View Full Version : Delayed Harvest on the Little River

07-06-2006, 11:12 AM
Following Bryon's lead on the fishing report, what does eveyone think about the potentials for a delayed harvest program for the winter months? I know that part of the problem involves the enforcement side during the harvest period. Would like to hear some others input.

07-06-2006, 12:49 PM
I've thought one would do well there for years. I believe it would be a good draw in the slow season. I think it would be tough to do, though. But, Gatlinburg does one on the Little Pigeon. So, why not the Little River? Get it past the locals that like keeping fish year round and I think it could be a winner.

07-06-2006, 02:28 PM
For me, the idea is a good one, possibly great. Being local, I would help out in any way possible as long as it would not turn out like the Clinch on some Saturday mornings- shoulder to shoulder fishing.

What I would like to know is who's authority this would fall under. *Also, who would fund the "control" of this stretch of stream? *Would it be a TWRA expense? *Could a 'private' chapter of 'whatever organization' supplement TWRA's budget and have this $ allocated to cover the expense of extra manpower needed? *Would a new entity need to be formed to help enforce the new regulations? *Maybe a special permit to fish this section could help fund itself.

I know, too many questions, but maybe if we all come together on this and help work out all the particulars, we can see this wish made into a reality somewhat quicker than if only a few try to tackle this.

07-06-2006, 05:51 PM
I like the permit idea, Sage. G'burg has a $2.50 a day permit to fish their water. Though its easier for them seeing how they have their own hatchery. I would think this would be a city issue with local business's being involved in the project. I don't think we're talking about a lot of cash other than the fish being stocked. I think a stocking budget of 5-$10,000 would be more than enough to keep fish in the river. It would be up to local LE to make sure everyone is legal.

My concern with a DH is local land owners dealing with fishermen on their river banks and such. Kind of like the tubers. I don't think they would mind as long as the fishermen stayed in the riverbed. I can't see anything else holding it back. Winter is usually the only time land owners along the LR don't deal with crowds. Although, the way I see it, Townsend is a tourist town. First and foremost.

Byron Begley
07-06-2006, 06:41 PM
Thanks to everyone for bringing up this topic. Sorry I haven't been on the message board. I've missed it. We're slammed here at the store. I was in a meeting with TWRA about a year ago concerning a delayed harvest program like the one in Gatlinburg. There is a group of local people who think this is a good idea. There are others who don't. TWRA is all for it if there is a positive consensus among the landowners on the river. The city of Townsend is one one side of the river and Blount County is on the other. We have a new member today named Visit Townsend. His name is Herb Handley and he posted in the new member section. He does an excellent job as EVP of the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau. He gave his phone number in his post. His office is at the Townsend Visitors Center. I think he would like to hear from you about this subject. In fact I talked to him today about it. He is a good friend and also a fly fisherman.


07-07-2006, 09:16 AM
I can really see the major roadblock to the idea being from the law enforcement side. This would require a cooperation between Townsend/Blount County and TWRA. I do like the permit idea but it has to be something that can be used in conjunction with the TN fishing license, since their license period runs from 3/01 to the subsequent 2/28, and there will undoubtedly be the objections to paying "double" fees. The entire idea should be a draw, especially for the fisherman to Townsend during a normally low volume time of the year.

07-07-2006, 11:10 AM
This may be a good idea to get it pushed by the land owners. Let the land owners have a permit for the duration of the DH. That way they are covered at no expense to them. But, they must have a current TN fishing license and trout stamp.

07-09-2006, 09:53 PM
At the risk of looking stupid :-?(remember I am a "Newbie") may I ask someone to explain what "delayed harvest" is?


07-09-2006, 11:15 PM
Simply put DH or Delayed Harvest is a system in which a "season" is established with specific rules that prohibit any harvest of fish while the season or rules are in effect. All fishing is essentially catch and release until the season or "DH" ends at which point fish may be kept or harvested according to the regular creel limits set for that region.

Having such a season enables fish to be stocked that are in some cases a bit larger as well as the fish that are caught and released to remain and grow larger, not to mention a bit smarter. This in turn helps provide for a greater opportunity for those who participate or fish during "DH" to experience better success in terms of numbers and size of fish that are available to be caught.

Some states will use waters or rivers that are marginal trout water for "DH". For example a river that is too low in elevation thus perhaps too warm to maintain a trout population during the summer but can sustain them well during the fall or winter, may be stocked during the fall and winter for "DH" and later in the year such as late spring it may be opened for harvest.


07-13-2006, 12:21 PM
Hey Mike:

Thanks for the info on DH. I have a thought about enforcement. I think 98% of the people who love to fish for the sport of it will honor the DH signs without any enforcement. I wonder though about preventing any harvesting for the numerous "poor" folk in our area who depend somewhat on those fish to feed their families. I know this would reduce the averall effect of DH, but would probably still accomplish most of what we are trying to do.


appalachian angler
07-20-2006, 02:03 PM
I think the idea of having a DH on the Little in Townsend is a great Idea. The biggest issue I believe is accessibility. Much of the land is private property, and would be a great concern to me if I was a landowner on the river. If it came to a vote, I don't know that it could pass given this fact. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but I don't see enough public access at pesent to make a DH work though town. SOme one help me out if there is a public asset I am unaware of.


07-20-2006, 02:25 PM
AA, you're right, access is limited as a whole and I agree with you about the land owner deal, too. TWRA does stock this water, though. They could easily yank this privilege. I view the towns around the smokies as a public entity seeing how tourism is the bread winner. If people moved there to get away from people then they moved to the wrong place. Something like this has the potential to help the town.

What I'm concerned about is the fact that these land owners deal with tubers all summer long. If a DH does happen then these people won't get much relief in the winter either. That may pose a problem. I'd like to know how many full time residents that own land on the river. I would think that most are second homes and business operations.

07-20-2006, 03:49 PM
Perhaps the land owners could use it as a means of income by selling daily passes for access on/through their property or maybe a (hopefully small) fee of that type could be attached to a daily permit kind of like they sell in Cherokee?


07-21-2006, 12:01 AM
I'll throw in my probably unpopular opinion. Generally, I'm not fond of fishing for stocked fish. Little River is already a pretty good river. When you put a bunch of stockers in there, they compete, and to some extent, will adversely affect the wild population. The idea of fishing for stockers seems to me like fishing at the hatchery. I've seen times on the North Fork Mills River in NC where there were so many large, stupid brookies that you could have just started grabbing them with your hands and throwing them into your pickup truck. Fishing for those makes me feel like I've picked up a prostitute.

Not that I'm against all stocking. For tailwaters where the natural flow and natural warm-warmwater fishery have been destroyed, making an artifical put-and-take fishery may be the only way to make good on a bad situation. I do like the idea of DH for some rivers, namely those with extremely heavy pressure (like Gatlinburg), and for those with marginal trout habitat anyway. Stocking fish is not something to ever be done lightly.

Now, if we are talking strictly about DH, without the usual stocking, then I would be all for that. But I am not aware that it has even been done that way anywhere around the Smokies. Anyone else know?

07-22-2006, 12:42 PM

They already stock this area. We are not talking about stocking the Park. What we are proposing is that TWRA put a DH designation on the LR through Townsend during the cooler months. There are a lot of advantages to stocking. More fish in the river, good way to get new fishermen envolved because of catch rates (kids), more money for the town, etc. Another thing of note, the Little River through Townsend is marginal, warming to fatal levels in the summer. Rivers such as this are the reason many DH waters exist (like pmike pointed out.) And some, like the Nantahala DH, bring in much wanted business in an otherwise dead part of the year.

Keep this in mind, we wouldn't have any browns or 'bows in the Park without the stocking efforts way back when.

07-22-2006, 11:22 PM

You are right. Didn't realize yall were talking about only the part below the Park. Sorry about my misunderstanding. I agree with you that that would be a good use of DH.

As for your last point, about the bows and browns. Well yes, I enjoy fishing for them. But no, I wouldn't support elimination of the brookies that were there to begin with. Well, maybe on a few selected streams, so long as the majority of the brookie populations remained healthy.

07-23-2006, 12:38 PM
No need to apologize, SD. I figured you may have been confused on where we were talking about.

I wouldn't have supported the elimination of the brookies, either. But, I don't think most of the sections that support browns and rainbows can support brookies these days. Winter being the exception.

07-31-2006, 09:40 PM
Does anyone know where this issue stands? I'm asking because I have no idea. It may have been said in a prior post, if so, forgive my overlooking it, but who is heading up this effort and what assistance,if any, do they need at this point? If anyone has an update, let us know so we can help. I know Byron said to talk with Herb, so I'll drop him a PM about this. Thanks for your help and Pray for rain.

Rusty Hook
08-01-2006, 08:15 AM
One more thing to consider. It's not just land owners generically…it’s the land owners where the fish are. I’ve fished other DH streams and typically the fish stay where stocked or only migrate a short distance and then pod up and stay there. Access, not just from land owners, but from topography as well, should be considered. If we put delayed harvest signs out…we may want to consider putting out “take a number” machines as well.

08-02-2006, 08:29 PM
i think a DH would be a great idea. for those of you out there who have kids like me and are tying to get them involved in fly fishing,this would help alot. i would rather fish for wild trout too, but a DH would make it more enjoyable for newcomers to the sport, and kids who would rather be hanging out with friends.

Tight lines,

08-02-2006, 08:32 PM
i think a DH would be a great idea. for those of you out there who have kids like me and are tying to get them involved in fly fishing,this would help alot. i would rather fish for wild trout too, but a DH would make it more enjoyable for newcomers to the sport, and kids who would rather be hanging out with friends.

How old are your kids? *Have they been fly fishing yet? *I would like my girls to get into fly fishing as well. *

08-02-2006, 09:37 PM

I have a 14 year old who already fly fishes and knows more about it than i do. He also ties flies and has caught trout on them, that makes you feel good. But i was refering to my 10 year old. i think he enjoys fishing but after about an hour hes ready to go, and has trouble catching fish when fly fishing thats why i like the DH idea. if your girls already fish i would suggest taking them to a bass pond or river one afternoon. i wouldnt take my rod because you need to help them cast and deal with there MANY tangles they will get in as my son did. let them use a small popper and they will be able to catch bass or some perch.i would start them out on bass and wait a few months before stepping up to trout.Good luck. [smiley=wink.gif]:

by the way is your name griffin thats my 14 year olds name.

08-02-2006, 10:19 PM
Ive been watching this post for a while. I think DH would be really good. For the kids, and to make some of those long winters pass quicker in the mtns. I personally dont have any experience w/ DH on any of my local streams but some other streams have turned out very good with it.