you must have a local grass roots effort before they will jump into your fight and even then their willingness or ability to help out may be limited by their own financial resources or other factors.

I seriously doubt there is enough resolve from enough people that any improvements to the Clinch River will happen any time soon; sad..

Varmitcounty
08-30-2012, 10:24 PM
Grass roots efforts are the start. TU will get involved to offer support, but they won't come in and just start fixing things. I know several of the national staff of TU and can say that if the effort locally is strong enough, and the TU chapter is directly involved in more than just a name affiliation, they will offer help.

And as Corbo mentioned...If you are not a TU member...why not?

Corbo
09-01-2012, 04:01 AM
Thank you Joe & Byron!

My chapter (kennebec) in Maine has been enormously successful over the years, two Golden Trout Awards for what they're worth.... but I won't bother you all with the "list" of monumental achievements.

Unfortunately my chapter did not have a banquet this year..... my guess is lack of participation from the younger guys; a great many of us 50 + guys have old. cold bones and have moved south.

For twenty five years or so the Kennebec Chapter has been largely comprised of "The Greatest Generation" & "the Boomers"; we are getting old, tired and BURNED OUT. I believe this is the case everywhere even though many chapters have sought to "recruit" members by teaching younger kids to fly fish which has been a BIG thing up in Maine.



I started in my 20's and I'm 53; when I joined up I was considered a kid in the group but I jumped in head first and sorta became the Chapter "lawyer" when it came to hydro issues and FERC RE-LICENSING... I needed a lot of money and was fortunate that the older guys believed in the mission and worked their tails off to raise the money and the awareness in our Community.

I was part of a great grass-roots effort that achieved great results but I fear those born after the Boomers largely expect WE will live forever and continue the battle.... Personally I got burned out in 2000 for the most part; too many years spent researching documents, typing documents, filing documents and long lonely nights etc. Fortunate I met my wife AFTER "retiring"; I certainly didn't have time for a wife while I was battling for the Kennebec River's future.

So JOE... I got a piece of WOOD for you; Byron can explain.

You young fellows must understand that it is NOW your turn to step up to the plate... the old guys who won what you enjoy deserve to have their effort honored with YOUR effort.

Ain't nothin free. SO... OFF MY FREAKING SOAP BOX AND LEAVING TO MEET A YOUNG GUY BELOW NORRIS TO FISH THIS MORNING BEFORE THE FLOOD AT 10 AM.

MadisonBoats
09-01-2012, 06:47 AM
Thank you Joe & Byron!

My chapter (kennebec) in Maine has been enormously successful over the years, two Golden Trout Awards for what they're worth.... but I won't bother you all with the "list" of monumental achievements.

Unfortunately my chapter did not have a banquet this year..... my guess is lack of participation from the younger guys; a great many of us 50 + guys have old. cold bones and have moved south.

For twenty five years or so the Kennebec Chapter has been largely comprised of "The Greatest Generation" & "the Boomers"; we are getting old, tired and BURNED OUT. I believe this is the case everywhere even though many chapters have sought to "recruit" members by teaching younger kids to fly fish which has been a BIG thing up in Maine.



I started in my 20's and I'm 53; when I joined up I was considered a kid in the group but I jumped in head first and sorta became the Chapter "lawyer" when it came to hydro issues and FERC RE-LICENSING... I needed a lot of money and was fortunate that the older guys believed in the mission and worked their tails off to raise the money and the awareness in our Community.

I was part of a great grass-roots effort that achieved great results but I fear those born after the Boomers largely expect WE will live forever and continue the battle.... Personally I got burned out in 2000 for the most part; too many years spent researching documents, typing documents, filing documents and long lonely nights etc. Fortunate I met my wife AFTER "retiring"; I certainly didn't have time for a wife while I was battling for the Kennebec River's future.

So JOE... I got a piece of WOOD for you; Byron can explain.

You young fellows must understand that it is NOW your turn to step up to the plate... the old guys who won what you enjoy deserve to have their effort honored with YOUR effort.

Ain't nothin free. SO... OFF MY FREAKING SOAP BOX AND LEAVING TO MEET A YOUNG GUY BELOW NORRIS TO FISH THIS MORNING BEFORE THE FLOOD AT 10 AM.
I hope to get more involved and to start carrying the load for a while.:smile: I am grateful to so many who have paved the way.

Varmitcounty
09-01-2012, 08:35 AM
Shawn, how many members of your TU Chapter are on the same page with you and have you guys got a list of things that need to be done? I would treat it like eating an elephant...one bite at a time...smallest and easiest fixes first. To improve any fishery, or restore one for that matter, takes a lot of effort and the Clinch is a big run of water. The way I see it, the first things you might want to consider is water quality, pushing for the enforcement of the slot limit, doing a lot of striper fishing, and compiling a list of the most troublesome spots. I don't fish the Clinch as much as I used to, but the area around the church has slowed quite a bit in the past couple of years, obviously the area from Peach Orchard to the 75 bridge has herds of stripers as well as people line up on the boat ramp with enough corn out in the water to feed a herd of cattle-blocking the ramp etc., miller island is/or at least was didymo heaven, and from there up you have folks by the multitude who are ignoring the slot limit. Trash is rampant at times, and the crowds are concentrated in these areas because of ease of access.

Can't stop people from fishing. It is their right I a am thankful for that right, but many who visit this body of water are not following the rules of the game.

Another thought is the water quality of Norris. No doubt the cleanest body of water in the TVA system which, at least in my thinking, reduces the amount of biomass particulates that filter into the water as it becomes the Clinch.

I am a member of the LRTU, and spoke recently about the trouble in Yellowstone. Having been hands on in the efforts to restore Yellowstone Lake, I see that bringing back what once was, to a degree, is impossible when you are dealing with other species, but if you are willing to commit yourself to it, and others will get on board, you can make a noticeable improvement. It will be like herding cats at times, but it can happen.

Corbo
09-01-2012, 08:00 PM
So I fished ABOVE the wier today (first canoe access down from dam) and there were tons of young guys and a few older fellows like me.... YUP I took a skunk as I forgot my midge box, dropped a couple and broke off two on quasi's.

Met a few guys from this forum and watched Danny kick butt next to me with many fine fish.

AFTER we all ran for our lives at 10 AM I saw a guy clean several slot sized fish on the concrete wall at the canoe launch; he filleted them and threw the leftovers in the river.... he did this in front of about a dozen of us and most didn't seem to care.

Maybe he reads this... I have a fillet knife too but it works best on cleaning tires.

waterwolf
09-01-2012, 10:49 PM
Corbo do you not have a cell phone?

You have been on here preaching for weeks, and when given a lay oppty you walk away to post it up on a forum.

Did you even confront the guy?

Unbelievable...

Corbo
09-02-2012, 07:15 AM
Waterwolf

MY fillet knife was home, as are my pistols and I don't have a badge, nor do I work for the TWRA and my cell was in my truck AND there were at least a dozen who saw this guy.

When I mentioned it to some of the guys they said it happens all the time and that they caught no shortage of fish because of it.

I had never fished this spot before and likely won't again as it's too much like fishing a pond BUT there were easily 25 people fishing there and one would think it would be easy pickings for a TWRA guy to check them all out at 10 AM when they all headed to the parking lot. The guy in question had his catch in a bucket. There was another guy with two fish who was posing for pictures.

Get me a badge; I own the guns and we won't need any handcuffs as I have some 4/0 hooks.

g022271
09-02-2012, 11:22 AM
Waterwolf and Corbo, One of the guys there did confront the person who had the 2 slot fish and his excuse was that he thought that since they were dead that it was ok. I told him that I had asked a twra person that very question (i.e. dead because of being foulhooked in the gills, etc...not from being on a stringer for several hours as was the case here) and he said that they still had to be released. the guy didn't seem too concerned even when we mentioned how expensive these fsh could be. I have tried to "educate" several slot busters over time with some honest mistakes being realized and some people tellng me to mind my own business.

Mike

Varmitcounty
09-02-2012, 01:40 PM
What I gather from what I have been reading in the last few posts, TWRA would be the first target. Knowing when the most anglers would be coming of the river (generation schedule), those who have not followed the law would be easy pickings. Does anyone know what the leadership of the Clinch TU chapter has done as far as communication with TWRA? If the presence was felt, and the pocketbook was directly impacted, perhaps that would at least offer a slight defence. Sounds like we need the TWRA to step up on multiple levels and the only heat they will feel is if you can get their leadership engaged.

waterwolf
09-02-2012, 07:13 PM
If you are scared of standing up for what is right, and it doesn't require a weapon just a spine, then at least take 1 minute when you get to the car and make a call to TWRA.

I am sorry but it just isn't hard to wait with them on the line until the guy gets to his vehicle, pass on the tag number and hang up. Let them do their job with solid info.

All cell phones have cameras and most have video capabilities, it would be easy to get evidence which would be powerful if just a little empathy was shown towards the resource and others who enjoy it.

I can assure you that the guys I know in this thread including me have done the above over and over, because we legitimately care. I am not saying you don't care, but complaining here while doing nothing there won't stop or solve anything.

Preaching about conservation while turning a blind eye to blatant poaching is hypocritical and we all should strive to help TWRA and the river when these lay up opportunities occur.

g022271
09-02-2012, 10:42 PM
The "honest mistakes" mentioned above was a nice way of calling the people ignorant or not being able to read. The people ( 2 incidences ) who told me to mnd my own business actually told me where to go, which is no big deal,(in my younger and healthier days would have resulted in a butt kicking) but I did let my finger do the work and did call TWRA right in front of them which both times resulted in some name calling and a hasty departure on their part.

Mike

Corbo
09-03-2012, 06:59 AM
Varmit & Waterwolf

My question: Are you members of the Clinch River TU Chapter? If not why not?

I am a life member of TU and still technically a member of the Kennebec Chapter in Maine though I have lived here two years...

I would likely transfer my membership to the Clinch if someone invited me.

BTW... I do not have a "camera" in my phone or carry one fishing as I fall often while wading, fused right foot ankle.... easy to notice me as I carry a large aluminum wading staff that is also my only means of self-defense.

"Confronting" folks who violate the law is best left to Law Enforcement; I will not do their job for them if they don't care enough to be there. I have been the victim of violent crime and it changed my life in a bad way so I don't stir up the mud with people.... one of them might cause serious injury.... I would carry a freaking Glock as they are more water-proof but I would be embarrassed to be seen with one.

You guys wanna meet up next Saturday at the Clinch I bring guns for everyone and will make citizen's arrests on all the violators?

waterwolf
09-03-2012, 07:41 AM
Varmit & Waterwolf

My question: Are you members of the Clinch River TU Chapter? If not why not?

I am a life member of TU and still technically a member of the Kennebec Chapter in Maine though I have lived here two years...

I would likely transfer my membership to the Clinch if someone invited me.

BTW... I do not have a "camera" in my phone or carry one fishing as I fall often while wading, fused right foot ankle.... easy to notice me as I carry a large aluminum wading staff that is also my only means of self-defense.

"Confronting" folks who violate the law is best left to Law Enforcement; I will not do their job for them if they don't care enough to be there. I have been the victim of violent crime and it changed my life in a bad way so I don't stir up the mud with people.... one of them might cause serious injury.... I would carry a freaking Glock as they are more water-proof but I would be embarrassed to be seen with one.

You guys wanna meet up next Saturday at the Clinch I bring guns for everyone and will make citizen's arrests on all the violators?


I was one of the handful of people that founded the Clinch river chapter of TU eons ago.

This has NOTHING to do with TU.

Pentax and Olympus make excellent waterproof cameras, that are very affordable.

I understand not wanting to get directly involved by confrontation, that is not for the faint of heart. So the question remains why didn't you call when you got to your vehicle?

I have plenty of guns, and since I am in a boat 90% of the time, I am usually armed on the river.

Preaching about TU this and TU that is hollow rhetoric. All the regs, stream management, flow management, etc etc are completely worthless if the river is full of angler who poach and deplete the resource against posted rules.

Keep in mind, these people that poach are stealing from all the rest of us who buy licenses. If you knew someone was breaking into your neighbors house would you just look the other way?

Corbo
09-03-2012, 09:22 AM
Waterwolf; are you asking me to become a member of the Clinch River Chapter?



I'm not certain that shooting a fish poacher is a good idea even if he resists "citizen's arrest" while I wait all day for some TWRA dude to show up on a weekend.

Perhaps WE all ought to get together and re-organize/ revitalize some efforts for the Clinch?

duckypaddler
09-03-2012, 09:54 AM
I have really cool guns and it's a real shame I haven't been able to shoot anyone yet!


Did he really just say that?:eek:

Talk like that will get your carry permit pulled if you have one (not that I'm gonna turn you in).

Your a disgrace to responsible gun owners/concealed carry people, and statements like that just feed each side of the issue, and does nothing helpful.;)

Then again flaming an issue and offering nothing contributable may just be a theme with you, but hopefully I'm wrong about that.:smile:



Hopefully these tailwater schedules will get better, and so will the mood of this fourm:biggrin:

Varmitcounty
09-03-2012, 11:27 AM
Wolfie,

I am a member of the Little River Chapter.

Historically speaking, it has been my observance that you are quite the curmudgeon when it comes to points of opinion and discussion. Nothing at all against you or what you have done both on and for your home waters...for that you get my fullest support.

I agree that it is a much larger issue than just hugging up to the TU tree and feeling good because we picked up some trash, released our fish, and taught some kid how to cast a fly rod. This issue is perhaps more about the management of the people on the river more than the fish in the river. TWRA should without question be much more proactive on our waters. I don't think, with the one trip on the Nanatahala I have ever been "checked". Would not bother me at all to have my trip briefly interupted by an officer each time I went out.

Confrontation in the case of the river, is a defense mechanism of the ignorant. The taking of a licence plate number is admirable, but how many TWRA officers are going to knock on someones door because they kept two trout or so that were not legal? It simply must be an on stream encounter that is consistent, swift, and sure.

I entered into this discussion because I feel very strongly about bringing the Clinch back to its better days. I learned to fly fish on the Clinch, and still have friends who fish it more out of dedication and convenience than overall quality. It was also my fear that it would turn from an honest discussion to a heated argument and it seems that unless Paula so graciously intervenes again, it may turn that way again.

I think Shawn has brought up an very important issue, but I also think to myself, how many folks who read this are reading it just because "Waterwolf" is back on his sacred cow tipping soapbox again.

Intellect, organization, cooperation, and civility may not always work in war, or life for that matter, but when it comes to supporting the health of a pastime it is of utmost importance.

Corbo
09-03-2012, 12:28 PM
Ducky; I was joking! Lighten up. Chances are if someone ain't shooting at me I'm not gonna shoot at them; never been to jail and don't plan on it.

Spose the wolf doesn't want me as a Clinch member.

I don't know where TWRA guys spend their time; perhaps at boat landings on the lakes. I have seen them many times around the Douglas landing near the dam and at Gator Point Marina when there was live music (about 4 of them) and fireworks.

Now speaking of weapons; what if the guys with illegal fish didn't like the tone of your voice or your attitude or your writing down their plate or taking their picture and took out a pistol then fired at you claiming "self-defense"? I do not have bullet proof waders or vest.... and any idiot (legal or not) can easily stick a Keltec 9 into his wading vest or beat you senseless with a tire iron.

waterwolf
09-03-2012, 02:33 PM
Confrontation in the case of the river, is a defense mechanism of the ignorant. The taking of a licence plate number is admirable, but how many TWRA officers are going to knock on someones door because they kept two trout or so that were not legal? It simply must be an on stream encounter that is consistent, swift, and sure.

I think Shawn has brought up an very important issue, but I also think to myself, how many folks who read this are reading it just because "Waterwolf" is back on his sacred cow tipping soapbox again.

.

You may feel that confronting poachers either directly or indirectly is a mechanism of the ignorant, but several other posters including me in this very topic believe it is a civic duty to report most crimes.

I could care less whether you or anyone else chooses to confront or give TWRA a call when you see poaching, it is a personal choice and an ethical decision which must be made by the individual.

However, coming here and whining or even participating in a conservation discussion when the easiest and most controllable aspect of conservation is ignored, makes even having this discussion a waste of time.

That is the point of the last few posts. I am not getting into the whole TU thing again, to each their own. But it is hard to claim to be concerned with the river when blatant law breaking is left unchallenged and unreported.

You can attack me if you feel froggy, but rest assured neither I nor anyone I know, which is a bunch, would let slide what you all did Saturday without a call to TWRA. You may call it a soap box or whatever, I believe it is right to stand up for the fishery and the law, and the future of the resource.


Spose the wolf doesn't want me as a Clinch member.


Now speaking of weapons; what if the guys with illegal fish didn't like the tone of your voice or your attitude or your writing down their plate or taking their picture and took out a pistol then fired at you claiming "self-defense"? I do not have bullet proof waders or vest.... and any idiot (legal or not) can easily stick a Keltec 9 into his wading vest or beat you senseless with a tire iron.

Join if you wish, I am not active anymore because of reasons mentioned earlier which I will let rest at the request of Paula.

My heavens is all that needs to be said about the last paragraph.

I guess some people just don't understand that helping out TWRA with a simple 2 minute phone call is the right thing to do, and the chances of it escalating to a shootout or beating with a tire iron are right around zero.

Again, it is impossible to have a discussion about river conservation when the easiest and most controllabe aspect isn't stood up for when it occurs. Impossible.

Cane Pole
09-03-2012, 04:16 PM
I've hunted and fished around here for over 40 years and I hate poachers with a passion -- but I wouldn't a bit more confront some idiot over a bunch of fish a bit more than the man in the moon! If I could get a tag number or something, then sure, I'd do that, but I would never recommend physically confronting anybody over a stupid fish.


With no enforcement, these yahoos will use the rivers as their own personal grocery store. That's just a fact. So until TWRA gets serious about it - or views it as a problem - then it's going to be what it is and no vigilante is going to change a thing.

waterwolf
09-03-2012, 05:00 PM
I've hunted and fished around here for over 40 years and I hate poachers with a passion -- but I wouldn't a bit more confront some idiot over a bunch of fish a bit more than the man in the moon! If I could get a tag number or something, then sure, I'd do that, but I would never recommend physically confronting anybody over a stupid fish.


With no enforcement, these yahoos will use the rivers as their own personal grocery store. That's just a fact. So until TWRA gets serious about it - or views it as a problem - then it's going to be what it is and no vigilante is going to change a thing.

I understand avoiding the confrontation, but a phone call is an easy option.

How can TWRA know if we keep our mouths shut?

g022271
09-03-2012, 05:53 PM
Over the past 3 years that I have been flyfishing on the Clinch, which is nothing compared to the majority of the forum , when I have addressed the slot issue with a violator, I have mainly just asked them if they were aware of the slot limitations and all but a couple were unaware . I also let them know the reasons for the restriction and the fines that go along with it . I also let them know about cleaning the fish at the river and the violation of cutting off the head and/or the tail. I do it in an unaggressive attitude and try to not sound like a know it all, but that I am trying to save them from being fined. Like I said earlier, I have only been "rebuked" twice and did not feel endangered at the time. I hope this method makes sense in trying to do what is right, and if anyone has a better way or added ideas, I'm open.

Mike

waterwolf
09-03-2012, 06:43 PM
Over the past 3 years that I have been flyfishing on the Clinch, which is nothing compared to the majority of the forum , when I have addressed the slot issue with a violator, I have mainly just asked them if they were aware of the slot limitations and all but a couple were unaware . I also let them know the reasons for the restriction and the fines that go along with it . I also let them know about cleaning the fish at the river and the violation of cutting off the head and/or the tail. I do it in an unaggressive attitude and try to not sound like a know it all, but that I am trying to save them from being fined. Like I said earlier, I have only been "rebuked" twice and did not feel endangered at the time. I hope this method makes sense in trying to do what is right, and if anyone has a better way or added ideas, I'm open.

Mike

Perfect...

MadisonBoats
09-04-2012, 07:22 AM
Over the past 3 years that I have been flyfishing on the Clinch, which is nothing compared to the majority of the forum , when I have addressed the slot issue with a violator, I have mainly just asked them if they were aware of the slot limitations and all but a couple were unaware . I also let them know the reasons for the restriction and the fines that go along with it . I also let them know about cleaning the fish at the river and the violation of cutting off the head and/or the tail. I do it in an unaggressive attitude and try to not sound like a know it all, but that I am trying to save them from being fined. Like I said earlier, I have only been "rebuked" twice and did not feel endangered at the time. I hope this method makes sense in trying to do what is right, and if anyone has a better way or added ideas, I'm open.

Mike

Excellent approach Mike! Kudos and great job being an fishing ambassador! I do think it is great to voice our opinions and to be heard. However; we must remember to keep our emotions in check. Emotions are what keep our court systems backed up.:eek: I do agree with Jim on contacting TWRA. They might not be able to get up and check the violation right away. But, the notices let them know of the activity and give them valid information on when and where to check in the future.

BTW; there is a man and woman the fish above Llewallyn Island most weekends and absolutely slay slot fish. I have found heads of large fish all over the bank from where they leave them. I hope they get checked the next time they walk back to their car with their cleaned fish.

Grannyknot
09-04-2012, 08:53 AM
There is no need for confrontation. No need to educate a poacher or warn them of fines.

Its plain and simple. You see a few suspect fish on the way back to the parking lot, you sit down on the tailgate, power up your phone, call 1-800-831-1174 and make a report. I've done it. It only takes a few minutes. You don't have to stay on the line until the officer arrives. They may come, they may not come, but you've done your part.

Even if the fish turns out to be legal, at least you've got an officer down there checking trout stamps.

buzzmcmanus
09-04-2012, 03:42 PM
I don't know where TWRA guys spend their time; perhaps at boat landings on the lakes.....

Saturday was opening day of dove season. Huge southern tradition. I'm sure TWRA had their hands full patrolling the dove fields. A phone call to the poacher hotline would have been nice and maybe one would have swung by the weir dam.

old east tn boy
09-04-2012, 07:46 PM
For what it's worth, Ms. Annie and I were finishing up our float down the Clinch back in mid April, pulling into the Hwy. 61 launch and who do you think was pulled right down to the water's edge and standing there waiting for us to land? Yep, Mr. TWRA himself! Nice young fellow. We had about a 30 minute conversation about fishing and hunting. Plainly, I had been fishing as my gear was in full view in the kayak. He did not even mention a license but did ask where I had fished and what I used/caught. Go figure.

MadisonBoats
09-05-2012, 07:47 AM
For what it's worth, Ms. Annie and I were finishing up our float down the Clinch back in mid April, pulling into the Hwy. 61 launch and who do you think was pulled right down to the water's edge and standing there waiting for us to land? Yep, Mr. TWRA himself! Nice young fellow. We had about a 30 minute conversation about fishing and hunting. Plainly, I had been fishing as my gear was in full view in the kayak. He did not even mention a license but did ask where I had fished and what I used/caught. Go figure.

Many times the officers are trying to reach out to the public and make unbiased survey connections. As you could imagine; this takes a different approach for different types of people. I believe the presence of the officer in the area is the most effective deterrent to unlawful fishing/hunting practices.

One thing to note; I believe it costs TWRA more money in time/effort to issue tickets than they receive. Anderson County Courts get most of the ticket-court costs with just a handful of cash going to TWRA. Oh, the wonderful court system of Anderson County and Clinton.

I sure wish there was a no-harvest period for spawning fish. I would love to see more browns on the Clinch. I see this all the time. Here is a picture of eggs from this past weekend.https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/556517_10151251892293319_944638353_n.jpg

g022271
09-05-2012, 09:14 AM
Speaking of wanting more browns on the Clinch, I came across 3 guys and one woman fishing just above the weir about a week ago who were bait fishing. I asked them if they were having any luck and they said they were doing OK and were trying to catch small browns to use for bait to catch rockfish and stripes. I don't know if I'm off base or not, but it ticked me off and I asked him why just browns and he said that all the flyfishermen he knew wanted the browns out the river.As far as I 'm concerned why allow any trout be caught to be used as bait. As far as I know, there's not a minimum length regulation.....but.......

Mike

Corbo
09-05-2012, 04:31 PM
Mike

I recently joined the East TN Stripped Bass Association; seemed most all of the fellow who attended the meeting wer5e totally catch & release on Stripers PARTICULARLY on the rivers.

A very nice fellow who guides all the tail-waters for stripers provided us with an awesome slide show and shared the techniques he uses to catch these awesome fish. All his clients are required to C & R but they can photo.

This guide mostly uses trout for bait; he buys them from a supplier in North Carolina and drives over there frequently to purchase his bait... he likes the 12 or more inches long and trolls on an electric motor with two sets of planner boards.... essentially he drags trout along the river bank until he hooks up. He uses 4/0 hooks.

My point is that he buys his bait trout and prefers them over all other baits as they are more durable than skipjack and other bait that perishes easily.

There are apparently a few bait dealers in the Knoxville region who sell live trout as bait and it is apparently legal but it seems most guides want a larger fish than what is commonly available at these dealers. The guide I spoke with has a huge tank in his boat and an enormous tank at home with chilled water.

g022271
09-05-2012, 05:08 PM
I am aware that live trout are used as bait and that they are available at retail stores...i.e. Gander Mtn. and I see no problem with that at all. I may alienate some guides by what I am going to say next, but if they want a larger trout to use as bait and by what you said , I am assuming that they use caught browns from the Clinch instead, that is kind of like commercial fishing, right? or am I wrong?

waterwolf
09-05-2012, 06:12 PM
I am aware that live trout are used as bait and that they are available at retail stores...i.e. Gander Mtn. and I see no problem with that at all. I may alienate some guides by what I am going to say next, but if they want a larger trout to use as bait and by what you said , I am assuming that they use caught browns from the Clinch instead, that is kind of like commercial fishing, right? or am I wrong?

I use trout I catch from the clinch to catch clinch stripers. A few die to save hundreds, all the stripers caught die.

g022271
09-05-2012, 09:27 PM
Makes perfect sense to me. I hadn't and should've looked at it from that aspect.

Varmitcounty
09-07-2012, 09:27 AM
"all the stripers caught die." -waterwolf

quote of the day for me!

fourx
09-07-2012, 02:12 PM
Y'all are beating a dead striper.

4X

waterwolf
09-07-2012, 06:35 PM
Y'all are beating a dead striper.

4X

Better than beating a dead stripper