Just throwing this out there.
So as I was fishing in Townsend today and not catching much, I had an idea. What if Townsend were to do a heavy stocking of trout like tellico, Gatlinburg, and Cherokee do, Charge a couple dollar daily fee or a extra annual permit. Just thinking it might make the fishing in Townsend better and increase revenue for the city businesses including LRO. If they did the stocking below the old mill I believe that it would keep the stockers out of the park. My only concern would be with the high number of tubers in the summer, but if they're as dumb as the Cherokee fish, it won't matter. I've fished Cherokee and made horrible casts that would send any fish in the park running, and they just sit there or even go after the fly. I do not know if this would ever happen but I just wanted to get some feedback on this idea.
My license fees already partly go to pay for all the stockers that TWRA puts in there. The water gets so warm during the summer that a lot of those fish that were not removed for the skillet will die. I would not want an additional fee added to fish on a river with so little public access. The property owners own the riverbed don't they? I participated in a Townsend LR river cleanup there a couple of years ago and several property owners would not let you cross their property in town even to pick up trash along the riverbank.
I have talked to the top people at TWRA about this. These people are my friends and their comments are honest and sincere. The Little River in Townsend, unlike Gatlinburg and Cherokee is mostly owned by residents who live on the river. Most of the deeds and surveys indicate those lots extend out to the middle of the river. Stocking a lot of trout and turning the river into a trophy fishery would attract more anglers and may cause more angler/landowner trespassing conflicts. Should a landowner and a angler disagreement go to court, stocking in Townsend would probably end. Right now we don't have many problems between landowners and anglers. We all co-exist together. But, stocking trout that are owned by the citizens of Tennessee in private water is really not legal unless landowners allow anglers to wade through their property. That is how it stands now.
In Gatlinburg, I think most of the banks and bed of the Little Pigeon are owned by business people. Trout fishing means good business. Business owners like that. I don't know about Cherokee but I suspect the Tribe owns the banks and streambed. On public water there is no conflict so these delayed harvest or catch & release regulations are good for anglers and the local economy. In Townsend, if you look around, most of the buildings on the river are homes. Most of those home owners are not in business in Townsend.
Let me first say that I am a novice and live out of state. I would have no problem adding a couple of dollars to the amount of money that I already have to spend on a out of state license in WV, VA and TN. My mentor does have a problem fishing for stockers but I have no such problem (just trying to learn the sport). I have never fished the Little River in Townsend but if it has a little more of a remote feeling than the stocked waters than Gatlinburg than it would be a good idea to me.
I've fished in town several times when I was younger. It's not that big of a deal. I have more fun fishing in the park. I don't have to worry about someone making a big deal about me fishing behind their church or house etc. I don't know why some people are so upset by people simply fishing. It's not like I walk into their yard and take a nap. IMO, water should never be privately owned, nor the land underneath it. It would be like owning air to me. I could see ponds or small lakes, but rivers? No thanks.