Here we go again...Proposed Clinch Slot Limit
Not really a new thread...
Here's a link to an article by Bob Hodge in this morning's Knoxville News Sentinel regarding a new slot limit proposal for the Clinch River.
On the same page, there was another story, also by Bob Hodge, about a Gatlinburg pier designed for handicapped fishermen. This topic also appears on this board under another thread. Two by Bob Hodge on the same day!
Where is everyone Gerry? I expected my monitor to be melting by now.
Thanks for the post. I put it on the fishing report this morning.
I believe the drought has carried over to the board. This stream flow is definitely down and the temps are rather tepid. All the fly fisherpersons are obviously huddled in the riffles, waiting for a cloudburst.
Well, we did have some combat fishing on the Clinch this morning...
I was there on the Clinch this morning also...combat fishing, but I have seen worse. I was in the white GMC 4x4.
Back to the slot limit: All I can say is bring it on! I practice C&R 99 & 44/100th's% of the time so it won't hurt my feelings!
Where do I vote...I seemed to miss that part of the article?
I am all for the slot limits. It would make the Clinch a trophy stretch of waters. I am sympathetic to some of the claims made by the local landowners but a little education of what the river can become in the future will hopefully win out.
Maybe everyone is still worn out from the big Clinch debates that went on in the board a few months back? I'm all for a slot limit as well. Since I moved back to Knoxville about 2 months ago, I've fished the river exclusively, I love the fact that I can fish for 3 hours and be home by noon. Thinking a bit further, I can think of two good spins to sell the slot limit to the public.
1) Having a happy fisherman (or woman) home by noon rather than a tired one home after dinner after driving two hours each way to the S Holston may just drive down the area divorce rate considerably!
2) By my odometer, I can get to several spots on the Clinch in 30 miles, while the closest spot on the S Holston is well over 100. Here's my slogan "Slot Limits on the Clinch, Reducing our Dependence on Foreign Oil"
Honestly though, I would think that placing a slot limit on the river would lower the number of trout you would have to stock annually. Considering that the second article in the New Sentinal last week discussed possible cuts in the TWRA budget, I would think that most people would be in favor of stocking fewer fish rather than raising the license fees as a way for TWRA to stay solvent.
THe slot probably wouldn't lower the number of trout stockings needed. IT would however, increase the numbers of quality fish in the proposed slot limit.
So, once the fish reach the slot they will be protected. They would still be fair game before they reach the protective slot. So, the folks who want to take some home can, it's not like the smaller fish are hard to catch. So, the C&R guys can still release them all yet get into a few more quality fish along the way. The kill it and grill it crowd can still keep fish. So all should be happy and we should all start seeing more of those Clinch torpedos that we all love to tangle with.
I have always respected size limits for fish and wildlife. As a turkey hunter I don’t shoot hens. It is against the law and there is a reason for it. For at least most of my life there has been size limits on gamefish wherever I have fished. I don’t have a problem with that because I think it is better for the fishing overall. In most states they have mandated a slot limit for redfish, speckled trout, cobia and grouper. All of our lakes here in Tennessee have size limits on gamefish. Here in the Smokies you can’t harvest a trout that is under seven inches. In some of our best tailwaters there is a slot limit. The Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam and the South Holston are good examples.
Many anglers and hunters take it upon themselves to better their sport. Years ago bass fishermen decided to practice catch and release fishing. It caught on and bass fishing improved. Trout fishermen did the same thing. I know a lot of deer hunters who won’t shoot a small buck even though it is legal. Why, because they want to improve their sport. I wouldn’t consider shooting a young jake turkey. I’ve done it but I wouldn’t now. I might harvest a large older gobbler. Or I might just watch him walk away. I consider myself a sportsman but probably not much of a killer.
So why would anglers have a problem with a size limit on trout in the Clinch River. Maybe some people don’t consider trout a gamefish. I do.
Some people might argue that tailwater trout are stocked to be caught and eaten. Some may say a tailwater is an artificial fishery, without stocking there wouldn’t be any trout so why not just kill them and take them home.
Stocking and limiting harvest has made hunting and fishing a better sport for all of us. When I grew up there were almost no deer in central Kentucky. We never saw a wild turkey. They started stocking turkeys and limiting the harvest of both deer and turkey. Now they are everywhere. At my home here in Townsend I see more wild turkeys than rabbits and squirrels. Why, because of stocking and limiting the harvest.
It seems to me that a slot limit or size limit on trout in the Clinch River is a compromise that is good for everyone. The fishermen who want to can catch a limit and take them home to eat. The fishermen who fish for the sport only can enjoy what they perceive to be better fishing. I think that should make everyone happy.
In this case, the state should just decide what's best for the fishery and the the majority of the fishermen and pass the law. Once it's passed, it should be enforced.
I'm from Kentucky and as has been stated here a number of times, the Cumberland has slot limits and the sky did not fall.
All of our lakes and streams here have some type of size and creel limit on bass and other game fish.
The tailwaters below Brookville lake (where I do most of my trout fishing) has a limit on brown trout to try and improve the overall fishery.
Bottom-line, I just don't see what all the fuss is over. I don't like driving 20 MPH on the street leading to my house, but that's the speed limit and unless I want to get a hefty fine, I have to drive a max of 20 MPH. It's the law until it gets changed.
I do not have a dog in the hunt. I've never fished the Clinch and probably never will. I fish the Mountains a few times a year and have an interest in all fishing areas and seeing fisheries being well maintained and preserved.
I have seen several of these types of epic battles and in the end, nobody wins and all of the hard feelings and finger pointing ends up being over something that just really does not matter once the day is over.
Size limits are just not that big of a deal. I doubt anyone is living off the fish they catch so a size limit is not taking food out of children's mouths and if it is, then there are bigger problems than size limits of fish.
In my opinion, wWhen all is said and done, the argument is a silly one. The state stocks the fish and the state has the right and obligation to manage the fishery.
Just the opinion from a very opinionated Kentucky fisherman.
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