View Full Version : Caney Fork- Uh Oh

09-26-2012, 08:09 PM
Interesting article from Middle Tennessee about the Caney. This is from Dekalb County. All of this has to do with all the kayak and canoe rental traffic that is dominating the river. There has been no proposal from any group in Nashville that I am aware of. This is from WJLE.com. Beware of kayak and canoe rental places on the Clinch, Holston, South Holston and Watuaga. Can you imagine fishing peach orchard or Millers with 300 plus canoes coming down the river. There would be no reason to buy a license in my opinion.

The county commission has taken a stand on a proposal by a group of Nashville fly fishermen who are apparently seeking to restrict canoeing on the Caney Fork River.

The commission Monday night adopted a non-binding resolution asking the appropriate governing authority to keep the Caney Fork open to all.

"We apparently have some fly fishermen out of Nashville that are wanting to ban kayakers and canoers from going down a public stream so that they can fly fish," said County Mayor Mike Foster. " We're not opposed to fly fishermen. We're not opposed to canoers. But we feel there is room there for everything and simply because it impacts our tourism dollars, we have a resolution which is non binding but issues our opinion on this," said Foster.

The resolution, adopted by the county commission, states that "Whereas, the Caney Fork River is a major tourism attraction for DeKalb County and surrounding areas and

Whereas, DeKalb County benefits form fishermen, boaters, wildlife viewers, and sightseers on the Caney Fork River and

Whereas, DeKalb County desires to cater to and attract people from all tourism functions and

Whereas, we do not wish to see the River compartmentalized, bound or set aside for any one group at the expense of the other and

Whereas, we feel with a little cooperation, courtesy and less selfishness, we feel the problem could be averted.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the DeKalb County Commission, in regular session on September 24, 2012 recommends that no special zoning, compartmentalization or no special access-restricting activity be approved on the Caney Fork River"

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has scheduled a Caney Fork River stakeholder meeting immediately following the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) meeting on Friday, Sept. 28 in TWRA's Region II Building. The TFWC meeting typically concludes around 10 a.m. The stakeholder meeting is likely to start around 10:15 and be over by 1 p.m.

The objectives for the stakeholder meeting are to give a brief overview of TWRA's management of the river, identify the latest issues, and present some ideas. Input from stakeholders concerning the issues and ideas on how to ensure that everyone can enjoy the river will be sought.

09-26-2012, 08:50 PM
Do what I do tie on a number 2 cone head wholly buger and start casting like a wild man
Trust me they'll move on!:biggrin:

09-26-2012, 08:58 PM
It is all part of the entertainment provided by a river system, and it is not limited to use by fishermen alone. While I do enjoy some level of solitude on the river, I consider it ridiculous that a particular group would try to prevent another group from using that resource. Especially when what they are doing presents no significant threat or injury to anybody. This is in dramatic contrast to the jet boat guys on the French Broad, who did not follow reasonable boating practices and were flirting with disaster.

If this were to happen on the Clinch, I would just continue to do what I have always done. Make time to fish the Clinch during quiet times like midweek or early morning on Saturdays and Sundays. in my experience most "fun"-yakers don't get out early in the morning as they are waiting for the sun to climb high.

09-26-2012, 10:17 PM
I despise govt intrusion in stuff like this and would stand with the canoe rental companies to fight against any proposal to limit their traffic on our waterways. They have just as much right as we fisherman do, to enjoy the outdoors.

We can call coexist, and rather than work against these outfits it would be easier to work with them. I see no reason why a group of fisherman couldn't sit down with the business owners and form an agreement of gentleman. How hard would it be to limit launches until late morning or mid mid day to give the fisherman time on the river? Not at all, and this sort of arrangement if done with tact should be easily accomplished.

One thing that saves the Clinch in my opinion is the water temperatures. I know the Caney is cold, but the Clinch is cold in a special way, and dangerously cold.

I guess some on here weren't around when the canoe rental place was still open below Miller's Island, and they had little impact on the fishing. Since then another one tried to make a go of it 5-7 years ago and also failed.

The river is there for all of us, not just one group or another IMO.

09-26-2012, 10:50 PM
We can call coexist, and rather than work against these outfits it would be easier to work with them.

This problem has been going on for years with one outfitter in particular, i'll be at the meeting myself.
It will be interesting to say the least.


09-26-2012, 11:26 PM
I try and fish warm water fisheries now that don't have boaters...creeks etc. The Duck and the Elk ain't bad either.

David Knapp
09-27-2012, 12:35 AM
Those of you who don't regularly fish the Caney need to head over and give it a shot so you know what you are talking about. I don't mind rental companies using the river, but when they are only taking from the resource and not giving back it is a little ridiculous. Having a steady parade of boats floating over the water I'm trying to fish is annoying to say the leastHaving been nearly run over by people in canoes who have no idea how to paddle or be polite to other users, I believe something needs to be done. If I'm going to be required to pay for a fishing license (a use fee), then boaters need to do the same. I understand someone could make an argument that the stocked trout need to be paid for. Fine, charge me for the trout stamp, but don't make me pay to fish any water that is managed as a wild fishery unless other resource users are going to pay as well. I just want to see consistency...that's my concern which I'm sure plenty will disagree with... :rolleyes: :biggrin:

09-27-2012, 06:44 AM
I have no issues with a use fee, and that should probably be implemented to make all of us have some skin in the game.

09-27-2012, 08:33 AM
I agree with David. I've almost been hit twice while facing downstream with my back to the canoe/kayak traffic, and I don't fish the river that much. I also doubt all those cans just before the take out come from fly fishermen.

09-27-2012, 09:10 AM
Drifter been hit several times, almost caused a client to go out of the boat once:mad: i really like sitting on the ramp for 40 minutes watching the women apply sunscreen, yeh right:mad:

David Knapp
09-27-2012, 11:53 AM
I have no issues with a use fee, and that should probably be implemented to make all of us have some skin in the game.

I think that's the main goal here, to allow people to equally enjoy the river and right now one user group is being enabled to "enjoy" the river at the detriment of others who are actually paying for the resource. If the canoe companies were more responsible in encouraging their clients to clean up after themselves and use good manners on the river, then I wouldn't have any problem with them operating. The river is getting absolutely trashed though. :mad:

Lots of problems along the lines of what Grumpy is talking about as well. Eventually I'm afraid there will be a disastrous confrontation on the river that will give one use group or the other (or both) a bad name. Something needs to be done for sure...

09-27-2012, 12:05 PM
That's a tough situation for sure.

Having guided on the Hiwassee for years, I've grown quite complacent of recreational boaters. We see thousands every day from Memorial day through Labor Day. I used to want to strangle them all, then I realized the fish also got used to them to the point that they'd eat right behind them. Also, the Hiwassee is plenty wide enough to allow us to get away from the prime whitewater runs. All in all its kindly an aggravation, but overall doesn't really effect our fishing.

Now, applying the same boat traffic to a smaller river that lacks an abundance of lines presents an obvious problem. I float the Caney from time to time but it's typically always between November and March when the crowds are not that bad. I couldn't imagine trying to fish there with that traffic during the summer, much less taking clients down the river.

I agree that a resource shouldn't be limited to a certain demographic, and should be open to all. However, when you add a commercial aspect to it, you come up with a situation where private stake holders can pimp out the river with little to nothing going back into the resource. Unless you count the litter as something going into the river. Add to the mix that the rental companies do nothing to discourage alcohol use while in their equipment and you come up with even more problems.

Tough situation for sure and I wish the Caney anglers the best of luck in coming to an acceptable management practice with TWRA and TWRC.

09-27-2012, 12:06 PM
I've never been on the Caney but enjoy kayaking and fishing on the Clinch. I could see a per person fee charged to an outfitter but would be opposed to a fee imposed on an individual who hauls his own boat to and from the river.

If the issue is people trashing the river in the process of kayaking I would presume there are laws on the books to deal with that (needs enforecement, however).

Education seems to be the way to go - something similar to trail right of way signs and advice on how far and which direction to pass a stationary object on the river (wading fisherman or drift boat holding in place).

09-27-2012, 05:54 PM
I pay a fee for my boat since it has a motor, I think that if you use a boat on Tennessee water ways it should be registered regardless if it has a motor on it or not. If you use a resource for profit like the canoe rental places then they should have to pay a fee as well. I understand a few canoes or kayaks coming down the river is no big deal but on the Caney it has gotten to be overbearing. Imagine fishing at Millers Island and from 8:30 am -5:00 p.m every Saturday and Sunday and some during the week with a constant stream of kayakers and canoes coming buy you having water fights, yelling, slapping paddles on the water, bumping in to you, floating over your line and leaving tons of trash on a river you love to fish. You would be frustrated too.