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DryFly1
01-22-2007, 11:12 PM
Interesting read for those who have not seen it. If the link does not work go to TWRA and Trout Mgmt Plan.


http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/StreamRiver/Trout_Plan_06.pdf

Flat Fly n
01-23-2007, 06:36 PM
Three glaring things I noticed. *

1. *Slot limits are being imposed on several streams except for the tailwater with the most pressure, the Clinch. *

2. *"Review trout management stategies at least every 10 years for effectiveness". * Ten years? *Which one of us gets to check every 10 years to see if we are doing our job to the satisfaction of those that employ us, which in TWRA's situation, is the anglers who pay their salaries.

3. *I was AMAZED at the number of trout that are paid for from our licences that are sacrificed at city ponds and special events to "increase the awareness of trout fishing". *I thougth that is what food stamps and TNCare were for! *How many of those folks actually go and buy a licence, do stream improvement, or for that matter RELEASE JUST ONE FISH?

How do we get these good old boys out of TWRA and get some fresh thinkers? *Can we not hire a trout fisheries biologist with ties to the West, or for that matter Arkansas, were trout management is more than scheduling the trout truck deliveries? *

Flat Fly'n

DryFly1
01-23-2007, 07:29 PM
Flat Fly n,

Great points. This is why I posted it and dubbed it "Interesting Read"!

These are some of the exact points that I find troubling. We have a alot of work to do! Maybe I should get "half price" on my fishing license for catch-and-release.

DryFly1

RFowler
01-23-2007, 07:44 PM
Flat Fly n,

I agree with your ideology but I have to think that TWRA is thinking and acting in the best interests for all user groups. I especially agree with #1 and #2. Any tailwater, or stream for that matter, that has the potential to be trophy water, needs to be managed that way. I've seen fish after fish 16-20" leave that river on a stringer, many times. I think the current poor fishing on the Clinch is a result of many different factors but I believe overharvesting is one of them.

About #2, I'd like to see them do it every 3 years. Tennessee has some rich waters so playing around with different regulations makes sense to me. I would like to see more public parks along the tailwaters for access so implementing different regulations could/would be better received. In other words, harvesting would be allowed in these public areas and special regs could be used more on other parts of the rivers. But I've heard that can be a problem with land owners. I have a problem with any land owner having precedence over anglers as a whole. Actually, the prospect is quite ridiculous. After all, do the math and see where most of the money is coming from. It's not the land owners. They don't own the resource so I don't see the issue.

From my own personal experience, Tennessee, even currently, has fantastic fishing. But I agree that could be even better, without it costing much, or any, more. With the exception of public parks, that is.

Flat Fly n
01-23-2007, 10:08 PM
RFowler.
The land from the weir dam to Norris dam is owned by TVA and NOT held privately. *Why not make that C&R only, artificial only, and have that area to grow big fish? *Some would stay in the area, some would go downstream to be kept by those that want to keep fish, or for that matter TWRA could shock and remove some of the fish for transplanting to other parts of the river. *Wait, that would take a thought process or someone in TWRA to come up with an original idea that might be "outside the norm., or not popular" to a certain subset of fishermen. *

Imagine if you had an area that was probably over a mile long were one could go and possibly catch AND release a 6-8# bow or brown, or for craziness stock brook and cutthroats (as in the N. Fork White River, Ark). *Can you imagine having a fisheries similiar to the San Juan in New Mexico? *How much money could residents, hotel owners, fly shops in and around Anderson county could make off a fisheries? *TWRA already scalps out of state folks for a 3 day stamp, why they could charge double for a shot at a trophy fish from the Clinch.

I quess we will have to wait for 2017 to "study the situation again". *Ten more years of surveys paid for by licence holders that only benifit the PhD's and not the fishermen. *(I have vast experiences with grants and funding for projects).

My point is that once the Clinch produced alot of big fish and was a popular place. *Since the new stocking programs and now the plan seems to just flood the river with 3" fish, the numbers of big fish has declined, and the number of fishermen has decreased. *So if they are going to continue the present stocking program, at least give us some regulations that will aid both fishermen and fish.

Flat Fly'n

RFowler
01-24-2007, 02:11 AM
RFowler.
The land from the weir dam to Norris dam is owned by TVA and NOT held privately.

Flat Fly'n


I don't remember making any statements to the contrary, Flat. Remember, I agree with you. Please read above. I would love to see progressive regs on our productive waters in Tennessee.

I first noticed a change on the Clinch in the spring of '04. That's about the same time didymo showed up on the South Holston tailwater, and, if you can believe it, some rivers in New Zealand. Coincidence or part of something much deeper? I'm puzzled by this stuff. Could be that it was on the Clinch at that time as well. Following poor to good fishing on the Clinch that summer, the Tennessee Valley, among other places, got hit by the remnants of 4 hurricanes. TVA ran water for 6-7 straight months, after that. I did several floats in the spring of '05 and the fish seemed to be concentrated to certain areas. It was only in the early summer that I noticed that the fish had become more spread out. My theory is the fish moved to areas where they could feed more lazily, without fighting constant 4500-9000cfs during that Fall and Winter. Plus, from what I've read in reports, TWRA was conducting a capacity study on the river. Combine pressure, didymo, heavy releases, lots of little fingerlings, and you'll get poor fishing as a result. Unfortunately, I have not been able to spend much time on the Clinch since July of '05. But from what friends are telling me and from the few times I've fished it, it's still not fishing good. Especially on the upper river. Now I do feel that TWRA could better inform us that care on things concerning the Clinch. But to put all the blame on them because of the poor fishing is a little unfair.

I had to come back to Georgia in the summer of '05 to help my family. I long to be back up in Tennessee, I truly believe its the best fishing state that lies east of the mississippi. Add it's proximity to saltwater and it may just be the best there is. I don't think some of you realize just how good you have it up there. I'm curious if there is any way that we anglers can better help the hard working people at TWRA. Maybe they would/could benefit from solid feedback instead of biased misunderstandings. Although, I don't recall seeing any rangers doing angler interviews on the Clinch, or anywhere else, for that matter. Maybe the distant relationship between anglers and the TWRA can be be a thing of the past with some favorable introductions from the groups that care the most. I would hope that would be people like us. I know I personally find it harder to let people down if they favor me.

Flat Fly n
01-24-2007, 02:27 PM
RF,
You keep stranger hours than I do. *Posted at 1AM? *

You didn't make a "statement to the contrary". *I threw that out for a general statement to those that assume that all the land around the Clinch is privately held. *About the hurricanes and big CFS, I am no engineer, but I always heard that water flow was laminar, therefore, the bottom should have been protected.

Now that masses of munucia(sp) has been thrown out we continue to agree that East Tenn. has some incredible trout fishing. *Is it because it is managed well, or because we have an abundance of protected streams from GSMNP and surrounding Cherokee NP, as well as the luck and luxury of cold aerated water discharged below dams built by TVA since the 1930's? *The trout fishing is one reason I have stayed in this area since moving here in 1986, but that does not mean I am willing to sit ideally by and watch our fisheries get passed by other states regarding progressive measures such as C&R, slot limits, and god forbid creel limits. *

Flat Fly'n

Byron Begley
01-24-2007, 04:22 PM
Flat Flyn,

I was involved somewhat in the controversial catch and release move made by TU in the early 90's on the Clinch. I went to some of the Tennessee Commission Meetings mainly to give David Buxbaum and the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter my support. I can't remember if you were in on that too. If the land above the weir is owned by TVA, then why didn't TWRA or TU think of that at the time. Seems to me that could have been a compromise that the landowners, sportfishermen and baitfishermen could have all lived with. I think there is a TU, TVA, TWRA meeting next weekend. It's usually held at TVA headquarters downtown. The TWRA biologists in this part of the state are all friends of mine. I've done a lot of volunteer work with them. Great bunch of guys. I talked to Jim Hebera just a few weeks ago. I think they may present a new management plan for the Clinch soon. Also, the TWRA Commission meeting was held in Knoxville maybe a couple of months ago. I was urged to go but couldn't get away. Commission meetings would be a good way to make these points known. Also, we have a new Wildlife Commissioner in our region. It's their job to listen to suggestions such as this and support their constituants, people like us. This is a great thread. Keep it up.

Byron

Flat Fly n
01-24-2007, 07:50 PM
Byron,
I was at the TU meeting at the old country club that was beside west town mall before it all got developed. *At that meeting the two fellows trying to push through the "trophy section" did NOT want the above the weir area secondary to very poor dry fly fishing. *It was not Dave B. by the way. *They tried, pushed through the Peach Orchard to Lluelyn Island (sp) trophy section, that eventually got removed by LUCRO a few years later. *

I can't say as I blame the guys from LUCRO now that I have grown up a little during that time. *I would not want someone else telling me I could not take my kid fishing on my own property and not have him keep fish if he caught them. *This is not the issue above the weir.

I would like to know if there is anyway some of us could go to these meetings to voice input. *I swear I will not drink caffiene that day, and bite my tongue until it bleeds before I speak!
Flat Fly'n

PS Just how does one insert a picture into a message?

Byron Begley
01-24-2007, 08:08 PM
Flat Fly'n,

Please call me tomorrow afternoon and I'll give you a couple of names and phone numbers. If you want to get involved you need to get to know the right people. I had a conversation with a friend last weekend who will be going to the meeting. I've worked with TWRA both in the political area and on the stream. Back in the 80's we tried to get some regs on the Caney Fork. We failed. Nothing works unless the landowners agree. And, TWRA won't get involved unless landowners agree. I don't blame them, they've been burned too many times.

My best friend for 50 years served as a Commissioner in Kentucky for 10 years. He worked to get the regulations that we now have on the Cumberland River there. It happened without complaints or opposition. And now, you see the benefits of that effort.

Byron

Byron Begley
01-24-2007, 08:17 PM
Sorry, I forgot about the picture question. Paula can answer that for you. Give her a call. Talk to you later buddy.

Byron

RFowler
01-24-2007, 10:04 PM
Back in the 80's we tried to get some regs on the Caney Fork. We failed. Nothing works unless the landowners agree. And, TWRA won't get involved unless landowners agree. I don't blame them, they've been burned too many times. Byron


I have to respectfully disagree that landowners should have more of a say so about the regs on a particular piece of water they may have land on. It makes no sense from an economical standpoint. Should the thousands of us yield to a fortunate few? It is downright selfish in my opinion. I happened to be one of those landowners a few years ago and have been burned myself. But I never thought that I should've had more of a say so on the regs than a person that didn't own land on the river. These rivers are a public resource. Just because someone owns land adjacent to one of these rivers doesn't give them right to do as they please, or have more influence on the way it's managed. Actually, some landowners should be cited because of their land practices. Some of these waters are in decline because of poor land management on the part of the landowner. Are they fined? No. Do they have benefits such as influencing regulations? Yes. The way I see it, a landowner is just some fortunate person that has no more right to the resource than you and me.

kylemc
01-25-2007, 01:22 PM
How did TWRA go about getting a quality zone on the Watauga? I have been surveyd three times at the twin bridges take out by TWRA.

I know of no C&R streams in the state.

Byron Begley
01-25-2007, 02:05 PM
Rusty,

I agree with you. I'm not an expert on Tennessee Law but I believe I'm right on the following statement:

Tennessee has a provision called a Private Act. Other states may have them too. But here a State Representative or Senator can ask for a Private Act which exempts his or her district from State Legislation. So, lets say a group of people ask that fish or hunting laws be changed and for the sake of this conversation lets say they are not living in that district. TWRA makes the change because they feel it is prudent, good for the resource and for the anglers or hunters. The people who live in that district don't like it for some reason. They can ask their State Rep to exclude their district through a private act. The State Representative gets enough votes to recind(sp) the legislation. TWRA gets smacked in the face and all the time and energy that they put into the project is wasted. It's happened before. Even the threat of a Private Act can change the direction TWRA can move. Some of you folks know more about this than I do so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Byron

RFowler
01-25-2007, 06:17 PM
Ah, you meant TWRA getting burned. I thought that's what you meant but wasn't sure.

So, it's politics as usual. ::) Well, like I said before, TWRA is doing the best they can within their political confines. BTW, there's nothing I destest more than black and white laws. The state is losing money because a small group of people want to keep fish, or want junior to be able to keep fish. Junior is spoiled enough just for having private access to the resource. I have nothing against people keeping fish, it's the ones that abuse the resources that get up under my skin. I call them strip-miners. The type that takes fish after fish home and then complains or acts surprised when the fishing is bad, thinking the resource should have no limits. 16th century American Indians were far more intelligent than these types. Sorry, just had to vent a little. ;)

Byron, you have very good ties with your friends at TWRA. Do any of these people have any recommendations for anglers that care? Do they have any information on how to go about proposing a slot limit? That may be our only answer.

Flat Fly n
01-25-2007, 07:39 PM
RF,
Just don't spank the spoiled kid, especially in CA now...... You could go to jail.

It is a problem when so few can impact the many. TWRA has walked this double edge sword and with limited funds and unlimited lawyers out there I am sure it puts them on defensive about change, but change has to happen if we are to improve this fishery.

That is why to me it makes perfect sense to improve JUST that section of the river that has no private ownership. Regulate that section to the max, even make it a delayed harvest, no kill or no fish period for say 4 months of the year to grow some bigger fish or give them a better chance for survival.

BTW... I saw 2 baitfishermen culling smaller fish off their stringers on Saturday. There were 3 fish not 20 feet downstream of them floating belly up. I asked them about it and they said, well, "the herons eat them"

Flat Fly'n

RF. You heading up this way anytime to fish the Clinch?

Kingstonian
01-25-2007, 07:42 PM
RF, I agree with your point on property owners being subject to regulations that benefit all. *There are people who deer hunt who think they should be able to kill anything they want on their own property. *Fact is, they own the ground, but not the deer. *I see the property owners along a river as being the same. *Why not let Junior keep 50 trout?

People generally realize that size and number limits are almost voluntary anyway. *There really isn[t enough enforcers to protect the resource from people who insist on catching over number limits or keeping fish under size limits. *But it does establish a standard that most people will adhere to.

One problems with the original trophy area on the clinch was that on an all day float from Peach Orchard or Miller Island to Clinton, the possession rules changed. *Once you enter trophy water, you can't have kept any fish.

I was on the San Juan in NM several years ago, and their rules were C&R only in the top zone, 1 fish minimum size (I think it was 24") in the next downstream zone, then open fishing below that. *Once you started, you moved into less restrictive zones, which gets around the problem that the Clinch had.

But, since most bait fishing occurs from the Dam to Miller Island, I'd think a break at the MI boat ramp permitting numbers fishing upstream and quality fishing downstream would be a good way to permit the fish to grow and still keep the meat fisherman buying licenses (that matters to TWRA and to us). *I'd also like to see slot limits on the Clinch if the biology made sense, although when baitfishing, there isn't much use in releasing dead fish.

Byron Begley
01-25-2007, 08:03 PM
Rusty,

I'll have to think about that one for a while.

I heard some disturbing news about the Cumberland today though I can't back it up. Evidently there is a problem with the dam. If what I heard is correct and I understood the information they may have to lower Lake Cumberland to a point 10 feet below winter pool. That would mean that the water flowing into the tailwater would be warm and it may stay that way for a long time while repairs are made. If that's true, the tailwater would no longer be a coldwater fishery. Has anyone heard about this? Talk about economic impact, not just to the tailwater but to the people trying to make a living on the lake. I've also heard about new leaks in Center Hill Dam. Anyone know about that? These dams are getting old. I'm concerned!

Byron

Byron Begley
01-25-2007, 08:10 PM
Flat Fly'n,

I talked to a Clinch River landowner's son today. You know him. Evidently only three people own land from the boat ramp to the dam plus TVA. I don't know much about the Clinch but I think the distance from the boat ramp to the dam is 1.5 miles.

Byron

RFowler
01-25-2007, 08:46 PM
This is a great thread! One that may lead to some changes on the Clinch.

Flat, you have some great ideas. And, I think you and I are a lot alike. We just want assurance that all possible is being done for the resource. I would also like to see some special regs on the section you mentioned just to see what happens from it. If this blossoms, then special regs on different parts of the river may be an easy sell. I can't tell you when I'll be able to make it back up there but I'll be sure to let you know, it would be great to share a day on the water with you!


King, I agree with your views as well. As long as the meat fishermen can keep their fish at public access area's they may be willing to yield to areas that are more remote.


Byron, no kidding. A lot of the dams in the TVA are getting really old as well. I hope this doesn't turn into a common problem, if it does then this conversation will be irrelevant.

Let's keep this thread active, gentlemen. I sincerely want to help TWRA achieve any progressive goals they may have. It would be great if they would entertain some of our ideas as a result of a conglomerate

Flat Fly n
01-25-2007, 09:19 PM
Byron,
From the boat ramp to dam is probably a no sell. *The locals love to fish from the weir and below to MI. *It would be great but a hard sell. *Therefore, just remove all the landowners and make it from the weir to the dam. *Nobody but TVA owns that, and if I am correct, the government, of which you and I are the principle owners of that, well until that gets taken away.

RF... Just email me sometime when your up here. *IF the water is off, we will fish.

Bryon, sorry I could not call today. *I was busy with huh.....helping with some plumbing!

Flat Fly'n

Kingstonian
01-26-2007, 12:08 PM
Flat, my observation is that on high water, the area immediately below the dam is very popular with bait fishermen, fishing bait on the bottom in the current seams. On low water, there are holes all up and down where bait is fished, sometimes by dozens of people. I think you would get more resistance from the general public from making that area C&R or imposing bait restrictions than if you took Miller Island to Clinton and did the same thing there.

There are areas of the Clinch that are seldom fished (or seldom overfished) due to limited access. Back in the day, this was enough to keep a good population of big fish. I think it may be the supply, rather than the demand, that has changed with the health of the river. If the river gets healthy again, a lot of these problems go away. I understand the Hiwassee is similar in that regard.

Byron Begley
01-26-2007, 01:00 PM
A long time ago (in the 80's) we would get the attention of TWRA by going through Trout Unlimited and the Tennessee Conservation League. Our TU Chapter in Nashville was a member. Every year we would have a call for Resolutions. Our TU Chapter would submit the resolutions to TCL. Then at the TCL annual meeting we would defend our resolutions. Ours were always fishing issues and the Chief of Fisheries would sit in on the meetings to hear our resolutions. I always saw the Governor of Tennessee at these meetings and all the TWRA folks from the top down. Eventually I served on the board of TCL (early 90's). TCL was a chapter of the National Wildlife Federation and had full time paid staff. In Kentucky the same group is called the League of Kentucky Sportsmen. Now the name of TCL has changed to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. I would check with them and see how they work on fishing issues. TCL was formed in the 40's.

www.conservetn.com

Byron

Byron Begley
01-26-2007, 01:18 PM
I've been on the Tennessee Wildlife Federation website looking around. They have a staff of three people. I also noticed that Trout Unlimited is not mentioned as a supporting organization. I don't know what happened there. I think maybe our State TU Council paid the dues so all the chapters were included years ago. I'll do some more poking around.

Byron

Mike_Anderson
01-26-2007, 02:50 PM
Let me start off by saying that I am not a TVA Dam expert, and I don’t know anything for certain. There is still a lot of grey areas. Take this post for what it is, hear say.

There are opinions and ideas and all kinds of stories floating around now about Cumberland and Caney. What I think I know is this. The earth and rock foundations that the dams are built on are leaking through caves and holes (think Swiss cheese) in the bedrock. WCD was in worse shape then they thought, so an emergency drawdown has been initiated.

From all the gossip I’ve gathered, everyone seems to agree that at the new level the lake will be able to sustain a cold water fishery below WCD,,,maybe. It was reported a couple of days ago that the US hatchery below WCD is supposed to remain open and in operation while the work is being performed. This is a good sign.
Where we might get into trouble is if we have a very wet spring and there is too much warm water entering the lake and mixing with the colder water below the thermo cline. In order to maintain the lake at a “safe level” WCD will have to run full bore to dump all the rainwater. This could lead to warm water being dumped into Cumberland and possibly a fish kill.

Then there is a case where in the summer the DO drops too low and the fish immediately below the dam would suffer. I’ve heard all sorts of scenarios. For example, the level they are shooting for is too low to run the generators. This would mean the sluice would have to provide the water to Cumby. I don’t know about WCD but at Caney the sluice gates are higher in the water column then the generator intakes. This means the water is much warmer. The effect is that the DO goes up but so do the water temps. This happened a few years ago on Caney when the first started trying to improve DO there. Now they only run the sluice when there is generation. The mixing of cold water and the higher DO levels from the sluice have been working wonders for the Caney.

About all we can do is trust that TVA is being honest and that they will do all they can to keep the people safe and still provide a fishery. There will be alot of good people finding themselves without an income this summer because of this. I don’t even want to think about the consequences of a catastrophic failure at WCD.


If you Google Wolf Creek Dam you can find out everything you want to know about what’s going on there.

Mike

Byron Begley
01-26-2007, 07:29 PM
Mike,

I read everything on the Corp of Engineers site about Lake Cumberland and the tailwater and it made me sick. I've fished there since I was a kid. I hope the tailwater remains cold. Things don't look good for people trying to make a living on the lake. It looks like they plan to keep it 43' below summer pool for at least a year. But, that's better than what could happen if the dam were to breach.

Rusty,

I e-mailed Mike Butler at Tennessee Wildlife Federation and got a response. They are still engaged with Trout Unlimited but they are revamping the program and they don't have TU on their website yet. So I guess my best advice would be to contact them and get some direction. It would also be a good idea to become a member. After all, they set up what we now call TWRA back in the 1940's. And the Federation is the most powerful wildlife organization in Tennessee. Also, get involved with Trout Unlimited.

Byron

Flat Fly n
01-26-2007, 11:25 PM
King,
The "trophy section" during the 90's was on that section, but got overturned when LUCRO (land users clinch river something or other) threatened to sue and got politicians involved. I am sure that left a boil on TWRA's rump that has not gone away yet, therefore, the upper section to me makes sense. There are not as many quys that run boats at flow as there are waders.

Personally, I think TVA is crazy for allowing any boat traffic in that area during generation. If your motor stalls then you face the most dangerous of all falls in any river which is a man-made fall that has no breaks in it. Well documented by white water rescue resources.

I just want to ask this to TWRA......One mile out of 13, is that too much to ask to protect?

Flat Fly'n

Mike_Anderson
01-27-2007, 12:07 AM
"If your motor stalls then you face the most dangerous of all falls in any river which is a man-made fall that has no breaks in it. Well documented by white water rescue resources."

Boy you got that right! I once watched a canoe and a kayak go over an old mill (Nices Mill) here in middle TN while the river was out of its banks. The Canoe went first and it immediately flipped over and wrapped around a tree like it was made out of foil. The two guys that were in it barely made it to land. Then the kayak tried it and he was ejected and got stuck in the hydraulic. We watched in horror as it took him under over and over again. I just knew we were going to watch a man die. He got lucky and it finally spit him out. He managed to swim to an island and had to be rescued by the rescue squad in a rubber raft.

Rockyraccoon
01-27-2007, 01:33 AM
From a notorius lurker. ;)

You guys have a very interesting thread running here.

First off. Let's all keep our fingers crossed and our prayers up to date for Wolf Creek and more importantly.....all the folks downstream. I mean dang it....It will be totally hanus if we lose the tailwater, but the loss of life downstream would be catastrophic.

Mr. Anderson. I don't beleive I know you, I'm Rocky. Nice to E-meet you. I've checked out your website and I've come to the conclusion that you probably know the river and area fairly well :) . The hea rsay you've heard really matches up with a lot of the hearsay I've heard and it sounds like the fishery could sustain barring a high rainfall spring and summer. Some of the tailwaters here in E TN seem to do better in low rainfall springs as well. I know a wet spring never seems to help things on the Holston because the cold water reserve is gone before it ever get's hot out. I think the Clinch falls into the same personality as well but on a smaller degree. Maybe the low pool will still have some cold water in it due to the sheer size of Lake C. Anyway, I look forward to hearing anything you'd be willing to share on the topic

Either way you guys are right about the economic impact on the area. The lake fishery and the tailwater brings a huge amount of much needed money to that area. SO it's kindly a double edged sword. You can go broke, or get washed away, and maybe both. So I suppose the fishery will be a small price to pay as long as they can keep dam in tact. So I think we should pray all the rain this spring goes south...(might as well pray it falls in the Hiwassee watershed while were at it ;) ).

OK.....next topic. :D

You guys are on a good start and have some very interesting ideas concerning the Clinch. TWRA can achieve some great things and I don't see why they couldn't establish some proactive regs for the Clinch. I mean, look what they accomplished on the SH. By closing several miles of river to fishing for a few months a year and establishing some slot limits, TWRA and TVA have created one of the finest wild brown trout fisheries around. I'd have to think the land owners in Sulivan County are much like those in Anderson County.

The key thing here is communicating with the land owners about some proactive regulations. Listen to their thoughts and concerns and maybe they'll consider ours. It's doubtful that TWRA would proceed with any new regs concerning the land between Millers and Hwy 61 without the support of Lucro. I know most of us would love to see some real trophy regs on the Clinch, but at the same time I totally understand the landowners point of view too.

Growing up in TN, I've fished with just about any kind of tackle you could imagine. My papa used to guide fishing trips way back in the history books down on the TN river near Loudon. So I kindly got a good sampler of it all from cane poles and night crawlers to the old electric crank phones :-[. Now, having moved on to become a fly fishing junkie, I can still see the value and desire of taking the kids down to the river, dunking some worms, and maybe frying up some fish.

So the main focus should be finding good common grounds with the folks who own the lands.

Pull out your state regs book. Read the license requirements section. Specifically the parts that read something like this. "no license required for residents of or first cousins on the mothers side kind of writing". Sounds kindly silly to me, but maybe the "special regs" section of the Clinch could read like this" Special regs apply to all anglers not in possesion of a Lucro value card or their 2nd generation great grandkids kids".

Maybe they would be interested in hearing more about progressive slot limits. Slots limits would still allow them to fish by whatever method they wanted, yet restrict them to harvest some of the smaller-ish fish or one of the bigger fish.

In the end, working together with all parties involved will be the best and probably only option for progressive regs on the Clinch. As stated, the upper river could possibly be elegible, yet with the already limited public water, that too could be met with resistance.

As Byron stated, joining a local TU is a good start. But being open and cooperative with the landowners will be the most important role.

The Winter TVA Cooperative coldwater meeting is tomorrow morning at 9:00 in Knoxville. I'll be there and I hope to be hearing some news about Wolf Creek (as the corps usually sends a rep) as well as some good news about the Clinch and the rest of the rivers and streams we call home here in E Tn. It's also a good oppurtunity to talk to all the agencies involved with our fisheries from TWRA to USFS. Maybe some of you guys are going and can voice your concerns and ideas to the powers that be there.

Keep this thread alive and see how much interest it generates because the squeaky wheel occasionally get's some oil. 8-)

RFowler
01-27-2007, 12:09 PM
Good points, Michael. Especially the one about landowners being somewhat excluded to special regs. I don't think they'd have much of an impact even if they did harvest fish frequently. It's the hundreds, if not, thousands, that don't live on the river that have most of the impact. But this is where I have a big problem with land owners. Let's say someone like myself purchases a little slither of land on the Clinch and all of the sudden my voice is heard loud and clear over a few thousand others that have been fishing the river MUCH longer than I. I have a problem with that. Just because someone owns a stretch of land beside a resource should not give them special regards to that resource, it's not theirs to bargain with. It belongs to every citizen in this country. I'm sure when you were in construction that you've heard the expression "a dime holding back a dollar". I honestly believe that's what we're dealing with here. What I fear the most with those waters in Tennessee is what has happened to the Chattahoochee in Georgia. Believe me when I say this, if things are not put in place now, the Clinch and other rivers in Tennessee will be in the same shape. These landowners we're talking about here are the same kinds of people that have ruined the fishery on the Hooch. Some just like the view and are complacent when it comes to any damage they may be causing. Wether it be monetary or environmental damage. If those of us that care about these rivers don't start influencing the politics of these resources then these landowners are going to start turning into developers. Do we really want some fat cat developers calling the shots? Mark my words, it hasn't happened yet but it WILL. It's sad but true. When some of these old landowners die their heirs will sell this land off, piece by piece.

Byron,

Thank you. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do at the time other than type some text or send letters. I'm still in a state of suspended animation. Very frustrating.

billyspey
01-27-2007, 02:05 PM
gosh if twra would just spend the money on our rivers for fishing as they have on ELK<TURKEY<and DEER [these creatures are everywhere] i don't think we would have a issue.

Kingstonian
01-28-2007, 09:01 AM
Billy, the revenue generated by big game hunts surely dwarfs what is generated by trout fishing. *There are more licenses, more expensive, and I imagine more people big game hunt than fish. *Still, the difference is that the trout fishery requires routine maintenance, such as stocking. *The deer and turkey are self supporting, and if left alone, the elk will get there at some point. *

I warm water fish, trout fish, and deer hunt. *I don't want competition between these sports. *I think they can work together, and should.

RuningWolf
01-29-2007, 12:59 AM
Rusty,

I agree with you. *I'm not an expert on Tennessee Law but I believe I'm right on the following statement:

Tennessee has a provision called a Private Act. *Other states may have them too. *But here a State Representative or Senator can ask for a Private Act which exempts his or her district from State Legislation. *So, lets say a group of people ask that fish or hunting laws be changed and for the sake of this conversation lets say they are not living in that district. *TWRA makes the change because they feel it is prudent, good for the resource and for the anglers or hunters. *The people who live in that district don't like it for some reason. *They can ask their State Rep to exclude their district through a private act. *The State Representative gets enough votes to recind(sp) the legislation. *TWRA gets smacked in the face and all the time and energy that they put into the project is wasted. *It's happened before. *Even the threat of a Private Act can change the direction TWRA can move. *Some of you folks know more about this than I do so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Byron *

LUCRO has done stated anything that is not based on science they will enact a private act.

I have not looked at the current TWRA data, but those who have say it is constant with years past.

Keep in mind most of the river bottom is owned by the landowners. The Clinch is a non-navigable river. TVA tried about 4 or 5 years ago to get this status changed however it would not affect ownership of the bottom.

I think TVA owns the bottom and banks from essentially Millers Island up river to the Dam on the right ascending bank,( parking area access side) a lot of the left ascending bank up to at least the weir dam is private.

One of the problems with installing a C and R section in this area is it is the only area with handicap access.

A area that LUCRO has said they would support is a management plan that includes a spawn. TWRA said there ws none. However a TU study in conjunction with TVA was showing there was a definite spawn, that many of us long time fisherman of the river has seen for years.

This study was in its infancy when I left TU, I suspect not much data has been collected the past few years due in part to the flow changes in the river.

These flow changes (from general observations) have changed a lot of variables on the Clinch from fish holding patterns, to silting, to possible invertebrate populations, to the spawn, etc.

I have no problems catching either numbers or size of fish I have for years on the Clinch.

What I have observed is overcrowding in the few public access areas. These areas are fished heavier than they ever have been. This changes fish holding patterns, among other issues.

Some of these issues is the fish get smarter they see the same patterns day in day our, they get to know your fly (I have fished a local caddis and had no looks- then switch to another pattern of the same type caddis fished the same water and could not beat them off).

Other problems false casting spooks the fish (stand on a high point and watch them scatter when someone moves in and spends more time with his fly in the air than on the water.

Believe it or not tippet a change from 5-6-7x can make a major difference. They see it. I have fished the dame fly in the same place within the time frame to change to a smaller and gone from none to some to plenty going 5-6-7.

Change your fly and presentation what worked yesterday may not work today.
Another factor affecting the fishery throughout its entire length is the increased canoeing of the river for recreational purposes, most of these people don’t care about your fishing and you are in their way. Some do and are great, but back to the point as most of the river is flat slow water their passage has an effect on the fish as well, it takes awhile for them to recover from 2-3 nosy boats and people.

The TWRA studies have shown that the people who keep fish have no impact and it is stocked for this as well. They pay just as much for the right to fish as you do, most of them hate the poachers as much or more than you do. TWRA is a cell phone call away and from personal, experience they will respond, if they are unable if you give them enough info they will look for them in the future. (I can tell you factual stories)

One issue TWRA denies impacts the fishery is Stripe Bass. They say there is minimal number of these fish in the river. However IMO based on observation they are very wrong. There is a small herd of them in the river

Catching and eating the fish they catch is one of the major ways children get interested in fishing. They are the future of the sport and that number is declining, we need to do everything we can to encourage then to get involved in the outdoors.

Last TWRA’s fishery biologist is from PA. and has a lot of the same ideas the people there do and has shown some tendency to propose changes just to see what it will do and not based on science

RuningWolf
01-29-2007, 01:17 AM
Rusty,

I'll have to think about that one for a while. *

I heard some disturbing news about the Cumberland today though I can't back it up. *Evidently there is a problem with the dam. *If what I heard is correct and I understood the information they may have to lower Lake Cumberland to a point 10 feet below winter pool. *That would mean that the water flowing into the tailwater would be warm and it may stay that way for a long time while repairs are made. *If that's true, the tailwater would no longer be a coldwater fishery. *Has anyone heard about this? *Talk about economic impact, not just to the tailwater but to the people trying to make a living on the lake. *I've also heard about new leaks in Center Hill Dam. *Anyone know about that? *These dams are getting old. *I'm concerned!

Byron * *

The leak is from underneath where the concrete meets the bedrock, some of the bedrock has eroded and they are going to fill in with some sort of material like grout, they say the break possibility is not very high and the damage is less sever than they originally thought. They gave a time frame for it being fixed, however I was doing other things and did not catch the entire news article on it.

A news article on it from Fox

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jan22/0,4670,DangerousDam,00.html
Feds Fear a Dam Break in Ky. and Tenn. Fearing a dam break that could cause catastrophic flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee, the Army Corps of Engineers began lowering the water level on Lake Cumberland on Monday

The measure was aimed at reducing pressure on the weakened 240-foot-high dam, said Lt. Col. Steven J. Roemhildt, commander of the Corps of Engineers' Nashville office.

"We must take this emergency action to reduce risk to the public and to the dam itself," he said in a statement.

If the Wolf Creek Dam, which is nearly a mile long, were to break, flooding in communities downstream along the Cumberland River could kill people and cause an estimated $3.4 billion in damage, Roemhildt said. Cities along the Cumberland include Nashville, Tenn., whose metro area contains 1.4 million people.

Corps spokesman Bill Peoples said failure of the dam was not imminent. But he said people should have evacuation plans ready in Nashville and other downstream communities, including Burkesville in Kentucky and Celina, Carthage, Clarksville, Gallatin and Hendersonville in Tennessee.

Nashville officials said that they have a plan in place for any flooding but that any threat would be minimized once the lake's level is lowered.

We have re-reviewed some of the plan and addressed specific things that may need to be included if there's a breach in the dam," said Amanda Sluss, a spokeswoman for the city Office of Emergency Management.

The dam, which has a concrete core surrounded by earth, was built near Jamestown in the early 1950s. The lake it holds back was created as part of a federal plan to control floods along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Two recent studies raised questions about the dam's integrity, Roemhildt said.

Water has been seeping under the dam and eroding the limestone on which the concrete rests, he said. He said crews were pumping grout into the ground to counter the erosion.

Reducing the water level could have a major ecological and economic effect as well. Roemhildt said people can expect fish kills because of a rise in water temperature, and boats at marinas could be left high and dry.

Kentucky Commerce Secretary George Ward said as many as 90 percent of the launching ramps will be unusable because they won't reach the water's surface.

Lake Cumberland, about 100 miles southeast of Louisville and one of the nation's largest freshwater reservoirs, is a popular destination for boaters. A thriving houseboat industry has sprung up around the lake, which has more than 1,000 miles of shoreline.

At a marina near Russell Springs, workers spent Monday moving million-dollar houseboats to moorings where they can stay afloat after the water recedes.

"We're kind of at a loss," said Estelee Slusser, who operates the Alligator Dock No. 1 marina. "It has just happened so quickly. We really don't know what to do."

The Army Corps notified local officials and business owners before making the plan public Monday. Slusser said she learned of it Friday.

"We spent the whole day yesterday on the phone with customers, trying to calm them down," she said.

RFowler
01-29-2007, 01:46 PM
I respecfully disagree with a lot of your opinions. I personally don't think technique has a lot to do with it as a whole. Some of us go to extremes when it comes to presentations and matching the hatch.

I used to see huge schools of trout up around Millers Island but I have not seen any of those schools in 2+ years. I disagree that meat fisherman have no impact on these numbers. I saw a guy stringer about 30-40 fish one day below MI, 3 years ago this spring. He had about 4 kids with him and most of the fish were in the range I used to catch up there in big numbers, 14-20". That was just one day, and one guy. It is always brought up when these things are discussed about meat fisherman having just as much right as those of us that mostly C&R. I don't think that is the point here. The point is, the Clinch has changed so we are hoping TWRA has some progressive management plans to help the river return to the great fishing it once had. I find it very hard to swallow when someone tells me that the fish are on to me, but the meat fishermen have no impact. I'm not telling little Johnny that he can't keep fish, I just want to convince him not to keep everything he catches. Rivers have many users, most, if not all, favor the meat fisherman. From an economical standpoint it makes no sense, they should favor everyone. Again, let me repeat this so there is no confusion, I am not against people keeping fish. But I am against people exhausting a resource. It is my opinion that meat fisherman are less likely to understand that there is a limit to the resource. They look at most of these rivers as put and take instead of put and grow, or having a wild population. So, why should other users suffer because of their ignorance, or their overharvesting?

I can't even imagine how big of a stink it would be if landowners suddenly stopped people from using this resource. They may own the riverbed but they don't own the water. That little fact changes everything. Like I tried to point out in my previous posts, land ownership on water is becoming more and more of a privilege, and more people are using these resources. I'm of the opinion that these landowners have a bigger responsibility for these resources than they did 10 years ago. If their responsibilty doesn't change in favor of these resources we enjoy so much, then these discussions will be pointless in the future. Case in point - Coal Creek. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. These people have a responsibility. Why should these landowners have special privileges if they don't care for the resource? They should be cited for their carelessness. What these landowners/developers do, has an impact on all user groups East Tennessee hasn't seen the growth that Atlanta and North Georgia has. Is it ready? Nah. Make these waters the best they can be and then they may receive special attention when it comes to major development. Things such as buffer zones. Buffers in Georgia are laughable. The Chattahoochee will never be what it once was because of carelessness from landowners. They have their view and their deck over the water, though.

RuningWolf
01-29-2007, 03:24 PM
”I used to see huge schools of trout up around Millers Island but I have not seen any of those schools in 2+ years.

TVA’s release schedule has also affected where they hold as the release are at different times and different amounts then what they where 3 years ago. (I have daily records of the past 30 years the change is phenomenal) One needs to also consider how they moved around at different times of the day due to sum position,, depth of the water etc. Another factor is the decline of invertebrates in parts of the river, they move once the learn to be more of a wild fish to where the food is.

Increased traffic has a tremendous impact on holding patterns as well. You see more and more fisherman wading through where schools of fish hold. *


‘ I disagree that meat fisherman have no impact on these numbers. “

The studies disagree with you, are you aware of exactly how many fish are released in two spots on that river per a given period of time? Check with TWRA and calculate how many are kept vs the amount released it is a hefty ration.

“ I saw a guy stringer about 30-40 fish one day below MI, 3 years ago this spring. “

Did you call the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174? If not you failed in part of your civic responsibility IMO. As I said many bait fisherman are against poaching as well. Some have approached me when they see it and ask to use my cell phone of have me call. Note I have seen fly fisherman poach as well.

“The Clinch has changed so we are hoping TWRA has some progressive management plans to help the river return to the great fishing it once had. “

“I personally don't think technique has a lot to do with it as a whole. *Some of us go to extremes when it comes to presentations and matching the hatch. *


As I said I have fished and had no problems. In fact I have fished the river since the mid 60’s and several years I fish it more than 100 days a year (again I have records. Flys, water quality, depth, water temp, aquatics observed, air temp, etc.) It is amazing how it has changed over the years

“ I find it very hard to swallow when someone tells me that the fish are on to me, but the meat fishermen have no impact. “

Whatever you wish to believe, I normally catch fish when others are not who are fishing near me. Wonder what that means?

“I can't even imagine how big of a stink it would be if landowners suddenly stopped people from using this resource.”

You can float it but I have seen people thrown off land and made to move off people’s property (in the river), most of it was do to ill manners on their part. They are tired of people they consider elitist ____ telling them what is right and what is not. They did support the scientific studies included getting out and helping do some of the actual work with TWRA. They supported the studies CRCTU and TVA was doing and where willing if a spawn was proven to support protection of it. You give thee folks scientific evidence and it will go along way towards enlisting their support. Give them a sob story there is no fish (and they know better – after all they are aware of what is in their back yard, the success the people who sue their land to access the river has etc) and you will get shown the door. As I said LUCRO will get a special act passed if any attempt is made to enact changes without evidence based on science they are needed. Some are so annoyed at some of the suggestions they want the Clinch to become a bait fishery only.

Case in point - Coal Creek. *I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. *These people have a responsibility. *Why should these landowners have special privileges if they don't care for the resource? The city of lake City needs a new waste treatment plant but cannot afford one yet.

What is your bone of contention here? There are numerous problems in the Coal Creek Watershed? From mining, to sewage.

What about Cane Creek ? Agriculture run off. BMP’s not practiced by most landowners?

What about Clear Creek? Cars running though creek crossing washing pollutants off.

Many of the landowners have been approached about doing similar projects to the Scruggs-Happney farm work. The permit process for some is in the mill the last I heard.
The buffer zone has been floated. Most residents are against it as they do not like more strangers having more means to access their property. In this day and time who can blame them.

I have talked to residents who are tired of the litter, people thinking their property is peoples bathrooms (I know of two who have out houses one had some one leave his human waste on his picnic table rather than walk 50 foot to the outhouse, another has had his port john turned over into the spring above the jail at least twice), they have had their fences tore down an cattle gotten out, property and equipment vandalized, etc. I don’t blame them. Most of them if people would come to them and talk to them would give access freely. Courtesy goes a long way with them. * *

Since I have also seen TU's name thrown about in here let me add

1st you are aware that according to TU the only way they are to support any regulations is based on science? If I still had the document on my hard drive I would give it to you. It is still on their site as I reread it there a couple weeks ago.

2nd the Chapter whose home waters is the Clinch has issued a letter and reaffirmed it recently http://www.crctu.com/ScruggsHappney/Scruggs%20Happney.html

RFowler
01-29-2007, 04:36 PM
Well, you seem to have all the answers there, RW. Ever put any of it to use? Are you not a member of TU anymore? I have reasons why I'm not there doing anything at the time. I guess since you didn't bring it up, you don't agree with me about landowners having a bigger responsibility nowdays? They can just do as they please, after all, it's their land. Is that your attitude? You've been fishing the river for 60 years and you have seen a lot of changes. Nah, not really. Wait until the real development comes. I don't know the Clinch as well as you, from what you have written there's probably few who do. But you'd be foolish not to heed others advice on the subject of buffers and developement. I don't want some developer or some nonfishing landowner in a subdivide telling me what I can and cannot do on that river. Maybe you do. Maybe you don't think it will ever come to that? It may not threaten you but it does me and future generations. Consider yourself blessed for having the river to yourself for so many years!

"Whatever you believe, I normally catch fish when others are not who are fishing near me. Wonder what that means?"

Does the water part when you walk to shore, too? :D I guess that means they are extremely poor fishermen. ;) Just kidding there, RW, but this aint no flyfishing p'ing contest.

Just what about my views don't you agree with? More water (you think they're pumping water now, just wait until big growth hits), didymo, pressure, I feel is the reason for some of the changes. I guess you disagree.

I don't have much time or I would address more in you reply but I will this one. I will later. ;)

"Did you call the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174? If not you failed in part of your civic responsibility IMO. As I said many bait fisherman are against poaching as well. Some have approached me when they see it and ask to use my cell phone of have me call. Note I have seen fly fisherman poach as well."

As far as I know they weren't exceeding their limits. If you will read a little closer, I said he had 4 kids with him. If meat fishermen have no impact on fish populations then why does C&R or slot water exist anywhere?

RFowler
01-29-2007, 08:13 PM
RW,

Please don't take me too personal and I promise I will do the same concerning you. Your knowledge on the Clinch is very important to me and very useful for any future changes that may take place. I think all of us here want the river to be the best it can be and I personally want to work toward that goal. My intentions on this thread was to kind of spark up a good relationship with the folks at TWRA. I want to work with them closely to make progress. Sorry for any bickering. It's kind of pointless, you know. Kind of like choir members arguing about what song to sing. ;)

I'm passionate about that river and others in Tennessee, and I see you are just as passionate, yourself. Some of my ideas come from talking to people that have fished the Chattahoochee for years. From what I've been told, the 'hooch has suffered very much from the past 15-20 years. Trout used to thrive where they now have a DH. What is the cuplrit? Development. That's what scares me about landowners. Let taxes start going up on these big landowners and the vulchers will move in. Please realize that some regs and practices are very dated. I have ideas that will help these people keep their land but they have to give something back. I feel that a standard needs to be put in place before all of this stuff starts happening. This is a very crowded world we live in now. If we don't bird dog this stuff I fear the same thing will happen up there.

Cheers!

RuningWolf
01-29-2007, 10:47 PM
Don’t take it I was trying to be a know it all. I am trying to give you a perspective from what I have seen, looked into etc over many years.

A few points of note. And excuse me if it is more rambling than in a coherent order and less than coherent sentences. I wanted to respond before I got busy and I do not have time for checking everything.

Between 250,000 and 350,000 cacheable size trout are released in the Clinch each year. This is not counting trout fry that is raised at the hatchery in Clinton and released in the river, the local school project that relases several thousand fry or the natural spawn that occurs. That is a sizable number when on considers the tail water is ~13 miles long and only about 4 miles of it has public access. *

I don’t fish much at Milers island anymore. I don’t enjoy combat fishing. I fish mostly midriver to about a mile above Hwy 61 Bridge. However I do fish on occasion around Millers Island through the weekdays – less people more fun.

I started out as you wanting special regs, I got involved with TU and met people in LUCRO others in TWRA, TVA, etc. I did not know. I studied the studies they had done and asked a lot of questions. It became apparent from the studies the river needed no special regs. There was nothing wrong with it. From personal experience of over 40 years of fishing it, the river has always had cycles as do most rivers. From contacts and fishing other regions (Pa., N.C., Ky, Maine, Ark. Etc) I have seen some of what some other ideas do. They have both positive and negative affects. From what I read of the last shocking surveys the numbers are still there on the Clinch hence from it and first hand observations it seems other factors are at play. That is why I posted some of the info to you so you might consider. The F&S article some are talking about here is very applicable to the Clinch as well.

Another thing to consider in declining numbers in a area is the death from C&R fishing, some controlled studies in ideal situations has the number at around 10%, that is before they are played excessively on some of the lighter rods more people are using, kept out of water *for photos or hey look here and so on all of which increases mortality rates greatly.

Most of the landowners on the river consider this a valuable resource and treat it as such. There are a few who do not but lets not go there now. Many want to do what was done at the Scruggs farm. Some of this is being done in the Coal Creek (Are you aware trout spawn in Coal Creek in spite of the water qualty problems?) area as well. We could have another good discussion about what is wrong there.

I left TU in the state of Tenn in protest do to what I thought was ignoring our responsibility to the fisheries, chapter and state council. That in its self is a long story which I will not discus on a public forum. There is to much room for he said, she said bull crap and that would not be appropriate

Most of LUCRO is aware of the above. Don’t sell them short. When the studies show a change is needed a reasonable approach, which includes them will build a coalition that can go to TWRA with a consensus. That is something the CRCTU had going when I left and I hear there is still good contact between the two groups.

As another note some other observations a lot of time what is hatching is not what the fish are eating. Now don’t expect me to tell you all I have learned over the years or which rocks to try to own. And no the water does not part, I just walk on it. (Being a smart butt) Feel free to PM me if you have some questions you would like answered. I check it from time to time. Perhaps somewhere down the road we can meet and go fishing on the Clinch together

Rockyraccoon
01-29-2007, 11:00 PM
Hey there RW,

That going fishing sometime thing has eluded us for a long time now. Maybe this spring will be the time. Oh yea, your still retired.....right? Anyway, thanks for your insight. Sounds like LUCRO will be very willing to change anything as long as the science books say it will be a positive change. That's really good to hear. Hope all is well with you and the family.

RuningWolf
01-29-2007, 11:14 PM
Being retired is my job, they have asked me to come back twice as a contractor. I have said no as they pay me enough to stay at home and do what I want when I want.


Yes I would love to go fishing this spring. TVA flows non-withstanding.

I see you have discovered some of the secrets of the SH. I really need to tie more of them. I am to the point I really do not care if I catch fish, I enjoy being on the water and could care less about numbers or if I catch anything.

As to LUCRO I talk to their head from time to time as I fish off his property on occasion. Two keys with that group are science (They may look like dumb hicks, but they are not) and do not try to force anything down their throat. Ask their input based on the science then you can find common ground to build on, they are not unreasonable.

Edited to make clearer, I really need to pay more attention when I post and not do any late at night when I am tired. Grammar is not strength of mine anyway and to be honest I don’t care and I probably should but.....

Byron Begley
01-30-2007, 10:06 AM
RW,

Can you get the more recent sampling data and creel data online? I printed out the Clinch Management Plan that was completed in 2002. If not, I'll call Jim and see if he'll give it to me. I think there is a new plan on the way as the old one runs through 2006.

Byron

RuningWolf
01-30-2007, 11:53 AM
Byron hope this helps if not let me know and I will see what I have, can find or get access to. You can either post, PM or email me as you know who I am (Daniel should have my home email, which is different than the one on file for this name as I rarely check it).

Reproduction PDF

http://tennessee.gov/twra/fish/StreamRiver/tailtrout/BrownTroutReproduction2006.pdf

To me this is a joke as anywhere there was gravel on the Clinch redds have been found. If you have floated the Clinch and paid attention to the bottom you know there are gravel beds in numerous locations besides islands and at bridge’s throughout the coarse of the river (you use to be able to see fry in May along the shores and by Aug. they where fearless and foolishly feeding on anything), it totally ignores tributary creeks and springs as well on the Clinch

The latest Creel Survey


www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/StreamRiver/tailtrout/ClinchCreel2005.pdf

I just took a glance and did not see anything that made alarms go off. I will look at it more in depth at a latter time

The Conclusion from that report (and the reason for higher stocking is on down in this post)

“By all accounts, trout fishing on the Clinch River was excellent in 2005. The catch rate (fish per hour) was very high and the numbers of fish caught and harvested per trip were among the highest observed in any Tennessee tailwater. These observations of good fishing are also noteworthy given that electrofishing sampling in February 2005 (before the creel survey began) yielded low catches of most sizes of trout compared to catches in the preceding six years (Habera et al. 2006). Large numbers of fingerling and catchable trout of both species were stocked after the winter electrofishing survey (and before the creel survey began) and river conditions were good during the fishing season; these two factors probably were responsible for the high catch rates anglers experienced during the 2005 survey.”


I talked to one of TWRA biologist a few moments ago. He did not see the shocking surveys from last year and said it may not be published yet. He said the numbers where back up from the year before when they where down. The reason they where down the year before and still recovering some last year was because TVA had a high release for almost a month prior to their survey of release flow that ranged from 10,000 to 16,000 CFS 24 hrs a day this would wash most fish into Milton Hill where they would become Stripper Food. Taking a quick look at my records for the past couple of years there has been a small number of periods of high flows for 1-2 weeks time some of which appeared to be 8000-10,000 CFS I did not look in depth.

This is something I did not discuss in the above but was referring to TVA’s release schedule having an affect. I knew the Clinch had one blow out ~ 2 years ago as all the vegetation down river revived, as the silt was gone. The area near the dam may be more vulnerable to wash outs as higher flows are experienced for short term. The river/lake is being managed such that it is more subject to flow extremes less as Norris is being kept at a higher winter pool (995-1000 vs 975-980) so when this high volume rain events occur in the Clinch-Powell watershed in VA (which is not all that uncommon) they have to release large volumes to keep the lake near the winter pool level so spring flooding does not produce a extreme flooding event like occurred in the late 90’s when the flow was 30,000 cfs and more at times

They said the amount of fish they are stocking has increased in the past couple of years. (In part due to TVA’s releases) A new shocking survey is planned for next month and the results should be available in April. The new management plan when the draft is completed will be posted on TWRA’s website for comment before it is finalized. At the moment he did not know the time frame for that.

Exploring TWRA’s website and some links it appears they have a lot on their plate. Knowing some of the funding issues in an agency that was already short staffed, I have little problem with a minor delay.

TNGlen
01-30-2007, 02:26 PM
I will have to apologize in advance for stepping on any toes. *I just joined today and didn't quite make it through all of the replies. *From what I did read, I would like to make the following comments and throw my recommendations out for cannon fodder.

1. I saw the same 3 fish as Flat did 2 Saturday's ago. *2 of them were at least 10 or 11 inches long and were culled for larger fish. *That is a serious waste of resources.
2. I have a neighbor that constantly brags about how many fish he has killed in a day of fishing on the Clinch since he can "only" keep 7. *Doesn't bother him a bit.
3. Land owners have rights. *None of you on this thread would want strangers stomping across your backyard to get to fishing areas. *Sorry, but give them a little credit.
4. The legislature needs to get a law through that removes the land owner exemption from tail waters. *If the fish they are catching can be shown to be a self renewing resource such as deer, turkey, bass, brim, catfish, etc., then fine, use your land owner rights. *However, if my tax dollars are paying for those fish to be put there, then they DO NOT belong to the landowner nor can they be claimed to have been born and raised in that landowners section of the river.
5. I will gladly pay for a stamp equivalent to an archery tag, black powder tag, or rifle tag to fish in a C and R section of the river. *No questions on this. *I think that the money could go to supporting a fish and game officer on the Upper Clinch (Flat and I have seen several limits go out with kids playing on the back attached to them).
6. As for handicap access. I agree with needing to have access. *Here is how it is done. *There is NO access to the Upper Clinch (above the weir) except at the boat launch at the weir (above and below) and at the canoe launch at the dam. *Make a harvest area at the canoe launch that extends from the dam to 1/2 mile down the river. *Put up signs and a cable across the river similar to "The Cable". *From the weir to the new cable would be a C and R area only. *No possesion of fish in this area, even if you are walking through in the river. *No live or natural bait and I would even go for barbless hooks. *Require a stamp to be above the weir. *This would answer public access questions and Catch and Release issues.
7. Bottom line, TWRA isn't going to do anything that Bubba doesn't want them to do. *I personally have tried to call TWRA on this issue and got as far as, "we can't limit the publics right to harvest fish." *Unless we get our legislators involved, TWRA isn't going to do anything because they DON'T HAVE TO!

Oh well, this is enough for now.....Thanks and keep it going. ;D

billyspey
01-30-2007, 09:04 PM
i was talkin to wildlife officer a couple weeks about the numbers of fish tsken at the weir dam been carried out by the bucket full [over limits]. and yes they are aware of this going on but can not catch them . but i was astounded when he told that the number of flyfisherman that they check that do not own a trout stamp.when they are ask what are fishing for , they say bluegill or walleye or anything but trout. if you practice c&r than you are not fishing for trout. so they aren't buying trout stamps and i have been buying trout stamps 30 plus years ,i had never though of doing thi,am i dum or what!!!

Rockyraccoon
01-30-2007, 10:01 PM
I was always under the impression that if you fish, in trout waters, whether fishing for trout or not, you must possess a valid trout stamp and a valid fishing/hunting license.

LYNN
01-30-2007, 11:25 PM
Hey Guys,
The reason the Clinch fish Catches are going down is because it gets hammered. That is our fault. If we would work on our technique we would start catching fish again. We need to stop depending on our Zebra Midge and realize we are the problem. People spend a thousand bucks and think they should catch BIG, TOUGH,and Conditioned TROUT.
Have a Nice Day,
LYNN HAYES

RuningWolf
01-31-2007, 12:09 AM
I was always under the impression that if you fish, in trout waters, whether fishing for trout or not, you must possess a valid trout stamp and a valid fishing/hunting license.


I think you are correct. I know you better not be in the woods with a weapon capable of killing deer and not have the proper license. I will check with TWRA tomorrow

I know of several citations written in the area he mentioned. If a TWRA officer sys they cannot catch someone there that officer needs reporting to hi regional manger. From past experiences there are very concerned about enforcement and go out of their way. They have also been undercover on the Clinch and a officer written violations when the violator got to the parking lot

Flat Fly n
01-31-2007, 12:43 AM
Lynn,
I beg to differ with you on the hammering aspect. *I think that there were more fishermen in the late 80s and early 90s that there are now. *I remember counting over 20 guys at one time over the weir to the cable during the 80's. *By my records that I kept for years, one in every 10 fish you caught was 18" or over, and now, maybe 1 in every 75. *You can go there now on any given weekend and maybe see 10. *Below the weir has always been crowded. *No I don't spend $1000 dollars on a flyrod, under and over's yes, but flyrods? *If I wanted to catch a 6" fish I would go to the Smokies. *Personally, I like the old saying a guide once told me about why he only fished for salmon and not brook trout.. "Why fish for kittens, when you can fish for lions?"

Running Wolf,
So glad you have one the health to fish that much since you have retired, and two, the private land to fish from. *While the majority of the public does not have this luxury, it seems that the public access is the area that needs some protection, therefore to ultimitely benefit the entire river. *I did have *access at one time when I owned a drift boat but sold it when I felt the river was no longer worth the effort of owning one. *I have fished from DS's shoal on many occations over the years and I believe that area has suffered as well. *I change flies, techniques, and seriously believe very few folks puts in as much effort in entomology, fly design, and techniques as myself. *I have flyfished from Spokane to Maine and in between for the past 26 years and kept records, photos, and have talked to many people over the past 6-8 who agree that the river is not the same. *You are the FIRST person other than a state paid agent that has made statements to the effect that the river has not changed over the past 6-8 years. *If you wish to believe that TWRA's answer to "fixing" the Clinch is to dump 3" fingerlings in massive amounts, while protecting other tailwaters throughout the state is sound judgement, have at it. *

Enjoy your retirement, I hope there is a river there worth fishing when I get to retire one day. *Right now, I believe that river is more worth fighting for.

Flat Fly'n

RuningWolf
01-31-2007, 11:29 AM
i was talkin to wildlife officer a couple weeks about the numbers of fish tsken at the weir dam been carried out by the bucket full [over limits]. and yes they are aware of this going on but can not catch them . *but i was astounded when he told that the number of flyfisherman that they check that do not own a trout stamp.when they are ask what are fishing for , they say bluegill or walleye or anything but trout. if you practice c&r *than you are not fishing for trout. so they aren't buying trout stamps and i have been buying trout stamps 30 plus years ,i had never though of doing thi,am i dum or what!!!

I talked to the TWRA regional office. They said if you was fishing in trout waters (i.e. Clinch Tailwater) you have to have a trout stamp. He also said yearly there are numerous violations written below the dam.

They also said if some officer is telling you he cannot catch anybody or anything that sounds like it is not correct to report that officer to Brian Ripley 1-800-332-0900

RuningWolf
01-31-2007, 01:24 PM
RW,

Can you get the more recent sampling data and creel data online? *I printed out the Clinch Management Plan that was completed in 2002. *If not, I'll call Jim and see if he'll give it to me. *I think there is a new plan on the way as the old one runs through 2006.

Byron
Bryon

I found this and it is interesting. The recent drop is concurrent with TVA’s high flows of 2 years ago and it shows a recovery is going on. I do not recall the rate fish grow on the clinch but somewhere around ½ in per month comes to mind up to a certain point

Clinch River Trout Study Results
TWRA conducts annual electro-shocking studies on the Clinch River tailwater as part of its trout management plan. According to Mr. Jim Habera, TWRA Region IV Coldwater Fisheries Manager,

"The attached graphs show our mean electrofishing catch rates (for the 12 monitoring stations) since 1996. Catch rates went down in 2004 and 2005 because of the high flows in the tailwater, but came back nicely in 2006. In fact, we reached or exceeded our management plan objectives for trout 14" and over (30/hr.) and for trout 18" and over (8/hr.) in '06. We had exceeded the management plan objective for trout 7" and over (200/hr.) in 2003, but the catch rate fell off in '04 and '05. It's on the way back up now (about 170/hr. in '06).”


http://www.crctu.com/Norris%20Tailwater%2006.pdf

Byron Begley
01-31-2007, 02:18 PM
RW,

I mentioned in an older post that Jim Habera was in the shop not long ago and we talked about the Clinch. He told me some things that I won't repeat until the new plan is presented. But, I was very interested in what he had to say. In fact, I was excited about what he said. But, I don't know if he told me in confidence since we are friends and out of respect for him I haven't mentioned any details to anyone and I won't. Jim, Rick, Bart and the rest of their crew do excellent work. I would trust their data with complete and unquestionable confidence.

Byron

RuningWolf
01-31-2007, 03:13 PM
No it pays not to break confidences

I sent you a PM

Did you out the chart from the above link?

TNGlen
02-01-2007, 11:01 AM
Hmmmm. Interesting chart. It appears that either TVA thinks that there are plenty of big fish in the river (14" and over) or they are setting low goals so that they can report that they are doing their jobs.[smiley=shocked.gif] After having been associated with a couple of LARGE companies like TVA that are results based, I prefer to believe the later. Don't kid yourself, TVA won't do anything that costs them any extra money or reduces their profits by even 0.01%.

Also, I am wondering just how much you have to go to the Clinch and fish to even see a TWRA officer? The last time that I even saw one up there was in 1982 when I was in college. One would assume that 10 - 15 trips to the Clinch in a year would be sufficient to at least see a TWRA truck (let alone the officer get out of it).

RuningWolf
02-01-2007, 11:35 PM
TnGlen pt 1

1. I saw the same 3 fish as Flat did 2 Saturday's ago. *2 of them were at least 10 or 11 inches long and were culled for larger fish. *That is a serious waste of resources.

Culling is illegal again call the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174 Give them a description, follow them to their vehicle get make, year and Lic number. TWRA will follow up


2. I have a neighbor that constantly brags about how many fish he has killed in a day of fishing on the Clinch since he can "only" keep 7. *Doesn't bother him a bit.

Same as the above

3. Land owners have rights. *None of you on this thread would want strangers stomping across your backyard to get to fishing areas. *Sorry, but give them a little credit.

I have seen some who post on these boards do that very thing as well as litter and be rude to land owners, however I was talking in general and about them. Sorry if you misunderstood

4. The legislature needs to get a law through that removes the land owner exemption from tail waters. *If the fish they are catching can be shown to be a self renewing resource such as deer, turkey, bass, brim, catfish, etc., then fine, use your land owner rights. *However, if my tax dollars are paying for those fish to be put there, then they DO NOT belong to the landowner nor can they be claimed to have been born and raised in that landowners section of the river.

How do you know they are not self renewing to a degree? Where do the deer and turkey reproduce? If you start taking away landowners rights because you do not like these particular ones, who is to morally say that all landowners rights should not be removed as they surely offend others? What about his tax dollars (However for clarity it is license fees TWRA is not funded by state tax dollars.), his son’s, his cousins, his buddies? If ~70% of the fisherman on the Clinch are using bait and there is ~8% who use spin artificial lures and pay for their license, then is their opinions just as important as yours? Might they be of more importance, as they are more numerous? How many miles of artificial lure fishing is there in the state of Tenn.? What if they decided they wanted something like a bait fishing only area? Would it not be fair that they have one? After all how many miles of single hook artificial lure water is there in East Tenn? How many miles with other special regs that is exclusive of what they are looking for in a fishery? Is it not fair they should be allowed the same?

5. I will gladly pay for a stamp equivalent to an archery tag, black powder tag, or rifle tag to fish in a C and R section of the river. *No questions on this. *I think that the money could go to supporting a fish and game officer on the Upper Clinch (Flat and I have seen several limits go out with kids playing on the back attached to them).

That was discussed with TWRA by both CRCTU (Clinch River Chapter Trout Unlimited) and LUCRO (Land Owners and Users of the Clinch River Organization – note on LUCRO they support the use of science to manage the Clinch it is open to all who believe that regardless of how you fish). TWRA gave several reasons as why they cannot occur, including the fact it is cost prohibitive.

Again on the limits if someone is catching and keeping more than their limit (7) report them to TWRA with details 1-800-831-1174 * *

6. As for handicap access. I agree with needing to have access. *Here is how it is done. *There is NO access to the Upper Clinch (above the weir) except at the boat launch at the weir (above and below) and at the canoe launch at the dam. *Make a harvest area at the canoe launch that extends from the dam to 1/2 mile down the river. *Put up signs and a cable across the river similar to "The Cable". *From the weir to the new cable would be a C and R area only. *No possesion of fish in this area, even if you are walking through in the river. *No live or natural bait and I would even go for barbless hooks. *Require a stamp to be above the weir. *This would answer public access questions and Catch and Release issues.

The handicap access is above the weir dam. Several handicap people access the river from the put in below the dam and at Millers Island as both sections have some flat water that is accessible by boat and shore line . As TVA is a federal agency and the land for the most part belongs to them they cannot deny handicap access. As you are no doubt aware fly fishing is not a means of fishing for most handicap people.

What is the mortality rate on C&R most stats have it around 10% for best-case scenarios. So why you should be allowed to kill fish and some else can not?

7. Bottom line, TWRA isn't going to do anything that Bubba doesn't want them to do. *I personally have tried to call TWRA on this issue and got as far as, "we can't limit the publics right to harvest fish." *Unless we get our legislators involved, TWRA isn't going to do anything because they DON'T HAVE TO!

Should we manage everything based on what some people think is correct or science?

RuningWolf
02-01-2007, 11:37 PM
TnClen pt2

“It appears that either TVA thinks that there are plenty of big fish in the river (14" and over) or they are setting low goals so that they can report that they are doing their jobs. After having been associated with a couple of LARGE companies like TVA that are results based, I prefer to believe the later. Don't kid yourself, TVA won't do anything that costs them any extra money or reduces their profits by even 0.01%. “

TVA is a non profit organization and has done much to improve the conditions of the river, for example establishing minimum flows to help keep the river cool as well as oxygenated (Which is a large part of the purpose of the weir dam. TVA has worked hand in hand with TU for fisheries improvements as has many other state and federal agencies, I think these meetings are held semi annual and include all Federal and state agencies that impact water quality. They have helped with the studies CRCTU are doing on the river with the loan of equipment and manpower where needed.

The size level dropped due to TVA having to release large volumes of water for a extended period of time to prevent flooding or possible topping of the dam. The upper Clinch-Powel watershed that feeds Norris is prone to high volume rain events. I have seen Norris rise over 10 foot in one day because of some of these and that is a lot of water.

TWRA when the problem was discovered took action in the way they stock to speed the recovery. The numbers in the chart show that is taking place

“I am wondering just how much you have to go to the Clinch and fish to even see a TWRA officer? The last time that I even saw one up there was in 1982 when I was in college. One would assume that 10 - 15 trips to the Clinch in a year would be sufficient to at least see a TWRA truck”

I and others see them regularly if you want to now how many citations they had out I am sure they will be glad to give that information to you. You need to keep in mind just how much land and water they have to patrol regularly as well. They cannot always watch from a vehicle people get rid of their over the limit trout if they know they are there. They also watch posed as fisherman at times as well

Case in point I was on the Clinch last year and called in someone with over their limits that a bait fisherman had alerted me to. The girl said they where arresting the offending party as we spoke I could plainly see no one was around this group I told her no they where not. She told me she was in radio contact and they were cuffing someone to take to jail, I looked up river about 50 yds stood a person in cuffs and two agents. I told her the person I was talking about was about 50 yds downstream what they where wearing. Guess what they come down and arrested them to. (As a note they got a ovation by several anglers, both bait and fly) Their initial arrest was someone we had reported 2 weeks earlier and had given them a good description along with the fact they had been seen the previous two weekends around the same time. They came looking for them.

I could give you many other examples including one of them going to someone’s home who was spotted leaving Milers Island area with over 50 trout and their license number was given to TWRA.

RuningWolf
02-02-2007, 12:09 AM
Flat Fly'n

”Running Wolf, “

One N it is a given name by a Native American elder and that is how he spelled it. Just for you info

”So glad you have one the health to fish that much since you have retired”

I am fortunate I have good health and got to retire in my early 50’s

“ and two, the private land to fish from.”

I rarely use that privilege unless I am going to float it. I do enter on private land above the jail as I can watch my vehicle but it is an area I have fished since 1964, *I use to ride my bicycle and leave it in the cornfield where the jail is and walk up and enter the river about where 2nd Baptist Church is now, a elderly gentleman gave me and my wife keys to enter just up river so she would not have to walk so far in exchange for us helping watch out for his place *

“ While the majority of the public does not have this luxury, it seems that the public access is the area that needs some protection, therefore to ultimitely benefit the entire river. “

Do you know how to knock on doors and ask? That can work wonders. Not trying to be smart but all they can do is say Yes or No that is how I gor permission from some. If they give it be sure to close all gates and pack out your trash.


“ I did have *access at one time when I owned a drift boat but sold it when I felt the river was no longer worth the effort of owning one.”

I enjoy floating it with no flow in a canoe it is very much worth it for the solitude, and scenery


“ *I have fished from DS's shoal on many occations over the years and I believe that area has suffered as well. *I change flies, techniques, and seriously believe very few folks puts in as much effort in entomology, fly design, and techniques as myself. *I have flyfished from Spokane to Maine and in between for the past 26 years and kept records, photos, and have talked to many people over the past 6-8 who agree that the river is not the same. “

It changes year to year, I have talked to many anglers who have fished all over and most say the Clinch is the most difficult to fish of any they have been to. In fact some member of Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited *(CRCTU) who go to Idaho and other Spring creeks to fish say if you can catch fish on the Clinch you can catch them anywhere. There may be something to that as my wife and I do catch them regularly on the Clinch and have fished and had good success on some of Penn. more difficult streams to the dismay of other fisherman there.

Look at the creel surveys and the shocking surveys they say other wise. I do know some people who are having problems who are knowledgeable. (I have stood next to bait fisherman and caught fish and them not, want to talk about PO’d) Some of what I related in a earlier post is part of their problem and we have pointed that out. The F&S article that is mentioned in another thread is very true. I have seen sulfurs coming off and that is not what they are feeding on, they where eating rock worms. I have seen the heavy black caddis hatch and they where eating midge larva. Don’t be afraid to *throw the fly box at them sometimes the most unlikely fly will catch fish.


“You are the FIRST person other than a state paid agent that has made statements to the effect that the river has not changed over the past 6-8 years. *If you wish to believe that TWRA's answer to "fixing" the Clinch is to dump 3" fingerlings in massive amounts, while protecting other tailwaters throughout the state is sound judgement, have at it. *“

As fry grow at ~1/2 per month and due to economics on a very limited budget it makes a lot of sense. I have studied the data, talked to biologist from TWRA, TVA and UT it does make sense. That data includes growth rates, distribution of fish by size, their movements, TVA’s flow, the amount of nutrients in the river, the mortality rates both due to man, natural and predatory (Weasels-River Otters-Osprey-Eagles- and believe it or not at least one Red-tail Hawk at Millers island-etc), and many other measurable variants. *However if you think I can spout the party line do you think I could get your recommendation for a part time job from them as a spokesman? *(Just yanking your chain)

You should also note if you have read my other posts I am critical of TWRA as well. Case in point the spawn. They will not discuss the spawn in other tributary creeks of the Clinch either.

”Enjoy your retirement, I hope there is a river there worth fishing when I get to retire one day.”

Thanks and it will be.

Note I see where you posted about sizes, I have had days where all you catch is big fish as have others however keep in mind no record I have seen supports large populations of large fish. *Bryon posted a post on Lynn’s prone where he talked about heavy catch and release made for bigger fish as it lessened the amount of fish competing for food. There is a lot of truth to that as well. I have rarely ever measured a fish. I do know the length from the tip of my middle finger to my elbow (on the inside edge of my arm) is ~20 in. Anything larger *I might measure but will do so in the water

I am glad you had such good luck in the past you will again.

Take care



Edit

Why does so few want to do anything to promote a different type of fishery on the Holston? *What is its potential? It seems there may be less opposition there as well.

RFowler
02-02-2007, 01:19 AM
Why does so few want to do anything to promote a different type of fishery on the South Holston? What is its potential? It seems there may be less opposition there as well.



I dunno, RW. I would rate the SH right up there with anything in Montana, and probably better than most. Some of the regs that are in place on the SH now were a result of findings from guides. It rates #1 in the 2005 Tennessee tailwater brown trout report. I feel if the Clinch was the size of the South Holston it would be as good. The Clinch is different because of something you pointed out in an earlier post...the upper Clinch and Powell watersheds are huge. I feel if the maximum generated flows on the Clinch were more like 4,000 instead of 9,000, it would be a totally different fishery.

The numbers you posted on how many fish they put into the Clinch is staggering. Do they feel this number is necessary or are they still conducting the capacity study? As I understand from the '05 report, the Clinch was undergoing some kind of capacity study. Do you know if this is still going on? With those numbers you gave it sounds like it. I know when I fish it now, I catch more and more of the little guys. They're very easy to pick off when you put movement on your flies. They're kind of a nuisance because of the shear numbers of them. I think something could be done concerning the numbers of fingerlings they stock. I hardly ever caught them before '04-'05. Could it be that the trout fishery is very fragile (for fish in the lower size ranges) in wet years and the most economical way for TWRA to restock the river is with fingerlings? I hardly ever fish emergers and up in the water column (unless I see a larger fish) because of these little guys. Also, they seem less of a problem on the lower end but they're still there in big numbers.

Just curious if you have any info regarding this.

RuningWolf
02-02-2007, 01:52 AM
I was speaking of the Holston in the above post so I edited the post to reflect that. I also know the French Broad was being looked at as a trout fishery a few years ago as well

Flows for generation on the Clinch are variable. The turbines are the most efficient around (going from memory) one is around 3200 cfs if they need the power bad or need to get water out of the lake they run them around 4500 cfs. If they really need to let water out they open the sluice gates and I think max flow there is around 12-15000 cfs, when it spills I have seen it as high as 27000 CFS when spilling

There was a lot of fry at the lower end from a natural spawn, they hung out at the creeks entrances there from about 1/4 to 1/2 in size until they got to 3 in then they moved to the middle of the river and where fearless

TWRA stocked more to help bring the numbers back up faster due to the wash out.

Hatcheries are limited in how many and size they can grow. It also gets into economics.

There is only 13 miles of Tailwater fishery with the Clinch

Fingerlings are a favorite food in the river to many critters including other fish. That is one reason for the high numbers lots of yummies for the tummies.

It is not fragile but it is subject to blow outs and like any other river it will take some time to recover.

Are you aware there has been trout in the Clinch since mid 30’s?

http://www.crctu.com/Clear_Creek/ClearCreek.html


I will get back to you on your PM. I am tired and am going to bed. I will also try and think about what I may know on your other questions.

RFowler
02-02-2007, 03:40 PM
I was speaking of the Holston in the above post so I edited the post to reflect that. I also know the French Broad was being looked at as a trout fishery a few years ago as well

Flows for generation on the Clinch are variable. The turbines are the most efficient around (going from memory) one is around 3200 cfs if they need the power bad or need to get water out of the lake they run them around 4500 cfs. If they really need to let water out they open the sluice gates and I think max flow there is around 12-15000 cfs, when it spills I have seen it as high as 27000 CFS when spilling.

I know releases on the Clinch are variable. Most dams are. I was speaking of general flows, one or two turbine releases. The South Holston (that I was comparing it to) only has one turbine releases. In other words, I feel that the fishing on the South Holston would suffer if release averages were higher.

There was a lot of fry at the lower end from a natural spawn, they hung out at the creeks entrances there from about 1/4 to 1/2 in size until they got to 3 in then they moved to the middle of the river and where fearless

I'm assuming you mean upstream of 61. I feel that this area best suits spawning fish because of the depth and habitat. The river is also very broad there so current has less of an effect on the redds than other parts of the river.

TWRA stocked more to help bring the numbers back up faster due to the wash out.

I assumed this was the reason but that's what I'm trying to quit doing. Assume. I noticed more of the little guys after the huge rain events after all those hurricanes. When I say fragile, I mean fish being washed out or away. Displacement or killed and washed away.

Hatcheries are limited in how many and size they can grow. It also gets into economics.

Oh, I know its more economic to grow the little guys than catchables.

There is only 13 miles of Tailwater fishery with the Clinch

Yep. That's why itmakes those numbers of stocked fish so staggering.

Fingerlings are a favorite food in the river to many critters including other fish. That is one reason for the high numbers lots of yummies for the tummies.

The DNR (Georgia) stocks their surplus fingerlings in the Toccoa tailwater in Blue Ridge, GA. Put and grow is one reason, having more forage fish for predators is another. Believe me, I'm no stranger to this type of reasoning. My tactics would probably surprise you. ;)

It is not fragile but it is subject to blow outs and like any other river it will take some time to recover.

I feel that things went down hill after all those hurricanes in September of '04. TVA had to run water for almost 6 months straight. I think some fish migrated to areas where they could feed without expending great energy. In early '05, when the generation stopped, I noticed the fish where more concentrated to certain area's. I also think this generation caused a certain amount of fish kill in the smaller fish. 10" and under fish that have a harder time eating other fish. I noticed a sharp decline in fish 8-11" after the generation. I think big predatory fish thrived during this time.

Are you aware there has been trout in the Clinch since mid 30’s?

I was aware that the river began as a trout fishery a short time after the dam was put into place.

http://www.crctu.com/Clear_Creek/ClearCreek.html


I will get back to you on your PM. I am tired and am going to bed. I will also try and think about what I may know on your other questions.

Thanks, RW. I enjoy these discussions. I think they give a more hightened awareness to all that reads them.

RuningWolf
02-02-2007, 04:04 PM
"I'm assuming you mean upstream of 61. I feel that this area best suits spawning fish because of the depth and habitat. The river is also very broad there so current has less of an effect on the redds than other parts of the river."



Actually there are many places with gravel beds that produced had redds and trout fry



”When I say fragile, I mean fish being washed out or away. Displacement or killed and washed away.”

This happens with a lot of fish. The flood event of 97 (I think) a lot of trout where able to get out of swift flow in the tree flooded area and had a smorgasbord. However the extended releases that happened that year are few and far between. IMO though it is more prone to happen with the elevated winter pool levels TVA is currently employing on the Clinch

“big predatory fish thrived”

They thrive period. I watched a heron one day panic trying to et out of the water. All of sudden the water bulged up in front of it and went a short distance up stream with several 6-8 in trout jumping out of the way.

I looked at the data you was talking about this morning and I think that is their target capacity. I am not for sure and would have to ask. I did know what they said was the actual carrying capacity for the river once and I do not recall it. The number was very high

“I enjoy these discussions. I think they give a more hightened awareness to all that reads them. “

Thank you I do to. I understand others points of view, however something’s are not always feasible or using science for sound management practice. I have seen what politics can do to TWRA. Case in point is the larger deer herd in West Tn vs east Tn, then we could go to the turkey program where the same political management practice occurred.

I will get back to your PM sometime over the weekend.

Petey
02-02-2007, 04:47 PM
I too have enjoyed reading and following this discussion. It is civil and level headed discussion. I am glad to see it hasn't gotten out of hand.

I will give my 2 cents, even though it may not be worth that.

1) I would love to see some sort of slot limit on the Clinch. I would even like to see some sort of artificial only, barbless, catch and release section. Many great rivers all over our country have them. The Norfork in Arkansas has it, as do several streams in Colorado and even Dukes Creek in Georgia, though that was privately donated land to the state with those requirements made upon donation. If that is on the upper section above the wier, then so be it. Anything is better than nothing.

2) One thing I do like is that we are able to anchor down on our tailwaters when boating without much harrassment. I know when I floated several streams out in Colorado a couple of summers ago, you could only anchor and fish from BLM property. Any where the river flowed through private property you were not allowed to anchor at all for any reason, and they had big signs all over the place letting you know so.

3) I would like to see TWRA become a little more strict with their Creel checks, and that just doesn't count the Clinch. I understand they are extremely short handed, but I see people harvest their 7, go dump them in a cooler in the back of their truck then turn right around and head back and start loading up another stringer in the past.

4) I am all for more public access, though the purchase of land would have to come from the state. I don't see anyway it can be gained without that being done.

A few side notes:

I am not seeing as much of the didymo here lately as I have in the past. I have also had others make the same comment. I am not sure on why this is. I am seeing more green on the bottom of the Clinch than I have in a long time. I am also seeing more scuds and which maybe a direct reflection of the bottom growth changing.

My average size of trout caught has been better than this time last year. Even last year I moved nice fish during high water while stripping streamers and even landed a couple of nice bows along the way, but I think the general population overall has improved. Which is relative to the discussion about the enormous amount of fingerlings tnat were stocked back in 2005.

Again good discussion and good reading!

Petey 8-)

DryFly1
02-02-2007, 05:17 PM
WOW!

I could probably FF middle and east TN the rest of my life and not gleen this much information on my own. *Thanks to all that have contributed to these insights and commentary. *I look forward to reading more.

*Mark...

Byron Begley
02-02-2007, 05:30 PM
RW,

What would the LUCRO folks say about a slot limit? The science proves that if enacted, trophy fishing will improve. Look at the Cumberland. And, why not have trophy fishing. It's good for the economy, it provides jobs, it gives a kid like I used to be a chance to catch a trout of a lifetime and be hooked forever. You say they are reasonable. What negative could any prudent person find in a slot limit?

Also, I enjoyed Neil Young. Thanks.

Byron

Flat Fly n
02-02-2007, 06:12 PM
Byron,
Neil Young? Does that mean the lyrics of "I've seen the needle and the damage done" give symbolism to the metal fish stringer that our brothers of the "killing fields" use?

Flat Fly'n

Byron Begley
02-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Something I forgot to mention,

Just about every species we fish for has a size limit of some kind. And, they vary from lake to lake or river to river. Don't largemouth bass have a size limit? I think crappie do. I do a lot of shallow water fishing in the ocean. Just about everything we fish for has a slot or size limit. I don't think people find that unreasonable. They just accept it as good management practices. Why are trout different?

Byron

Byron Begley
02-02-2007, 06:20 PM
Flat,

How you do'n big guy. No significance with Neil Young and keeping fish. RW and I are big music fans and particularly music from the 60's and 70's. Did you catch that big brook trout at the top of the page? Was this fellow your guide or has Dean changed since I saw him last? See you soon Buddy.

Byron

Flat Fly n
02-02-2007, 07:22 PM
Byron,
Doing well for a guy out working on plumbing issues until 4A this morning, getting 2 hours of sleep and going back to finally get out by noon today, so I am changing my name to Dragg'n Butt until tomorrow.

However this thread is like crack. Finally WE are talking online about things that are agreed to and argue about on streams, at cars while we change, and at the Waffle House trying to warm up after we have frozen ourselves for the day. And yes, I got my Hepatitis shot because I ate there after fishing 2 years ago!

RW, RuNing Wolf,

Many apologies to your Native American elder. I wish my one N on Fly'n was official but it comes from an old flats boat I bought.

Apparently, you know your river as you do your grouse if you are the GENTLEMAN that I think you are. IF not I look forward to running into one day on the Clinch. I still believe that one river should not be excluded for what works on other rivers managed by the same organization, and what has proven to work in many states for many years on the populated trout stream in TN. My statements are purely observations over the years with many recorded fishing logs. My only scientific observation came when my son and I did a water quality study on our own for his science project with materials supplied by Americore were we found phosphates and chlorine below Norris dam to just below the weir on several occations. This by the way coincided with the period of time when the algae/grass was gone as well as the scuds and sowbugs in that area. Having said that and opening up a can of worms on that my background prior to my present occupation was that of a research assistant at Duke University. We did report the findings to TVA but as you might expect, we were blown off. BTW, he won third place in the region that year, sometime around 2000, I think.

Yes, I have posted some big fish pictures and certainly have more but those fish are now few and further apart IMO than say the late 80's and 90's. I did not fish any fewer days and have changed patterns, gone back to old, and I do know of the forementioned "little round rock worm" as well as midge larvea, and not pupae. I do not pump stomachs just because of the possilbe mortality this could cause. I would hate to think someone would grab me and stick a syringe down my esophagus and pump my contents out.

This thread goes along with the old saying .......put 50 doctors in a room and you will get 50 opinions. The only person I care to win here is the public, the fish, and the river. You and I will have our opinions, who is right, time will tell. Fortunatly, if we knew everything about flyfishing and the ways of trout it would be boring, but thank goodness the Clinch is tough, because I will agree I can go anywhere in this country and generally outfish those around me as you say!

Tight lines (and hopefully) return of many screaming reels,
Flat Fly'n (with a disclaimer to a single non Native American N)

RuningWolf
02-02-2007, 09:29 PM
Petey and Bryon

Let me answer you both here. LUCRO was approached about the slot limits. They did not like it for many reasons. Some of which is ~17% of the fisherman dictating to 73%.

The fish released due to the mortality rate at best have 90% survival, That is with quick landing, a quick and proper release (no picks, no measuring etc), with most bait fisherman most of the hooking the fish is going to die, Most of the hooks are in the throat or gill the damage is done, with spin fisherman treble hooks, this is before you get into rough handling ect. here as well (Not picking on them just a general observation) Now a lot of fly fisherman play the trout till it is tired form many reasons some of which is light tippets (Which is a must for the Clinch) 3 and 4 wt rods that some are using require it, now a lot of these fisherman measure fish, take pics hold it up and say hey bud.. This kills more than 10% of the fish if you have a 50 fish day and you do everything right you have killed 5 on average.

Something else so little public land on a small river why try and tell landowners what they, their children, their families can catch and keep. The is so little else that is on public land that it limits the only river a lot of these people can get to reasonable. There is a lot of kids and some handicap and elderly who fish at the public area. It is so small is it worth a fight? If it is put in places it has to little room to have any real impact as any high flows washes the fish out of that area and you are back to square one

“see people harvest their 7, go dump them in a cooler in the back of their truck then turn right around and head back and start loading up another stringer in the past.”

Again call the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174, cell phones can be wonderful tools. I have called from the deer woods with GPS coordinates to some of the best corn producing pine trees you ever saw. They will respond the more information you can give them the better.

I don’t like making trophies for the sake of trophies much as has been done with the deer herd. The trophy’s I have got both fishing and hunting has been because I put in the hard work the time and effort to doe everything just right to get one. Those did not grow big by being dumb, they grew big by learning and being smart. It was a contest of outwitting. When you make a increase of size by artificial means it would be like stocking the Cross eyed Cricket with 20+ inches so we could say look what I got or having a herd of deer go buy you at the local stock barn and you shoot the best looking trophy (And I have seen two states become almost that bad). That is not trophy hunting or trophy fish in my book. The other factor is the river is to short for anything to be done fairly to the public and land owners. The Holston is much better suited for this type of regs. And would get a lot less resistance from the landowners and users

More public access is needed especially mid river. TWRA has some money the last I heard for purchases but so far not many sellers. As you know a lot of mid river areas are not suitable for wading either.

I tell you what I would like to see is a return to flows so you can fish at Hwy 61 until dark on the weekends instead of early afternoon. You use to see a lot of folks bring their families out (Young boys and girls) as it was warm enough for them to wade and fish some then. You cannot do it now and fishing was very good in late afternoon on that section of the river.

I wish that TWRA could get more enforcement not only on the Clinch but the lakes and hunting woods as well. I cannot emphasis enough call and give details they will respond if they can if they can’t they will keep an eye out for the violators if you give them enough info

Bryon your welcome on Neil. I have more I will send you as I get around to it

Pete yes there is less RS and more algae a good thing. Something else I have noticed the past two years is the mayfly and caddis numbers appear to be rising instead of being almost gone.

RuningWolf
02-02-2007, 09:46 PM
FF

”Many apologies to your Native American elder. I wish my one N on Fly'n was official but it comes from an old flats boat I bought.”

His name was Red Crowe his name givers spelling, many people go your name is misspelled and it is not (Note RW is fine)


”Apparently, you know your river as you do your grouse if you are the GENTLEMAN that I think you are. IF not I look forward to running into one day on the Clinch.”

I do not grouse hunt I have enough venison to keep me satisfied. I do have some feathers from someone who does. I suspect you have run into someone who uses a float tube above the weir dam.

“I still believe that one river should not be excluded for what works on other rivers managed by the same organization, and what has proven to work in many states for many years on the populated trout stream in TN. My statements are purely observations over the years with many recorded fishing logs. My only scientific observation came when my son and I did a water quality study on our own for his science project with materials supplied by Americore were we found phosphates and chlorine below Norris dam to just below the weir on several occations. This by the way coincided with the period of time when the algae/grass was gone as well as the scuds and sowbugs in that area. Having said that and opening up a can of worms on that my background prior to my present occupation was that of a research assistant at Duke University. We did report the findings to TVA but as you might expect, we were blown off. BTW, he won third place in the region that year, sometime around 2000, I think.”

I am guessing here what you got was from above the dam as anything with a marine toilet was dumped into the lake. That practice was banned. I don’t know the details.

The algae and grasses in that area was scoured out by the flood of 97 or 98 when the river flow ws above 25000 CFS for about 2 weeks then ran above 15000 cfs for about 4 weeks. We cleaned a lot of it out of the weir dam gates as well as other debris that blocked up many of the tubes. TVA’s lab is there on the water and I know Charlie very well as well as the people in management of the Clinch Powell Watershed team I think if it had been significant numbers they would have been alarmed. It was just in recent years that the numbers went up on Norris which resulted in the ruling all toilets must be pumped out. I had a cousin whose water ws from the btoom of Norris (100 ft) and ran through a simple filter. The county accused him of giving them a sample of bottled water. I took a sample into the Nuclear plant I worked at and it was very clean water.

”Yes, I have posted some big fish pictures and certainly have more but those fish are now few and further apart IMO than say the late 80's and 90's. I did not fish any fewer days and have changed patterns, gone back to old, and I do know of the forementioned "little round rock worm" as well as midge larvea, and not pupae. I do not pump stomachs just because of the possilbe mortality this could cause. I would hate to think someone would grab me and stick a syringe down my esophagus and pump my contents out. ‘

I have never pumped a stomach but my wife and I both watch and see what they are eating the levels etc. You can tell a lot by the position the fish is in when it is feeding. We also run a bug screen through out the water column at times when we are stumped and see what shows up.

”This thread goes along with the old saying .......put 50 doctors in a room and you will get 50 opinions. The only person I care to win here is the public, the fish, and the river. You and I will have our opinions, who is right, time will tell. Fortunatly, if we knew everything about flyfishing and the ways of trout it would be boring, but thank goodness the Clinch is tough, because I will agree I can go anywhere in this country and generally outfish those around me as you say! “

The more I fish the more I find out the less I know. There is one river I ahte and love to fish in PA. The bottom is so slick it is not funny but the fishing is fun Big drakes sizes 10 and 12 and caddis of similar size. If you can’t drift and see that size fly inhaled you need to stay home and knit

Flat Fly n
02-03-2007, 01:18 AM
RW,
I kept hearing a common term used in everyone's excuse to avoid C&R, trophy, no kill, artificial only sections or whatever on the Clinch and that is LUCRO. Why not just eliminate LUCRO all together as I have said earlier and make changes to the regs from the Weir to Norris. There is NO private ownership of this land on either side except for what you and I the taxpayers of this country own. LUCRO can not whine and say we are taking one ounce of water or one mm of "their" property. Continue with the handicap area at clear creek and LUCRO be eliminated from the equation.

Other question. IF special regs effected one mile out of 4-5 of public fishing on the Clinch, surely you don't support special regs. on the Holston with maybe 1/2 mile at Nance's Ferry as wadable public access? Now I must admit this is the only section I have ever fished, but I heard this is about the only place to wade. True, or false, and do I stand corrected?

You don't own property on the Holston do you?

The guy in the belly boat is not the grouse hunter I know. BB needs to be careful in that thing if "subject to change without notice" is in effect. I would hate to be in that and caught in a hydraulic at the weir. I survived a center strap break one night on a pond in NH with one and that was scary enough for me. I love them but NOT in moving water.

RW, one other question. Do you think there has been a decline in the scud population in Clinch as well over the past few years as opposed to years past? Remember seeing the big handfuls in grass? Has the grass itself changed? I have one picture of my entire hand full of scuds from a fish I found dead, and cut it open to examine contents. Interesting enough there was a rusted long shank #8 hook in it as well.

Have a great day, hope to see you on the river this weekend.

PS Byron. Thanks for making this website and message board available were we can come together as a forum and discuss as gentlemen our opinions and respectively agree to disagree with one another under a common goal.

Flat Fly'n

Byron Begley
02-03-2007, 05:40 PM
Well, guess who just left the shop?

Frank Fiss, the man who co-wrote the TWRA plan with Jim Habera that started this whole thread. Is this a small world or what? We talked for about an hour. He is in charge of the TWRA Trout Management Program.

He and Matt Kulp from the National Park Fisheries Department were fishing in the Little River through Townsend. Frank had never fished here. He wanted to check it out.

I told Frank about this thread and urged him to read it. Maybe he will. Or...it could be that he already has! I tried to explain all the ideas that have been expressed here. I told him that some people think the goals are too low. I talked about slot limits. I mentioned that the land above the weir is owned by TVA. We talked about scuds, algae and didymo. I tried to give him everything in a nutshell. I'm sure I didn't tell him anything he hasn't heard before.

But, I've heard this from other TWRA folks and I heard it today, the Clinch is very high on the TWRA priority list and this year you will see more involvement with the Agency and the users of the river, not just one group but all groups.

Byron

Kingstonian
02-03-2007, 07:01 PM
I don't think we could ask for anything more but to be fair to all users.

I do know that in the "hey day" of the Clinch, there was a ton of grass and a ton of hatches. *I wasn't into flyfishing in a big way at that time, but 14" rainbows were commonplace and huge browns were seen on about every float. *I think the overall health of the river has been damaged regardless of the mechanism, and to get back the Clinch I used to know, the key if fixing the river instead of fixing the laws and the users. *Granted, those can help, but they can only do so much.

RFowler
02-03-2007, 07:14 PM
Good to see they're on top of it, Byron. Thanks!

Byron Begley
02-03-2007, 07:39 PM
Flat,

BB in the bellyboat was in the shop today and I told him about this thread. He offered to loan me the belly boat any time I asked. No Way! I want to make it clear that the BB in the bellyboat is not Byron Begley. I wouldn't get in one of those things on a tailwater for love or money.

Byron

Flat Fly n
02-03-2007, 09:26 PM
Dear NOT BellyBoat Byron,

Thanks for helping spread the word with Frank Fiss. I just hope he can do something soon to help the Clinch because the knot on my head continues to get bigger from beating it against the wall. It is really becoming a problem having this huge bruise, and my now my face has become cyanotic from talking trying to get some regs up there.

Thanks again,

Flat Fly'n

PS.........Frank didn't have about 5,000,000 fry in his truck to dump into the Little River outside the park did he? ;D

RuningWolf
02-04-2007, 03:04 PM
Flat


Do not take this as a smart --- reply it is not meant that way. I am tired and aggravated, so my mood is not conductive to better wordsmithing, grammar or spelling. However I wanted to give you the courtesy of a reply.


First LUCRO is The Landowners and Users of the Clinch River Organization. I am not a member nor have I ever been. I did meet and work with them in my capacity as an officer in the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited (CRCTU). I don’t know their membership roles now or then. I do know they where a widespread (geographically as a lot of users who do not live on the river but over a widespread area and from what I understand they still are members) organization both in location of members and the diversity of their membership. The only requirement was you had to support science for the regulations on the Clinch River nothing else, just science.

With that being said there is limited access for the handicap anywhere, even the handicap area. I have seen handicap, and the elderly access these areas by boat and by foot where they can reach the water. I don’t support stopping them from fishing any way they can.

There is only about 4 miles total of water that is available for public use. Much of it is inaccessible for various reasons and the access points are scattered though out it. Any sectioning off even 1 mile down from the base of the dam eliminates this for many users. Also this is federal property any discriminating rules against handicaps or groups might get frowned on and makes for very bad politics and policy.

Another consideration is the overwhelming percentage of anglers special regs would impact, I just have a hard time with 20% of the fisherman dictating to 80% of the fisherman what the rules should be (This is not taking into account all fly fisherman do not support special regs or all spin or bait fisherman don’t support special regs but just using the rough numbers of each and dividing them that way for generally purposes –). If the river was 26 miles long and 10-12 miles of public access I would feel different. If what limited areas of public access there is now was all available to handicap, children etc I might feel different


Something else to consider the area nearest the Dam is going to be more susceptible to being blown out due to high volume discharges than on down the river. *Any artificial means to make fish larger will be of limited duration. There are unlimited areas in some other watersheds where this type of management is more practicable and more acceptable to both landowners and users. These are not areas that are as limited in the amount of available trout waters as the Clinch is either.

As to the Holston No I am not a land owner nor a user. However I have heard of other access points. Some of which is across private land by individual permission and other means. The length of the river, the releases by TVA , the users attitude etc from what I know seems to me to be more fitting for special regs than the Clinch.

As I stated earlier I joined TU wanting to help the river and was for regs. I thought it needed special regs. I was soon educated by the scientific data there was nothing wrong with the river as far as the size of the fish and their distribution along it. This was from reams of studies and detailed discussions with fisheries biologist, technicians and scientist of other factors that influence the river such as environmental, and management people from such groups as TWRA, TVA, UT, TDEC and the private sector just to name a few. (There is also a *wealth of self educated people out there as well). *It was obvious if you wanted to help the river one would need to do so by various projects, we came up with a list of some, others where already in the pipeline and one fell in our lap (Coal Creek), not only where these projects beneficial with improving the quality of the water but they also included education from school kids, to adults and members of *our Government (Including US Congressmen). I will not bore you with the details however you can read about them at these two websites. * *http://www.crctu.com/ as well as here http://www.coalcreekaml.com/ *. There are other groups who do work that help improve the water shed some with Norris Lake ( and the water quality there impacts the river and its health). If you are interested on other watersheds there are groups there as well such as the Little River Trout Unlimited that does a lot of work with the park dealing with the Little River watershed. Then there is the Sierra Club, Save our Cumberland’s and the list goes on and on.

IMO if the science does not show there is anything wrong with the fish both the size and numbers there are other problems that can be addressed. By joining and working with groups such as these is one way of doing it. If you actually go out and put in any field time, you will work with residents and other users of the watershed. You will learn their names, something about them, their backgrounds and views and if you did this with some of the fine folks I have had the pleasure of sharing some of this environment with, you will also break bread with them. This gives you a unique perspective of others users of the resource, It also enables you to be able to be more candid and because of bonds that are made it becomes an exchange of ideas with a lot less of the divisive bitter attitude that still prevails.

Pt 2 cont next post

RuningWolf
02-04-2007, 03:09 PM
The data that I have seen both recent and the volumes I have stored here of past studies show no need at the current time for special reg.'s The problem appears to be from a washout of the river by TVA, which will occur from time to time due to their mission. The evidence in the data supports that hypothesis and if science is to be used then IMO one needs to start from there and see where the data leads you. Then based on that data see what work a rounds can be come up with that will help keep a balance in the river.

Another issue is a access problem which is due to the new flow schedules from TVA, it has killed most mid to late afternoon fishing by waders or from the very limited spots you can from the bank near Hwy 61. A lot of fathers brought their children (both boys and girls) down there to fish in the afternoon sun as the cold waters where not near as bad then. Also the afternoons are generally after most normal children’s activities which generally occur in the morning on Sat. and Church on Sun. Any work done to correct this situation would be a worthwhile endeavor to enhance the use of the fishery and help grow future generations of fishermen and women. *

If larger fish, catch and release, single hook artificial lure, etc is what you care about and want in a local fishing spot. Why not buy the old Crosseyed Cricket, you could restrict who was allowed on the water, have the fishery you want and everybody would be happy. If you actually want to do something about the overall health of the watershed then join a conservation group and get involved.

You asked about scuds, the vegetation amounts comes and goes, it is more abundant some years than others. I suspect the amount of silt has a major effect on it as it does with some of the invertebrates. The scuds are down some as are some of the other populations. I heard from some surveys they numbers are again increasing. I know from some of the seining for invertebrates I have done and general observations this appears to be the case. The weir dam has lessened the severity of the cycle based on personal observations and discussion with TVA biologists

As to float tubes, TVA has had horns in place to give a warning prior to release below the dam for a few years now that are very loud. Most spots on the river the rise is gradual enough to get out if you pay attention. Even while wading my rule of thumb and I teach all people my wife and I take pick a rock out wathc it and when the level starts moving up on it - get out. I do know of a few people who have had to get out on the other side of the river by not paying attention. *

Have a good day perhaps we can fish together some time and continue this conversation. I appreciate the civility of it. We disagree and we are entitled to

RFowler
02-04-2007, 04:58 PM
Good stuff, RW.

However, the Holston has a strong tendency to warm up during the late summer - early fall, time of year. I wouldn't want special regs on a marginal fishery. Marginal only because of water temps. IMO, special regs should be on productive waters. It has proven to be benificial on other watersheds throughout the country.

Another thing, don't you think the ratio between meat fisherman and sport fisherman is a little dated? I know I personally see more C&R fisherman than C&K fisherman these days. C&R fisherman tend to fish more and put more money into the local economies, and economy in general. C&R fisherman also tend to be more willing to pay more for licenses or special fees. I think these facts pull the ratio a little tighter. Where is that information coming from, anyway? Steamside surveys?

Flat Fly n
02-04-2007, 08:44 PM
RF,
I too agree on the Holston against any special regs on that river. *The river at Nances Ferry seems either to be fished out by June or just too warm. *

RW,
You seem a little tense about all this, and since you are firing off about the Cross Eyed Cricket comment my suggestion is either to cut your dose in half or double it. *Remember you and I don't own this rivers or even make decisions on them but we do fish rivers were there is better management and we enjoy the fruits of them. *Everyone loves to fsh these rivers that have C&R, slots, or even no kill or delayed harvest on them. *Why can't the most fished trout river get a break. *I enjoyed catching 20 plus fish today on the Clinch(while I was freezing), but only one was over 14". *Of course I havn't published a paper on the trout size, I am just going by my past experiences. *

I have been a member of several TU (even the first president of one in KY years ago), FFF and the like,but geez calm down. *I don't need references thrown out everytime someone says the boogey word ..........Regulations. *A trout stamp is not a food stamp. *If I can stop working 80 hours a week I will rejoin a conservation group, heck I just might make a donation in your name. *

Now I am going to go get warm, watch the game, and hope I don't see Prince have a wardrobe malfunction.

Flat Fly'n

RuningWolf
02-04-2007, 10:26 PM
RF

RF

I am throwing out the Holston, as an example of a fishery that needs some work. It is closer to many miles of trout streams that have many miles of water that those who wish to fish by the standard state rules still can without having to travel very far. I am throwing out the Crosseyed Cricket as a place that if someone wants to be exclusionary they can it is for sale and will hold trout year around. Both are within shorter driving distance of other waters some within 30 min.

A lot of the people who fish the Clinch are poor, it is a source of food and cheap entertainment for them and their family, a cheap place to get away from them as well. There are no other trout waters. Of the approximate 4 miles of waters that is readily available for public access less than one mile total is available for those who must fish from the bank and that is added up from all areas. None of it individually is a very big stretch. But*those areas are where the children, the elderly, the handicap, those who do not like to wade or cannot afford wader, etc. must fish from *

I do not recall all I was told about the Holston but I was told it had a lot of potential. During the colder months the amount of fishery was much longer than the summer+. One of the problems was dissolved oxygen I believe, as well as public access. However more landowners there and users from what I have been told would be in favor of special regs. I have some of these in my notes stored in the basement, but I am not compelled at the moment o go dig through two boxes of literature to find them.

When you get down to it what is the purpose of special regs. Create bigger fish? Artificially create trophies? If the majority of the users do not want that why should it be forced down their throat?

I gave higher stats for the fly fisherman than the last creel survey showed.

www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/StreamRiver/tailtrout/ClinchCreel2005.pdf


“The percentages of interviewed anglers using flyfishing gear remained unchangedbetween the three surveys (16 – 17%).” The other years where 1996 and 2001. This one was done in 2005. It also said *“Most of the anglers interviewed in 2005 were using some form of bait (66%) as opposed to artificial lures or flies; slightly higher percentages (71-73%) of anglers used bait in the two previous surveys.” If 66 % is using bait, 17% is using flies 18 % is using artificial lures. This is where I got my numbers. I rounded up on the fly fisherman. I did not take into account the number of FF who might be opposed to special regs. There is a definite measurable percentage to that number as well. I know quite a few FF who are opposed.

I have the economic survey stored downstairs as well, if I feel motivated I might dig it out and give you a summary in a few days. It was flawed as I recall as there ws not much if any work done on the private access areas.

I see some of the argument of the economic benefits, however IMO the ethical due to the over whelming majority of fisherman who fish by other means out weighs that. Who is to say that bait shop or places that rely on bait who needs the money might not be put out of business if special regs. are put in place?

While I was on TWRA sites the other day I found the mortality rates concerning releasing bass, the numbers surprised me

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/fishmain.html look for - Release Mortality Brochure * *

This is loacted on the right hand side of the page towards the bottom *

Have a good day


Edit added Take a look at the stocking vs catch rate (from the creel survey) do the math of adding 15% more for the numbers that a FF might kill due to mortality of the fish not surviving C&R. Yes this number is arbitrary

RuningWolf
02-04-2007, 11:08 PM
FF

This should address your first bone of contention and is a copy of part of the response I made to RF

“I am throwing out the Holston, as an example of a fishery that needs some work. It is closer to many miles of trout streams that have many miles of water that those who wish to fish by the standard state rules still can without having to travel very far. I am throwing out the Crosseyed Cricket as a place that if someone wants to be exclusionary they can it is for sale and will hold trout year around. Both are within shorter driving distance of other waters some within 30 min. *

A lot of the people who fish the Clinch are poor, it is a source of food and cheap entertainment for them and their family, a cheap place to get away from them as well. There are no other trout waters. Of the approximate 4 miles of waters that is readily available for public access less than one mile total is available for those who must fish from the bank and that is added up from all areas. None of it individually is a very big stretch. But those areas are where the children, the elderly, the handicap, those who do not like to wade or cannot afford wader, etc. must fish from ”

This was in answer to my reply to RF it and should have been obvious as to the intent without explanations, if you thought it was otherwise you should have asked. I also prefaced it with”Do not take this as a smart --- reply it is not meant that way. I am tired and aggravated, so my mood is not conductive to better wordsmithing, grammar or spelling” so as to try and prevent a misunderstanding

There is no such as thing as no kill, trout have a mortality rate under optimum conditions of ~ 10% based on recent articles on the net. I have other studies but I am not digging them out at the moment.

While I do not make the rules, I do have a voice and the data is very supportive of that voice. I also have my values. I don’t think less than 20% of the users have the moral right to tell the rest how to use the only trout resource in their area.

Much of the data I have linked here contains data with sizes over the past 10 years, other data from resource mangers from the more distant past is available

I am glad you had a good day *on the Clinch. I might tomorrow.

I have given you references to show what the data is not my word. That is good you where active in TU, however it is my experience that you can make time for what you want. I could give you data from my years of TU and some of the phenomenal hours several people put in who worked over 60 and 70 hour work weeks. Many totals of over 300 hrs and some of these did other volunteer work as well. This was while maintaining a family life as well.

The pitch for working in volunteer groups was not just for your benefit. You can doubt the hours or anything I have said all you want. Much like you have made fun of any claims of law enforcement in another thread. I am anything but a liar and resent the implication.

The fact you denigrated this discussion into unfounded allegations of drug usage speaks for itself as well as the veiled referances to what is true and what is not.

If you wish to have a conversation you need to reframe from such acts. I don’t play that game. However if you wish to continue have at it you will fool no one but yourself. Frankly, I have more respect for Bryon, Paula, Daniel and the other good folks at LRO's to drag their board down and would think other posters would as well.

Have a good day

TNGlen
02-05-2007, 04:03 PM
RW,

Why does it seem that the only person's opinion on here that is of any value to anyone is yours? I don't mean this in a malicious way, I am just curious why you seem to disagree with nearly everyone's statements on a given issue and feel the need to back your opinions up with a bunch of invalid data.

1. I have fished the Clinch approximately 20 days in the last year and approximately 20 days the year before that. I do not have the luxury of being there during the week. I have not seen a SINGLE TWRA officer in all of those trips nor have I seen a TWRA truck with an officer in it. That is a FACT, not an opinion. Begin limiting your visits to Saturdays or Sundays every couple of weeks and I think that you will see larger crowds and NO TWRA officers.

2. Culling is NOT illegal. The regs recommend that you do not cull, they do not state that it is illegal. If I am wrong in this, please quote me the page number to read and I will publicly apologize.

3. When I referenced a neighbor talking about how many fish he kills in a day and you said report him to TWRA. What am I supposed to tell them? He is perfectly within his rights and the law to bait fish, gut hook, and release as many fish as he wants to. Far be it for me to limit his rights or access to this wasteful activity.

4. You do not have to have a trout stamp to fish in trout waters as you do a big game stamp in the "deer woods". The regs state that you have to have a stamp if you are "fishing for trout". This is a gross error on TWRA's part and should be fixed by specifying geographical areas. There is NO mention of trout waters or even where trout waters are. Trout live all the way past Melton Hill dam on the Clinch. Does this mean everyone who uses Melton Hill should have a trout stamp? I think not.

5. TVA is non-profit.....catch a clue. They are a government utility. They are in business to have a positive balance sheet at the end of the year. I haven't seen my electric bill go down because TVA makes too much money. TVA has alot more on their plate than keeping us in fish. The money and time that they put into conservation and specifically trout fishing resources is just to keep John Q. Public off their backs. I come from a TVA family. I know that of which I speak. TVA's data is going to show just what TVA wants it to and nothing else. Please do not kid yourself or try to convince anyone on this thread that TVA has their best interests at heart (reference the land swap in Chatanooga).

6. I challenge the statement that bait shops may go out of business (and that they depend on revenue from salmon eggs) if there were any regs put on 1 mile of the Clinch. This is both unfounded and absurd. Once again, no one here wants to limit fishing, just catch and release and not catch and kill. I PERSONALLY (my opinion.....just like a backside, we all have one and they pretty much all stink) feel that 1 mile of artificial only would be OK.

7. No one here is limiting access. The only access to the river from the Clear Creek boat launch to the canoe drop at the dam is a set of wooden steps about halfway from the canoe drop to the cables. By definition, that area of the river is already access limited, that is why IMO, it would be a good area to put in regs. Once again, no one is asking to limit any access to anything, just catch and release and not catch and kill.

8. A slot limit has been proposed. As far as I know, that would be in effect for EVERYONE, not just bait fishermen. Once again, no one is limiting catching larger fish to any one group, just helping promote catch and release, not catch and kill everything.

9. But a lot of kids fish here. Great, instead of raising them to keep everything that they take out of the water and take it home a cook it, teach them to practice good sportsmanship and conservation. Is trout fishing the last bastion of keep everything you catch? Must be since all other game fish have size limits.

10. Alot of people are poor and fish the Clinch for food. Pure speculation. I challenge you to find anyone that subsistence fishes the Clinch. If you do, chances are they are fishing from the Weir down since 90% of the water above the Weir has to be waded, and as you stated, they are poor and can't afford waders.

11. The Holston would NOT be a good place for special regs IMO. There is less public access to that river than there is the Clinch. I don't fish the Holston above Nances Ferry because I don't want the wheels taken off of my truck or the windows broken out, etc.

12. Finally, you do not need to resort to claiming FF is insulting the owners and staff of LRO. I think that you will find that to be quite the contrary. This I also know from personal experience. You don't need to drop names to get a point across. We are pretty much all Byron and Paula's customers and as such value LRO as a resource. FF is simply as frustrated as the rest of us with continual preference given to those that wish to kill a resource instead of those that wish to conserve it for use by everyone.

P.S. If you read this far and didn't go to sleep, Thanks.

Byron Begley
02-05-2007, 06:42 PM
My best friend is Frank Brown. We've been friends since the first grade, almost 50 years. He lives in Richmond, Kentucky where I grew up. Frank is a fly fisherman who for the most part practices catch and release. Frank was appointed by the Governer of Kentucky to serve on the Wildlife Commission which he did for 10 years. He was the only Commissioner who trout fished. So he worked with the biologists and the commission to change the regulations on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam. Their first move was to put a slot limit on brown trout. It passed through the KY House and Senate with absolutely no opposition. They didn't curtail bait fishing they just put a limit on the size and number of brown trout that could be harvested in one day. After they found that it improved the fishery and made that river one of the best trout fisheries in the area they did something similar with rainbow trout. Again it was a huge success.

You have probably read that Wolf Creek Dam is leaking and they have drawn the lake down to make repairs that may take years. Google Wolf Creek Dam and the first site is the Corps of Engineers information site for Wolf Creek Dam. Go to Frequently Asked Questions. Under the environmental consequences question they address the possibility that they may lose the coldwater fishery.

"Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has estimated that a total loss of the fishery would cost $200M in the first year alone".

Why is that fishery worth $200M in one year. I think it's because a lot of people like to trout fish there. It doesn't say so in the statement but those costs may include the loss of the Federal Hatchery. They are not very clear on that.

Now, I know the Clinch is different. The Cumberland is huge by comparison.

Can't we find some common ground here? That's what TWRA wants to find out.

Here's another point and I talked to Frank Fiss about this a couple of days ago. Lake Cumberland is going to be drawn down to 10 feet below winter pool for at least a year. Most of the launching ramps will not be usable. Some of the marinas may not be either. Over 4 million people visit that lake from Kentucky and surrounding states. Where are they going to go? Frank said Dale Hollow would get a lot of it and he's right. But so will Norris, Cherokee, Douglas, Center Hill, Kentucky Lake, Barkley and some others. But we're talking about 4 million people in boats!

And, heaven forbid what if the coldwater fishery has problems? I don't want to even think about that but where will all those trout fishermen go if they do?

Something to think about. Thank you for listening gentlemen and ladies.

Byron

Byron Begley
02-05-2007, 07:16 PM
Another important point,

I just ran down through the list of people who have posted on this thread. Though you may not know each other, I know most of you as friends. You are not going to insult me by stating your opinion even if it differs from mine. I think this is good debate and a lot of good ideas and common ground may evolve from the debate. As long as we don't hurt anyone's feelings I think it's good.

Byron

RFowler
02-05-2007, 07:44 PM
Great points, Byron..and I couldn't agree more, this has been a fantastic thread! I value all of these guys opinions and knowledge about the river.

The way I see it now, C&R fisherman are the ones that are compromising while bait fisherman are not compromising anything, it's still the same ol' regs. In my opinion, a slot limit would not only improve the numbers of fish protected, it would also allow the bait crowd to keep fish outside of the slot. They even have Walleye slot limits on the Missouri River in South Dakota for goodness sake. ;) And those guys take it VERY serious, too. They consider it VERY shameful to take fish in the slot. So much so that if you do take slot sized fish your picture will be put into a local newspaper by the DNR, if caught. Talk about embarrassing. I asked these guys (serious C&K fisherman btw,) if the slot was helping and they said yes. The Missouri River is a very productive river but there are even limits to the resource in South Dakota, where population is FAR less dense.

RuningWolf
02-05-2007, 07:48 PM
RF

I tried to send you two different emails multiple times last night and kept getting a error report. I hope I did not flood your mail box.

RFowler
02-05-2007, 07:52 PM
Wolf, you may have to go in through the members list and send it through there. I had a problem a few weeks back with sending PM's. Byron says it's a little glitch in the system. I took his advice and sent it through the members list and it worked.

Byron Begley
02-05-2007, 07:55 PM
RW,

I'm having the same problem. It's moving slow but we are changing this software so these problems are will eventually go away.

I stayed awake for the Prince show last night then fell asleep during the second half of the game. I don't know if you are a fan but he's as close to Hendrix as you can get in my opinion.

Byron

RuningWolf
02-05-2007, 08:33 PM
Bryon when a discussion with an individual when the dialog appears to be heading in the direction of a flame war it is counter productive and that could reflect back on your business as posts such as these can degenerate fast and get very ugly. I respect who and what you are, to engage in that that type of posting in IMO might reflect poorly on your business and what you are trying to do with these message boards, now if this was an anonymous BBS political site that might not affect someone’s business I might feel different.


I will say those who have posted without engaging in that type of activity I will respond to as I get time.

Please keep in mind I represent no one but me, I am no longer a member of CRCTU nor have I ever been a member of LUCRO. If some one thinks I represent either group I am sorry if they where misled, I have alluded to their positions as they represent a rather large group of those who usesthe Clinch. I have in the past talked to large numbers of fisherman fly, bait and spin and asked opinions etc. I think most of those opinions are still the same.

Of interest several residents on Coal Creek where excited about the possibility of Coal Creek becoming wild trout waters if it was ever cleaned up enough to hold a viable trout population. I do know from some of the shocking that was done there some spawn appeared to have occurred there, some residents talk of big trout running up the creek in the late fall. I do not know if it occurs on a regular bases or if it is only a occasional occurrence.

LUCRO showed a willingness to support special regs if spawn was ever proved on the Clinch. I do not know where the study on the Clinch by CRCTU ever got with that issue. From what I have seen in the past two years is, due to the releases there was little if any spawn, I can tell you that ever since I started fishing the river until this flow regime came about there was a spawn almost ever year. With all do respect to TWRA you will not shock up trout fry on the Clinch with 2 Gen. running!!!

Common ground, if the Clinch was bigger I am sure some might be found, I know myself as an independent could easier support it, I suspect many others could as well. If there was other viable nearby trout waters for people to enjoy I might be different. However at this point in time for many reasons I have listed from *access issues to the limited space for those who do not want it, to the shear volume of other type of fisherman (and some fisherman who fly fish) do not want it. Then I doubt it will occur. If the science data supported a change I think a lot of people would support looking at options, what they would be projected to do, how it would be measured, how often the different variable would be measured, etc. Also, how long before it would be reevaluated and regs removed if they proved not to do what was expected.

Frankly there are special regs on how many waters already in this state? It seems there is plenty for the ones who wish to fish under those conditions and most of those waters are either big enough to support both or there are other fishing waters near by. I don’t support the minority dictating to the majority especially when it is as heavily weighted on the Clinch as it is. The public access area is to limited to adequately support a variety of fishing styles and as most of it is at the dam, it is even more prone to the fish being blown out regularly and then all this will be for naught. Another point the next major terrorist attack (god forbid, but I cannot see it not happening) a significant part of that area will probably be closed off.

Something of interest as I posted RF take a look at the number of fish caught vs the numbers stocked. I have not looked at it in depth or really though about what other factors might be, but look at them, compare them and think about what they might mean



As to boat traffic, when my wife was working temporary in Cincinnati to bring a project back here, I traveled up good old I-75 every Friday evening and back down it Sunday evening. There was no more room for any more boats on that corridor going either direction during those times. I know Norris is over crowed with boats that are built for the Great Lakes or coastal waterways. There are days you can almost walk across the lake, as they are so thick. This is a major problem that greatly increased soil erosion. IMO there should be some restriction that limits the size of the wake you can throw. I think some states already have that on some waters.

I understand their wants and their desires along with the now I am here lets do things my way attitude as I don’t like your way. I was always taught growing up when you are in someone else’s back yard, play by their rules, it is good manners and will make you many more friends and more influential rather than insisting upon your way.

Remind me sometime when I am I the store and I will tell you of my last fishing trip on Norris

RuningWolf
02-05-2007, 08:39 PM
Prince is a wasted talent IMO, his ego got in the way of his music

I watched all the SB as I wanted Peyton to win one. I generally don’t like most pro sports, too much I and not enough we

Been trying to catch up with a friend of mine who was in the band I use to do some work for. He is doing some solo acoustic gigs, who knows I might get crazy and play a few songs with him one night if I go. No I won’t tell you because you or that boo headed friend of yours might bring some rotten tomatoes

DryFly1
02-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Lets see- Purple Rain and Purple Haze. *Quiet a bit of simularity in the "Purple" thing. *That's like comparing the Mama's and Papa's to Zepplin! O yaaa, I am big fans of all the above, aahum, except maybe Prince. :) *:) *:) *Looks like we've spun some of the same vinyl and 8-tracks... *(except Prince! ;D) *Nothing like a little Hendrix "Star Spangled Banner" at about 1000 decibles! *Can ya hear me now?

* *Mark....

RuningWolf
02-05-2007, 09:32 PM
I still spin some vinyl. I have a linear-tracking (SP) turntable that tracks about ¼ -1/8 of a gram as a reult it does very little damage. Back when I still could hear adequately to me there was a difference in sound quality from vinyl to CD with the vinyl having more true reproduction. *

I never liked 8 tracks to many tapes got ate by the players.

The unleaded tour by Paige and Plant IMO was awesome. I did not care that they did not play Stairway to heaven (I am not a big zep fan either) .

Star Spangled Banner, there was a few mornings it played at the crack of dawn right after some other morning manic music as Grace like to say.

Bet you likes Deep Purple. If so have you ever listened to Blackmore’s Night?

Ritchie is now married and does a acoustic rock version of a lot of renaissance and folk music from days of yore, and she can sing

DryFly1
02-05-2007, 10:46 PM
Still got a box of vinyl at my parents that I haven't seen since my teens.

Wish I had all the $ that I spent on 8-tracks.

A while after Ritchie departed from Deep Purple and formed "Rainbow" I lost interest in both for some reason " But that did get me interested in "Dio." Wow, what a blast from the past! The 70's and 80's? What a rock revolution!

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 12:50 AM
Dry Fly

My favorite era was the 60’s through the mid 70’s. The music to me kind of died with the advent of disco. There is still some good music, but not as much. I think a lot of the Country Music of today is reminiscent of some of the Southern Country Rock of the 70’s and 80’s.

I still have close to 1000 LPs, some have never been put on CD, some are collectables, some are just favorites. I will not count the CD’s I replaced a lot of albums with. I will not go to MP3’s there is a drop off that I can still hear.

We could probably start a long thread on great *riffs, great album sides,*unknown artist who where super, favorite albums, songs, etc. However some may not appreciate it. *

What about it Bryon want to start a music room?

I go to some guitar sites and come across a lot of good videos or old concerts you can listen to

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 12:55 AM
TnGlen pt 1

”Why does it seem that the only person's opinion on here that is of any value to anyone is yours? “

Let’s see. Where exactly have I placed any value? I have discussed issues and stated my opinion giving some of my logic and some data both observed and from TWRA. A effort to distinguish between the two has been attempted as well. Some of my arguments are based on TWRA’s data and is readily available for you or anyone else to check out.


“ I don't mean this in a malicious way, I am just curious why you seem to disagree with nearly everyone's statements on a given issue and feel the need to back your opinions up with a bunch of invalid data.


See above. TWRA’s is invalid?!?!?!.

“1. *I have fished the Clinch approximately 20 days in the last year and approximately 20 days the year before that. *I do not have the luxury of being there during the week. *I have not seen a SINGLE TWRA officer in all of those trips nor have I seen a TWRA truck with an officer in it. *That is a FACT, not an opinion. *Begin limiting your visits to Saturdays or Sundays every couple of weeks and I think that you will see larger crowds and NO TWRA officers. “

I fish some on the weekends as well. My wife is not retired and loves to fish. The specific instants I mentioned occurred on the weekends. I could give you names of some of those present when it occurred. I do have two recent photographs with the month and date stamp of TWRA officers approximately 100 ft upstream from the boat launch at Millers Island. As a lot of times on weekends we go to the range at Norris to shoot we drive by the Millers Island access and have observed officers in the vicinity. They drive through regularly and only stay for a few minutes. They also park out of view and glass areas as well as sometimes God forbid go out undercover. If you want to get a idea of how many citations are given in a certain year I am sure Brian Ripley at 1-800-332-0900 can either give you the stats or tell you who can.

However if all you are doing is watching for TWRA to come in the parking lot maybe that is why you are having problems catching fish? You are also fishing in a high traffic area which spooks them as well. To move on to more productive waters, you loose most of your view of the parking lots so how do you now who drove through or parked there for a few minutes?


”2. Culling is NOT illegal. *The regs recommend that you do not cull, they do not state that it is illegal. *If I am wrong in this, please quote me the page number to read and I will publicly apologize. “

Lets see you have 7 trout on your stringer you are still fishing for trout. You catch one you are one over your limit. What is that violation? You have 7 trout on your stringer you let one go it swims off you catch another you are legal. You have 7 trout on your stinger you let a dead one float off you are probably busted if you keep fishing.

”3. When I referenced a neighbor talking about how many fish he kills in a day and you said report him to TWRA. *What am I supposed to tell them? *He is perfectly within his rights and the law to bait fish, gut hook, and release as many fish as he wants to. *Far be it for me to limit his rights or access to this wasteful activity.”

The implication I got was he is probably doing something illegal. What can they do? They can watch out for him when he is fishing by keying on such things as his vehicle and general description, then give him more than a quick once over. I have seen this done and people busted. If he is doing nothing illegal you have no legitimate gripe. * *


”4. You do not have to have a trout stamp to fish in trout waters as you do a big game stamp in the "deer woods". *The regs state that you have to have a stamp if you are "fishing for trout". *This is a gross error on TWRA's part and should be fixed by specifying geographical areas. *There is NO mention of trout waters or even where trout waters are. *Trout live all the way past Melton Hill dam on the Clinch. *Does this mean everyone who uses Melton Hill should have a trout stamp? *I think not. “

I am very aware of how far down trout are in Milton Hill and know of some that have shown up in Watts Bar. I am also aware that they use to be some in Norris and some of the creeks that flow in are rumored from reliable sources to have small trout populations.

The statement concerned trout waters? How many species of fish live in the Clinch? That is the one I asked about. I did not go into the details of the conversation. The rule of thumb is if they even appear to be fishing for trout no matter what the other fish population is you can be citied and some of been for not having a trout stamp, If you are fishing with a size 22 Griffins Gnat on the Clinch you have no argument you are fishing for Walleye, Strippers, or any other fish but trout. *

You catch a trout on waters with viable populations of other fish waters throwing a bass rig you have a argument if someone tries to cite you as long as you don’t keep the trout.

By the way a hunter with a shotgun or 22 in the deer woods does not have to have a deer license, you can *kill a deer with either. However if you appear to be hunting deer and some have tried to use them in this state you will get a ticket, If you have a high powered rifle or above a 22 cal handgun there is no argument you are deer hunting

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 12:56 AM
TnGlen pt 2

“5.. *They are a government utility. *They are in business to have a positive balance sheet at the end of the year. *I haven't seen my electric bill go down because TVA makes too much money. *TVA has alot more on their plate than keeping us in fish. *The money and time that they put into conservation and specifically trout fishing resources is just to keep John Q. Public off their backs. *I come from a TVA family. *I know that of which I speak. *TVA's data is going to show just what TVA wants it to and nothing else. *Please do not kid yourself or try to convince anyone on this thread that TVA has their best interests at heart (reference the land swap in Chatanooga). “

You said “After having been associated with a couple of LARGE companies like TVA that are results based, I prefer to believe the later. *Don't kid yourself, TVA won't do anything that costs them any extra money or reduces their profits by even 0.01%.” *

I responded TVA is a non profit organization and has done much to improve the conditions of the river, for example *establishing minimum flows to help keep the river cool as well as oxygenated (Which is a large *part of the purpose of the weir dam. TVA has worked hand in hand with TU for fisheries improvements as has many other state and federal agencies, I think these meetings are held semi annual and include all Federal and state agencies that impact water quality. They have helped with the studies CRCTU are doing on the river with the loan of equipment and manpower where needed. *

The size level dropped due to TVA having to release large volumes of water for a extended period of time to prevent flooding or possible topping of the dam. The upper Clinch-Powel watershed that feeds Norris is prone to high volume rain events. I have seen Norris rise over 10 foot in one day because of some of these and that is a lot of water

Now you say “TVA is non-profit.....catch a clue” Well we can see who said what initially can’t we

As to the other on some issues you are correct about the land swap but on many others you are wrong. Excess profits use to result in adjustments to utility bills that occurred seasonally, in the recent past they have made the adjustments year to year, In the past year they actually lowered rates to reflect the excess profit. * I will not bore you with the details (Note I recently retired from TVA and fully understand a lot more than you might think. I also have worked with TVA on the Volunteer side. I have seen some of what they will do and pay for. Some of it is quite generous.)

”6. I challenge the statement that bait shops may go out of business (and that they depend on revenue from salmon eggs) if there were any regs put on 1 mile of the Clinch. *This is both unfounded and absurd. *Once again, no one here wants to limit fishing, just catch and release and not catch and kill. *I PERSONALLY (my opinion.....just like a backside, we all have one and they pretty much all stink) feel that 1 mile of artificial only would be OK. “

I said “Who is to say that bait shop or places that rely on bait who needs the money might not be put out of business if special regs. are put in place” I never said they would. Special regs for 1 mile only. Who are you kidding? Do you know the profit margin of some mom and pop places? They sale other items, food drinks, fishing line, flies, spinning rods etc. That also count in that profit margin that determines if you stay in buisness or not. They are already feeling the pinch from the big-box stores of Bass Pro and Gander Mtn. Outdoor Sports in K town just recently folded due in part to that. I was discussing other ramifications of a economic impact, speculation based some on fact. Some we don’t know how other business will be affected, not unless a business impact study is done. However it would eat into their already thin profit margin. If you don’t think it is thin go into some and be observant of the amount of stock on hand. That is usually a good indicator as the better profit margin the more you are able to afford keep in stock.

”7. *No one here is limiting access. *The only access to the river from the Clear Creek boat launch to the canoe drop at the dam is a set of wooden steps about halfway from the canoe drop to the cables. *By definition, that area of the river is already access limited, that is why IMO, it would be a good area to put in regs. *Once again, no one is asking to limit any access to anything, just catch and release and not catch and kill.”

Just upstream of the Clear Creek canoe portage is a handicap fishing spot. There is many access points on up. None of them official but if you have picked up trash up through there you might see them. I know of several also from fishing there as well in the past. I still see some number of people out there when I go through the area.

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 12:59 AM
TnGlen pt 3

”8. A slot limit has been proposed. *As far as I know, that would be in effect for EVERYONE, not just bait fishermen. *Once again, no one is limiting catching larger fish to any one group, just helping promote catch and release, not catch and kill everything. “

I have addressed this along with many unanswered questions about it in other post. Such as how many more will be killed in this slot range due to more fish being released? How does anyone have the moral authority to impose the will of a definite minority on a definite majority? Why should the Clinch be singled out with no other available waters near by? What is going to happen the next time TVA has to have a large release over a period of time, and the river is blown out? I don’t see the need to repeat them all they are there still unanswered.

“9. But a lot of kids fish here. *Great, instead of raising them to keep everything that they take out of the water and take it home a cook it, teach them to practice good sportsmanship and conservation. *Is trout fishing the last bastion of keep everything you catch? *Must be since all other game fish have size limits. ‘

Who is to say what is the proper way to raise others kids? A lot of these kids practice good conservation and have been getting education from TVA, TWRA, TU, TDEC at some of the local schools. Some of them have even helped in events on the Clinch and in Coal Creek. I always teach keep what you will eat fishing and only kill what you will eat while hunting. Most people eat what they keep. *

”10. Alot of people are poor and fish the Clinch for food. *Pure speculation. *I challenge you to find anyone that subsistence fishes the Clinch. *If you do, chances are they are fishing from the Weir down since 90% of the water above the Weir has to be waded, and as you stated, they are poor and can't afford waders.:"

Better take a look around at some of the fisherman’s vehicles before saying they are not poor. I never said that they where subsistence fisherman. I don’t know about you but a lot of my meat growing up was fish, crappie, walleye, catfish, bass, bluegill, trout, bass etc. My wife as well if they did not kill deer, turkey or pheasant or catch fish they had no meat. Neither of our families where poor but that is the way it was.

Do you think these people are fertilizing their rose bushes with them? Go up to Briceville sometime, the back roads around Lake City and Clinton, some of the rural areas that border out towards Knoxville . area, look at the homes and the condition of them. Most of them are very poor and they enjoy fishing, taking their kids, or getting away from it all for a while. I have worked side by side with some of these people, especially in the Briceville area when events *such as the removal of all the debris that had built up around 13 bridges in 8 miles that was causing continual flooding in their community. (High water would dam up- it would give way and send a wall of high water down to the next point and build up from there and repeat it self all the way through Lake City and finally emptying a large volume of silt into the Clinch). Knock on wood there has been no flooding in that part of the watershed since then to my knowledge and it has always flooded in the past. That with other events there and with other areas gave me a very good idea about the economic condition of these people and I was a member of TU I got a earful against special regs and limiting what they could catch to eat. *I will not bore you with the details


”11. The Holston would NOT be a good place for special regs IMO. *There is less public access to that river than there is the Clinch. *I don't fish the Holston above Nances Ferry because I don't want the wheels taken off of my truck or the windows broken out, etc. “

This happens a lot at Peach Orchard and some at Millers Island and other points along the Clinch as well as other trout streams, launch ramps and acess points on the lakes.

“12. Finally, you do not need to resort to claiming FF is insulting the owners and staff of LRO. *I think that you will find that to be quite the contrary. *This I also know from personal experience. *You don't need to drop names to get a point across. *We are pretty much all Byron and Paula's customers and as such value LRO as a resource. *FF is simply as frustrated as the rest of us with continual preference given to those that wish to kill a resource instead of those that wish to conserve it for use by everyone. “

I addressed this in my reply to Bryon


“P.S. *If you read this far and didn't go to sleep, Thanks.”

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

We disagree. That does not mean I don’t understand your side. I do. I use to feel a lot the same. *If the Clinch was bigger and or there was other viable trout waters near by I might feel different. *

I do know about the extremely bitter feelings concerning the repealed quality zone. Those feelings are still present in both groups. Another topic another day

Have a good day

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 11:25 AM
All I apologize for some of the poor word smiting, grammar and spelling, I am busy doing other things and I am answering piece meal (part of a paragraph here and another part latter). As a result some of the thoughts are jumpy and sometimes a little to jumbled to make much sense unless you are very good at reading stream of consciousness writing

I have gone back and edited some of the recent post to make them more coherent. However the length of some of my replies limits the amount that can be edited as well. If you do not understand what I am saying please ask and I will try to clarify as quickly as possiable

RFowler
02-06-2007, 04:34 PM
Well, RW, I'm going to have to disagree with you once again. ;)

First of all, I, personally, did not grow up with a trout stream close to my house so I don't think your statements are valid in that regard. That's like saying if you live near some special reg hunting land that the regs shouldn't apply to you because you live near the woods. ::) ;)

On the subject of poor people. My pawpaw and grandmaw on my mothers side were very poor and did a lot of fishing. I did a lot of fishing with them and kind of adopted their attitude for a while. The 'keep everything' attitude. Unfortunately, this is a problem with many fish killers.

Mortality rates. Dang, RW. How can you prove it will be any more of a problem with special regs than it is now. You act as if all the C&R guys are killing these fish while none of the bait guys are. Their methods kill much more fish than C&R fishing. They don't land every fish, and they don't quit fishinig after they limit. Plus, they keep fish.
Fish die as a result of fishing for them, that is a fact we cannot change. There are ways to curtail such things though. Such as barbless hooks. Are the bait people going to go for that. No.


I pointed out before that C&R fisherman are giving up everyting while the C&K crowd are giving up nothing. I do not care what the ratio is. I think your numbers are skewed but even if it is twenty percent, it's still a large user group that should have a voice.
The reason I think the numbers are skewed is because of my personal observations, and the politics that TWRA has to follow. When I used to fish the river frequently, C&R fisherman far outnumbered C&K fisherman by headcount. When I get back up there I'm going to conduct my own survey, and it won't be as general. I think the recent poor fishing on the first few miles will skew the results.

I really don't see how a slot limit of 16-22" fish could hurt anything. Landowners could be exempt from these slot limits but their permits to do so would not be valid on any other part of the river but their own property.

I really wouldn't pull up the economics on this issue. You mention bait shops. I'm thinking more along the lines of hotel, cabin, and campground stays. Retaurants, convenient stores, grocery stores, and sport shops. And all of little stuff inbetween. I completely fail to see how a simple slot limit would effect the economy in the Clinton and Norris area in a negative way. I feel it has the potential to help it. I want it proven otherwise.

Flat Fly n
02-06-2007, 07:17 PM
Byron,
Byron, sorry you got brought into this discussion. I have other than jokes aside tried to argue a very passionate side for special regs. on the Clinch. Other than a very wordy and solely opinionated person there seems to be agreement that there needs to be something done for this river other than status quo. Now as for my comments towards him, how does one stand by when he is told "if you want big fish...go and buy the Crosseyed Cricket, or join a TU and help with studies". If you don't want to get fired back on, don't pull the trigger and miss. I am no johnny come lately to the world of flyfishing, projects, and above data analysis.

In that manner, I and thousands of other fisherman and specifically flyfisherman must be stupid for spending millions on equiment, travel, hotels, guides in order to get a chance at a trophy in water managed for quality trout fishing, and not just leaving it to luck for that once in a life time fish.

IF one Googles C&R there is really not a quoted 10% mortality for TROUT fishing. That number pertains to a meta-analysis study (all C&R studies from circa 1966 to present for ALL species, salt and freshwater). (1)Lukacovic 2003 found <1% mortality of rainbow trout within a 24hour period that were lip hooked, which in my experience most are when flyfishing. (2) Yellowstone National park went to total C&R in 2001. (3) Dubois found 7% mortality C&R with bait, and 4% with spinners, and finally (4) Schill/Griffith found that on the Yellowstone River (surely some have heard of this river, thousand go to it for god forbid quality trout fishing) that only 0.3% died of a single hook up or catch, only 3% died overall during the season, that the trout were C&R on average 10 times, and that the average age increased from 3.8 to 5 years.
Another strong factor regarding mortality was water temperatures. One reason the park was thinking about closing fishing on the Madison in late summer when we went through there. To me, the Holston would prove a poor choice for C&R regs if TWRA was to exclude this on the Clinch. As you have said before every species in this state other than carp and trout has a slot limit on it. I don't think both of these fish belong in the same category.

As far as a "mission of TVA" and the great purge when they had to dump water secondary hurricanes, and thusly impacting the river for the past years, as well as effecting the macroinvertabrates, one only has to compare a similiar ecosystem controlled by dams at the opposite end of the state. Bull Shoals dam on the White River with 8 generators going has a flow of 25,000 cfs which is the quoted output of Norris when river supposedly was damaged, purged, or scoured. Little Red dam releases 31,000 cfs from it's generators. I have fished directly below these dams and one can litterly kick up clouds of sowbugs while wading. I disagree with the scoured bottom theory on the Clinch. Besides, water flow is laminar and the bottom is not effected, if not, then the great rivers of the west would hold no macroinvertabrates or fish after spring runoff.

Yes, I am passionate about believing there should be some change. TWRA ,put your money where you mouth is. Don't brag about the great trout fishing and not protect it. WE have great resources in this state to produce a quality experience for ALL. We also have the ability to help merchants like yourself, land owners, and the people that support the anglers that could come here make a profit from this resourse. Why should Dolly get all the bucks! East Tennesse has 4 great tailwaters that could be world class with better management, but it requires different thinking, and above all better management from those entrusted by the taxpayers and license holders to do that job.

Flat Fly'n

Kingstonian
02-06-2007, 07:26 PM
One issue not discussed here is the fact that there are many miles of the river between the shoal below peach orchard and the highway 61 bridge that are not fished hard at all, particularly not by bait fishermen. When fishing does occur, it is usually on high water when the fishing is less efficient.

I believe that if the river is healthy (and by observation, it has been quiet barren in the last two years), there is plenty of time and space in these areas for fish to live a while longer and gain some size. As they gain size, there would logically be a spillover into more heavily fished areas. Doesn't that serve the same benefit as protected waters?

In terms of the minority ruling the majority, I see TWRA adopting size limits and reducing creel limits on crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, walleye, sauger, muskie, and striper. While the latter species are non-native, I didn't hear a groundswell to lower the number on crappie, and only the tournament guys wanted increased size and decreased numbers on bass. Crappie, sauger, and walleye are all "natural bait" fish for a lot of folks, and they too are forced to catch and release those fish that are too small, regardless of the bait they used. Just to say, it happens.

RuningWolf
02-06-2007, 08:28 PM
Kings...

Except for Setzers Run there is a lot of bait fishing down through there. Mostly owners families and friends. I have been on several of the properties through out the day. In fact yesterday one of them has some campers from one of the major cooperation’s in the country on it, and for the most part they are all bait fisherman. The go there about 2-3 times a year to cook out, drink beer and fish. Now are there fly fisherman who fish down through thee as well? Yes depending on the time of day and year will have some bearing on how much and how often you see them. *

There is some deeper and seldom-fished water above Peach Orchard that grow some large fish as well.

Some of TWRA’s studies from 96-01 (I think that is the correct years) contain some telemetry studies and show normal movement of trout-interesting stuff if you can still find it

The other fish you spoke of the changes were fairly well agreed to by those who fish for those species. At one time they where never stocked either untill the striper was introduced. Some argue it does not affect game fish population but every body of water it is in the fishery has diminished. You will also find limited numbers of shad and other fishes that was a primary food of the species you named. They use to be present in great numbers. The conditions changed and based on science and the desire to continue that type of fishery then the regs had to change. I do not know all the details so I cannot add much more to that issue. Frankly I wish they would stop stocking stripers and see what happens, but it is a high dollar tourist industry. Trout fishing is becoming that as well. At some point all year around waters in Tenn. that does not have a private act will probably be managed more for the tourist dollar.

billyspey
02-09-2007, 12:39 AM
what ever the reg's. are or become's they have to be inforced. have you ever seen an wildlife officer on the water on the clinch. so i guess that means only peach orchard ramp, weir dam and 61 bridge is where they will be inforced ,that leaves about 95% of the river unprotected. don,t they have to patrol the water. or we make new reg,s and every one obeys the law i don,t think so , twra has to get these guy's out on the water. so does it really make a difference what the reg's are, they do not inforce themselfs..

kriscad
02-09-2007, 02:08 AM
this post blew up! can someone give me a summary lol

buzzmcmanus
02-09-2007, 09:25 AM
More enforcement means higher license fees, which I am NOT for. I feel that more of us as sportsmen need to take advantage of the 1-800-831-1174 Poacher Hotline. I have it programed into my cell phone. TWRA will follow up with the call. You can also report suspicious activity.

Buzz

Flat Fly n
02-09-2007, 06:01 PM
BillSpey & Buzz,
Again if you make a section of the river "special regs", then you are required to have a "special licence" for the Clinch in order to pay to play. Don't think that out of state folks won't pay it. Those funds alone could go to offset the price of a TWRA agent/ river keeper/ of the Clinch alone that could keep tabs on the cooler gang...... You've seen them, limit...then go to the car, dump them off, and come back..

I know, call the Poaching Hotline.........well, how about printing the number on my license.

Flat Fly'n

jgduckhunter
02-09-2007, 07:33 PM
I have only read about 75% of this thread, but I was *one of the big complainers when Dale Hollow imposed a slot limit. Now I am glad they did it. The number of fish caught didn't change that much but they all got bigger. I don't know if trout and smallmouth will react the same but it seems logical. I have never fished the Clinch, matter of fact I'm new to trout fishing altogether so maybe I shouldn't voice my opinion.

Byron Begley
02-10-2007, 09:37 AM
jg,

You opinion is valid and welcome. A slot limit was imposed on the Cumberland River tailwater and the same thing happened to the trout. They got bigger!

Byron

jgduckhunter
02-10-2007, 08:39 PM
How much poaching is actually going on. For a tailwater of this size and popularity it seems that it would be patrolled hard. I know that no matter the number of officers there will always be some knuckle-heads. If the fishing is as good as I *use to read about a little extra fee shouldn't be too bad. We all have paid more for less I'm sure.

RuningWolf
02-12-2007, 11:15 PM
RF

Do not take this reply as directed at you, it is not, nor is it directed at anyone on this board. It is thoughts in general incorporated in with some answers to questions you asked and a few other thoughts

If you want to change the rules for my back yard you need to do so based on fact not on what is perceived or desired by others, especially a minority. Lots of political implications there as well. A lot of problems in doing any work in the watershed were a result of overzealous special regs. It hurt conservation efforts and created an unneeded atmosphere of mistrust. That is a long story and not for today or the board. There is too much potential for he said she said that would only open old wounds or poor salt in them.

First it is called catch and harvest and is legal, by applying the same logic to rhetoric we can come up with release and kill or release and maim. Maiming occurs because of the high incidence of injures from hooks. A study of this issue can be found here http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/Fisheries/Alagnak/catch_and_release.htm

I have used 10% mortality for FF as several C&R articles I read on some prominent studies supported that figure. That is under ideal conditions.

Per the Management Alternatives Report for the Clinch River 01-04 by Phillip Bettoli, PhD hooking mortality may be as low as 3% for ideal conditions and as high as 30-50% for less than ideal For bait the ideal number was as low as 16% I did not see the high number as I just rescanned the report and did not read it all. (Very interesting it discuss the possible alternatives for the Clinch with pros and cons based on science – I recommend it for all who are interested in science based management).

Catch and Release Box Score FF:
12 trout caught, 12 trout released. Success Rate: 100% (Perfect)
Real Box Score FF:
12 trout caught, 2 trout killed. Success rate: 84% (16% mortality) note this is based on ideal conditions
(From another mortality study - sorry I have misplaced the link at the moment)




If you have a slot limit of 16-22 in which all the fish in that range is released using the above stats you can see that sizable percentage in that range that will be killed by all types of anglers. This is a size range that there is a substantial population of fish. Bait fisherman generally keep what they catch.

TWRA’s studies are done in accordance with accepted practices nation wide. What about them is a fallacy? They take a cross section across time of day, different days and parts of the river. Having fished sun up to sundown many times I can tell you the make up at one spot varies greatly throughout the day. However take a census anytime you feel like it. Now how would it be accurate as it represents one trip of a few hours duration in one spot?

There can be no clear proof of what a change will do to the economics of the area without an economic impact study. However one can draw some obvious conclusions if you take 2 miles of the public access and make it a Special Reg, say C&R you would knock out ~ 80% bait and spin fisherman from accessing it. As there are no other trout waters near by and the other 4 are already overcrowded to the point it is combat fishing. The lakes are at full pool so bank fishing is limited and with some of the wakes the boats are throwing being washed off the bank is a real possibility. Now if 200 people do this type of fishing there each week on average and 30% of them spend $15 a trip at Betty Joes whose profit from that is $5 what type of impact does that have on Betty Joes?


Suggest looking at the some rule changes

1. Once a trout is placed on a stinger he cannot be let go you kept it is part of your limit
2. Make the use of game fish as bait illegal
3. Based on some of the stocking vs catching numbers (I am not sure of other factors that may be involved here/the numbers for stocking vs total catch for the Clinch are in the Creel survey for last year I have linked many times) in conjunction with the impact of reduced creels have, perhaps the Clinch and maybe other trout fisheries would benefit from a reduced creel limit. This needs to be looked at more thoroughly and with more complete data than what I have seen. For the Clinch making the limit 6 is projected at a 4% harvest reduction, to 5 makes it 11 %, 4 reduces it 20%.

Improvements needed

1. Flows changed back to allow late afternoon access at Hwy 61 so fathers can take their children fishing there again
2. Flushing flows establish to blow silt out of the river when necessary
3. Studies to see if the new flow regime affected the spawn, if it has had a negative impact on it find away to return to the flows that promote the spawn and protect it by special rules
4. Studies to see if and what kind of spawn is occurring in all tributary streams, find the problems, then institute fixes and protect the spawn
5. Better law enforcement (A special agent for the Clinch was discussed with TWRA numerous times, the shear cost alone for training, equipment, doing it for one river an not others with the resulting increase I license fee’s could be viewed as discriminatory – if a group put up the money then there could be charges of favoritism, etc. makes it unreasonable, they had numerous other objections most where grounded in sound logic. If this is what you want take it up with them)
6. Encourage reporting of fishing violations
7. Work with local canoe groups to establish rules of etiquette for fisherman and boaters to improve better sharing of the resource
8. There is much steam bank restoration on the Clinch and along the creeks in its watershed

Questions

1. Is it more ethical to keep a fish that is not going to make it or to let it go?

2. As to the Holston it is my understanding at worse it is 19 miles and maybe as much as 26 miles of trout water. Besides the Dam and Nances Ferry there are numerous pull offs. Property could be found along this river for TWRA to develop more access well. The inveterate population is very abundant and varied. Some of the hatches of caddis and mayfly’s even in the fall have been described as being so think that it is nearly impossible to see to navigate a boat. It is expected to develop into a outstanding trout fishery. This is per a TWRA biologist. There are already many reports of 20+ in trout coming from this river. I also know other biologist who have fished the river and given similar reports.

There is no reason unless a overwhelming majority of the fishing public and residents oppose that special regs could not be applied here. There is plenty of other streams to support those who wish to harvest as well. The river is of sufficient length to support multiple types of regulations

So why not have special regs? It will encourage improvements and public access and there are plenty of other places for the harvesters to go as well

3. For those who wish total exclusionary types of rules and fishing again the Crosseyed Cricket is for sale where those types of rules will not affect the common public and those who desire them can have their own private paradise. Self policing is possiable as it is private property so rules enforcement would be fairly easy-the violator is not allowed back his membership is revoked) Is this not a win-win for all concerned as we use to say.

4. As guides are more and more on our rivers. Why should we not start pushing for a state licensing of the guides? Some states are already doing this for multiple reasons. After all if we want a tourist industry should not our guides be certified to insure the paying public is getting ethical guides, who obey the law, respect others, the fishery, etc?


5. What about the 80+% bait and spin fisherman’s license fees TWRA is not funded by state tax dollars.), his son’s, his cousins, his buddies, then is their opinions just as important as yours? Might they be of more importance, as they are more what most politicians would say constitute a super majority?

6. How many miles of artificial lure fishing is there in the state of Tenn.? What if they decided they wanted something like a bait fishing only area? Would it not be fair that they have one? After all how many miles of single hook artificial lure water is there in East Tenn? How many miles with other special regs that is exclusive of what they are looking for in a fishery? Is it not fair they should be allowed the same?


7. Should we manage everything based on what some people think is correct or science?

8. When you get down to it what is the purpose of special regs. Create bigger fish? Artificially create trophies? If the majority of the users do not want that why should it be forced down their throat?

9. How does anyone have the moral authority to impose the will of a definite minority on a definite majority? Why should the Clinch be singled out with no other available waters near by? Look at the other rivers with special regs. you had landowner and user buy in. There are adequate streams open to all types of fishing near by. There is not the case for the Clinch

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/gis/troutmap/troutindex.html

RuningWolf
02-12-2007, 11:15 PM
10. What is going to happen the next time TVA has to have a large release over a period of time, and the river is blown out? What about the next terrorist event that closes off the 1st mile below the dam?


11. Excluding anyone from special regs has been discussed and it was quickly put down as to much of a nightmare for law enforcement. It could also be challenged as discriminatory.

12. How can you call a fish a trophy when the size has been artificially increased by management plans? For example I deer hunt. Under the old management plan in most areas if I wanted a true trophy I went out and scouted most weekends away from the places most people hunt, which sometimes is 2-3 miles from most roads, crawl through thickets, etc. I go to extreme measures to leave no scent or do anything to spook the big boy. Finally the time to hunt arrives. I take extreme caution in going in and setting up 2-3 hrs before first light, making no noise, making sure I don’t sweat and leave a scent and going to the perfect place due to wind and other weather conditions to set up. If I do everything right I might get a shot I might not. Deer of trophy size have been hunted; they did not get this big by being stupid a real challenge. Now in some places the rules re such that artificial trophies are created, you can sit in your stand and have several 8-10-12 pt deer come by you. They have not been shot at, they have not been culled for due to their stupidly, they are not as prone to be alerted do to the scent of man or the noise you make. It is a kin to choosing your trophy at the local stock barn. Similar analogies could be drawn for fishing and are equally true. The increase in numbers artificially of trophy animals lessens the value of the trophy IMO makes them much easier to acquire. The stats show the Clinch is full of trophy fish. I see them caught on numerous occasions without special regs artificially increasing their size. Why do you want to create trophies that are meaningless to skills or the time-honored meaning of a trophy?

+++++++++++++++++++

I cannot place enough emphasis on calling the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174 and report violators, suspicious behavior etc. program your cell phone, take a camera and take pics of violators anything to help TWRA’s law enforcement efforts.

I also appreciate everybody’s love of the river, we disagree on some issues, but we do all love he tailwaters and streams. My personal philosophy is there is more to fishing than just the fishing, there is much that can be done to make the area you fish in a better place bother environmentally and in dealings with fisherman of other types. The war on the Clinch between the different angling communities is old and very unproductive to relations with river residents, the different anglers and the words that are said by both groups can sometimes ruin a otherwise pleasant day.

Have a good day


PS RF you mail box is full it will not let me PM you

Rockyraccoon
02-13-2007, 12:18 AM
4. As guides are more and more on our rivers. Why should we not start pushing for a state licensing of the guides? Some states are already doing this for multiple reasons. After all if we want a tourist industry should not our guides be certified to insure the paying public is getting ethical guides, who obey the law, respect others, the fishery, etc?


I wish! There's actually a whole lot of guides in east TN who'd love to see a guide licensing program that had requirments set to insure clients saftey and well being (CPR + First Aid + Insurance + Whitewater Rescue), Ethics (Business + river ettiquette), and resource conservation.

I know several of the folks who guide in NE Tenn and I've heard a lot of complaints about rude out of state guides, shady fly by night guides, etc. If all were required to have a license it would probably cut down on those complaints.

We're required to be permited through the forest service on the Hiwassee. They have a pretty strict set of rules we must follow as well as possesing required credentials (CPR, Insurance, First aid etc). They also have requirements that we must carry on the boat at all times.

This system has helped a lot on the Hiwassee. YEt we still see folks running pirate trips quite often.

Not sure, but I believe the GSMNP require commercial guides to be permited as well. Requirments are probably about the same.

RuningWolf
02-13-2007, 12:38 AM
" There's actually a whole lot of guides in east TN who'd love to see a guide licensing program that had requirments set to insure clients saftey and well being (CPR + First Aid + Insurance + Whitewater Rescue), Ethics (Business + river ettiquette), and resource conservation.

I know several of the folks who guide in NE Tenn and I've heard a lot of complaints about rude out of state guides, shady fly by night guides, etc. If all were required to have a license it would probably cut down on those complaints."


I could tell a few tales, but I won’t today.

Of all the guides I know who post here I have not seen any problems with them nor have I heard of any.

Most I have dealt with ,never fished with one but I have had many conversations both on and off the water with them are decent people. However some well maybe over a cold beer fishing one day

RFowler
02-13-2007, 04:19 PM
RW,
I think most legitimate guides would be all for a permit system from the state.

As far as the Clinch goes, and my own personal observations for a slot limit, no, it's not scientific but a slot has proven to be beneficial to many other waters around the country. The size range wouldn't have to be totally excluded from someones creel. How about making it one fish per day in that size range? I just hate to see a stinger full of fish in the 16-22" size range leave the river in big numbers like I've seen before.

I never said anything about closing any part of the river down to anyone.

As I said before, the Holston has thermal problems in the Fall. It's not a good candidate for special regs if most of the fish are going to die from year to year.

I guess the majority (not economically) will still dictate what the rest of us do on the Clinch. After all, they know whats best for us. I very seriously doubt the mortality rate is the same for C&R as it is for baitfishing.

Let me reiterate for anyone coming into this discussion late. I have no problems whatsoever with baitfisherman. As long as they follow the laws. I'm not bashing on anyone for their prefered method of fishing. I'm just simply trying to get a slot limit on the Clinch. One similar to the South Holston. To think it won't benefit from such a thing is a little confusing to me.

Any reg has the potential not to be honored. Dishonest people like that are going to do as they please, regardless. So I guess we souldn't even bother because of a few putz's out there?

RuningWolf
02-13-2007, 04:48 PM
RF

“I think most legitimate guides would be all for a permit system from the state.”

I have seen and dealt with some dishonest one’s. Another story for another day. I like Rocky’s idea about being required to be trained in CPR, 1st aid as well

“As far as the Clinch goes, and my own personal observations for a slot limit, no, it's not scientific but a slot has proven to be beneficial to many other waters around the country.”

I understand that and might support some trial and error if the Clinch was bigger or other trout waters where near by

“I never said anything about closing any part of the river down to anyone.”

Sorry I was not talking to you or about you there.

”As I said before, the Holston has thermal problems in the Fall. It's not a good candidate for special regs if most of the fish are going to die from year to year.”

The thermal problems are only in effect so far down and may be very fixable in part of the rest pf the river with some cooperation

”I guess the majority (not economically) will still dictate what the rest of us do on the Clinch. After all, they know whats best for us. I very seriously doubt the mortality rate is the same for C&R as it is for baitfishing.”

Many variables are involved, but it is still mortality

”Let me reiterate for anyone coming into this discussion late. I have no problems whatsoever with baitfisherman. As long as they follow the laws. I'm not bashing on anyone for their prefered method of fishing.”

I agree you have not

“I'm just simply trying to get a slot limit on the Clinch. One similar to the South Holston. To think it won't benefit from such a thing is a little confusing to me.”

Main differences being majority of stake holders buy in, several other trout streams in the vicinity, among other reasons that other interested parties have that have to be considered

”Any reg has the potential not to be honored. Dishonest people like that are going to do as they please, regardless. So I guess we souldn't even bother because of a few putz's out there?

Again I cannot place enough emphasis on calling the Poaching Hotline 1-800-831-1174 and report violators, suspicious behavior etc. program your cell phone, take a camera and take pics of violators anything to help TWRA’s law enforcement efforts.

Flat Fly n
02-13-2007, 08:36 PM
RW,
I'm throwing in the Wooly Bugger of Peace!

Whatever I will say, you will disagree. So this gets old, and we don't agree on anything and nothing gets done. Heck, it doesn't matter what you or I say, TWRA has and will do whatever they want to do, or what is agreed to with a good old boy handshake, with some science thrown in to make it look good. They are appointed "officials"........Agreed?

Now about that mortality issue. Both you and I know that "figures lie..and liers figure". Ok, are we good with that? So for every article you can find on high mortality, I can find one on low mortality. That's why there are things like mean, mode, p values, and the likes. Agreed?

On the River Keeper issue. Those words were uddered from the head TWRA fisheries biologist himself, not me, years ago when TWRA had the last public meeting in Clinton I believe at a school. I was there (as opposed to trying to catch fish at the CC...enough of that comment). I am sorry I don't remember names well, flys, runs, insects, no problem.. Now I am paraphrasing for you, but he said "if the public was to come up with the 30-35K required to hire a RIVER KEEPER that there could be increased coverage on the Clinch. This was after there was a show of hands in a PACKED room of people that had had a license check in the past. One person raised their hand, of which began the discussion of short of help, logistics problems for the officers....too few to cover too much territory.

I bet we could raise the money with duel of 3wt at 60ft with a #26 barbless Griffith's Gnat at Miller's Island. Wait,that might not work, because someone would want to get released....HA! Bet I could take you into your backing!

OK so TWRA doesn't do anything.........probably. We are still left with 4-5 great tailwaters that some folks would give certain parts of their anatomy to fish on. But deep down, admit it RW.....you would just love to see the Clinch the way it was in the late 80's and early 90's again...Come on....admit it...no one will think less of you if you agreed with something just once.

Much Regards,
Flat Fly'n

RuningWolf
02-17-2007, 12:47 AM
FF

”I'm throwing in the Wooly Bugger of Peace!”

If yours are anything like the ones I tie, they are classified as deadly weapons for the amount they weigh, they are guaranteed to get to the bottom or raise a knot if they hit you. I like them with one gen or a pulse

”Whatever I will say, you will disagree. So this gets old, and we don't agree on anything and nothing gets done. Heck, it doesn't matter what you or I say, TWRA has and will do whatever they want to do, or what is agreed to with a good old boy handshake, with some science thrown in to make it look good. They are appointed "officials"........Agreed?”

No I don’t I have read the data and know several people who helped take it. It is not been tampered with, it is what it is.

”Now about that mortality issue. Both you and I know that "figures lie..and liers figure". Ok, are we good with that? So for every article you can find on high mortality, I can find one on low mortality. That's why there are things like mean, mode, p values, and the likes. Agreed?”

I gave several different ones and stuck with the more reasonable lower numbers, which is close to ideal. We know that does not happen often in real world conditions. There are lots of reasons for the different results and it begins with conditions the data was taken.

”On the River Keeper issue. Those words were uddered from the head TWRA fisheries biologist himself, not me, years ago when TWRA had the last public meeting in Clinton I believe at a school. I was there (as opposed to trying to catch fish at the CC...enough of that comment). I am sorry I don't remember names well, flys, runs, insects, no problem.. Now I am paraphrasing for you, but he said "if the public was to come up with the 30-35K required to hire a RIVER KEEPER that there could be increased coverage on the Clinch. This was after there was a show of hands in a PACKED room of people that had had a license check in the past. One person raised their hand, of which began the discussion of short of help, logistics problems for the officers....too few to cover too much territory”

I have been in three different meetings where the idea was presented in a community meeting at the Rec Hall in Clinton, a local chapter meeting and at the Coldwater Fisheries meeting. Those numbers are low for salary and do not include training and equipment. That is before you even get into political considerations and guaranteed long term commitment. Perhaps yours was a earlier meeting and they had more time to consider the idea and saw it was not a viable solution. Could that change yes. I can only reference my past conversations with some of the TWRA officials

I bet we could raise the money with duel of 3wt at 60ft with a #26 barbless Griffith's Gnat at Miller's Island. Wait,that might not work, because someone would want to get released....HA! Bet I could take you into your backing!

LOL

OK so TWRA doesn't do anything.........probably. We are still left with 4-5 great tailwaters that some folks would give certain parts of their anatomy to fish on. But deep down, admit it RW.....you would just love to see the Clinch the way it was in the late 80's and early 90's again...Come on....admit it...no one will think less of you if you agreed with something just once.

Actually I would prefer the late 60’s or early 70’s and know what I know now. No body else was really fishing then and the young ladies where much more inquisitive about Fly Fishing young adults. We will not discuss this issue anymore in depth on this board, Paula might object

RW

Note trying to give an equal humorous response (In parts) and just not into it.

Maybe we will meet on the river some day

Have a good one