TVA River's-TVA Meeting May 27, 2014
Below is information for an upcoming TVA fish hatchery related meeting in Knoxville, TN. on May 27th, 2014 at 6PM (more info below for location specifics). I encourage people to attend, no matter what your interest, group, or affiliation with the river. If you will note for those who cannot attend you can sign up for onlline access. It's easy to critique something but only by particiapating in these type of events will officials be conscious and aware that we are out here and care, get involved!:biggrin:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Georgia Department of Natural Resources (the Agencies) will host a public meeting on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, to receive input on long-term funding recommendations under consideration by the Agencies that will continue popular trout stocking programs in reservoirs and tailwaters of certain TVA dams across the region.
The Agencies are seeking ideas and input from angling groups, local and regional businesses, tourism organizations and the local governments that realize the direct and indirect benefits of having fishable trout waters in their communities.
The public meeting will run from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at TVA headquarters, 400 W. Summit Hill Dr., Knoxville, TN in the East Tower Library auditorium. The public can attend the meeting either in person or by webinar that you can sign up for at http://www.tva.com/trout.
The session will include a brief presentation summarizing the issue and the Trout Hatchery Funding Stakeholder Working Group recommendations. Attendees can ask questions and provide comments on the recommendations. The meeting will be recorded and posted to the Agencies websites where additional comments may be posted via the internet.
On May 17, 2013, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and representatives from the Agencies formalized an agreement to cooperate in seeking a permanent source of funding to support the continuation of trout hatchery production by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System for stocking in TVA tailwaters and reservoirs in Tennessee and Georgia.
As part of the agreement, TVA committed to provide more than $900,000 per year from 2014 through 2016 to support federal fish hatchery operations that produce the trout for stocking. The Agencies also agreed to form a working group with key stakeholders who benefit from the recreation-based trout stocking to help identify a long-term funding source.
The Trout Hatchery Funding Stakeholder Working Group conducted two meetings in 2013 and developed four recommended long-term funding alternatives for the Agencies to consider.
Currently, non-native trout stocked near some of TVA’s dams are raised at three federal fish hatcheries operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Erwin National Fish Hatchery in Erwin, TN.; Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina, TN.; and Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Suches, GA.
The Fish and Wildlife Service stocks trout at a number of TVA facilities; and provides eggs and fingerling trout to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for further grow out and stocking at TVA facilities. TVA supports the stocking programs by enhancing the aquatic habitat through oxygenation systems, foregoing electric generation and providing minimum flows to help adequately maintain cooler water temperatures. However, in most of the waters, the trout cannot naturally reproduce, requiring regular stocking to maintain fishable populations.
The short-term funding agreement allows for the continuation of trout stocking for recreational fishing in the colder water of the reservoirs or tailwaters at 12 TVA dams in Tennessee and Georgia: Appalachia Dam on the Hiwassee River; Blue Ridge Dam on the Toccoa River; Cherokee Dam on the Holston River; Ft. Patrick Henry Dam on the South Fork Holston River; Normandy Dam on the Duck River; Norris Dam on the Clinch River; Ocoee Dam No. 1 on the Ocoee River; South Holston Dam on the South Fork Holston River; Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River; Tims Ford Dam on the Elk River; Watauga Dam on the Watauga River; and Wilbur Dam on the Watauga River.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
Here is another reminder for Tuesday May 27th meeting at TVA, can be viewed online if you cannot make it. (see link for signing up in advance above).
I hope no matter what your interest in the TVA fishery program is you will attend and let the powers that be aware we are out there and are concerned. It's like voting, your opinion means nothing unless you get involved. Look for me there and I welcome everyone to sit as a group to increase visibility, whether TU member, board member or concerned citizen. I am easy to spot, I am like Don Kirk always the prettiest in the room! :biggrin: Look for my green TU Hat.
If you are a trout fisherman , this is a CANT MISS meeting for you. From strictly a headcount of interested people, your attendance will show your concern for this issue of TVA pulling its support for the hatchery fisheries programs for the tailwaters.
In case you are not aware of the issues, the federal government (through the new politics implementation) has started de-emphasizing non native fishes and has given the states notice that it is decreasing or eliminating funding for trout egg, fry, etc production. Previously the federal funding from Fish and Wildlife Service etc---including money from the the Corps (Caney-Cumberlnd) and TVA (every tailwater cold water fishery East of the Caney)---has been critical to the creation and maintenance of the trout stocks in the Tennessee and southeastern US tailwaters, as well as all the state stocked streams in Tn, NC, SC, Georgia, Ky etc. I am not sure of the exact per cent age of the cost but it is more than half the annual costs I think.
SO if the TVA and federal funding goes away, where does the replacement money come from to continue the trout production---or does the excellent tailwater fishing we now have below TVA dams just disappear due to lack of
Some of you may say well l just fish the Park so this is irrelevant to me? Well take the thousands of folks who fish the tailwaters and the stocked streams throughout the state and the adjoining states and put them in the Park with you on those small streams and see how well the Park can sustain that pressure. I hope you can see it is critical to ALL trout fisheries in the state that the tailwater trout programs continue as is or improved.
Currently, as the previous posts state, TVA has agreed to fund the trout programs for two years at current levels. After that, it indeed TVA does really stop the funding, it will fall solely on TWRA to create or maintain some replacement programs to continue and maintain the trout programs.
So what will TWRA do? Raise costs of a trout stamp to the true economic cost of producing the fish? Can you envision a trout stamp costing perhaps a hundred dollars a year or more? If TWRA and other states cut back on the trout stocking to what TWRA afford to produce , it almost certainly will dramatically change limit structures and then we all have to deal with the local political firefight that comes from changing trout limits in certain counties etc? It makes to much sense to have an annual kill limit, and to charge each angler for the removal of the fish based on the cost of the fish , but state politics won't let that happen. Lee Wulff said at a national TU convention in the 70's that a trout is too valuble to be caught just once, and while I agree with his thoughts and am strictly Catch and Release, there are legions of folks who want their five fish a day and the rehash of all the limit issues will be a very tough fight local issue that is sure to occur if trout funding is severely impacted.
How TWRA deals with the loss of funding is another wholes set of issues, and l am told they have some back up plans but it cannot be a full replacement of the loss the federal pullout will create, there simply is not enough money available through the public or the state to support it.
TVA's continuation of the annual financial support to the trout programs is critical. They are having a meeting to tell you about the loss of your trout fisheries. Headccounts will be made . A small turnout will signal that nobody cares . Do you care enough about it to attend?
There is a lot of historical background involved here between state and federal contributions to trout hatcheries and trout stocking over the years. Some of you have asked me for clarifications or explanations on the issues. Frankly a book could be written on it to explain it fully.
The bottom line is that THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, PRESUMABLY FROM THE TOP DOWN, HAS TOLD THE FISH AND WIlDLIFE SERVICE TO CUT BACK OR STOP FUNDING OF TROUT HATCHEries. eggs, etc. The question is where is replacement money going to come from. The feds are saying it should come through budgets of others. Some federal agencies have stepped up to the plate and put replacement funding in their budgets and will continue support. TVA has stopped short of that kind of long term commitment and said it will only continue for two years, and formed a "task force" or discussion group to determine where other sources of funding may come from. Again, if TVA does not pick up the funding long term or some other long term source does not materialize then it falls on TWRA to figure it out with what funds can be obtained from fees, licenses, permits or some other sources. POINT IS: every body who trout fishes in the state needs to be paying a lot of attention here.as the whole game is changing. That is why it is critical to show concern by attending this meeting.
You won't be able to whine about too many fishermen
'cause there won't be ANY fish to fish for.......I suggest everyone make this meeting. Please don't expect Joe and a handful of dedicated people stand up for your sport....
Just left the meeting some good some bad, clarification on the whole process for me. Clinch River chapter and State TU represented, check out web link next few days will have audio and comments can still be made. I made my pitch as what I am a trout fisherman, no more no less. :biggrin: GET INVOLVED!
This might offend some, but it needs to be said.
Anyone who uses our tailwaters that didn't attend should be embarrassed and doesn't really deserve the opportunity to enjoy the resource. I didn't see a single one of the guides who uses the rivers, nor did I see the majority of the regular posters here in attenendance. I guess they're more worried about trivial bs or indicator color to show up to help make sure we have trout rivers in the future.
It's nothing new, guys like Flat Fly N, Joe Congleton, Rick Murphree, George Lane, Larry Rogers, Steve Morton, etc etc have been fighting these fights for you all for decades and nothing changed tonight as these same folks carry the burden while the majority sit on the couch clueless, uncaring, or unmotivated to do anything to help preserve what we love. I for one am forever grateful to guys like the above mentioned, without them we wouldn't have the great fisheries we do now
I guess y'all don't understand the issue that is at stake? There's the possibility there are no more trout hatcheries which means no more trout in the tailwaters to catch. To say the least it's an important issue and not getting involved is absurd
I just don't get the mentality of 90% of the folks who use the Clinch. I guess their selfishness precludes them from doing anything other than for themselves. Or maybe it's laziness.
I'm sure this is wasted, but you can submit comments through www.tva.gov/hatchery , however I can only assume that is too much effort to put forth for a lot of folks.
Apologies for the rant, but after seeing the interest in the Clinch Quality thread, and the lack of interest in this issue it hit home how screwed up the priorities of many clinch users are currently.
Late for the TU meeting, didn't show up to the TVA meeting:redface:
If Smokies fishing was only a worthy excuse:rolleyes:
Thanks for going:biggrin:
This is the first I've heard of the meeting. I haven't been on the forums much and when I am, I don't read all the posts. I did go to waterwolf's link and post my comments.
Thank you to the guys who went.
Posts like the above show a level of ignorance that is astounding as to how all of this stuff is tied together.
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