07-30-2012, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Norris, TN
I am not trying to blame TVA, TWRA, or any one else for some of the negative issues I have witnessed on the Clinch River. I am glad we have them and I know many of their employees who work passionately at their jobs to make the Clinch a better fishery. My only intent is to voice suggestions and recommendations that I think would help the fishery with minimal cost and effort involved. I think they enjoy getting feedback and it helps them be aware of what is going on in each region. However; I know they are constrained by budget allocations, priority issues, and limited resources. *So here are a few of my tips that I think would help the Clinch and cost minimal if anything; plus be easily implemented with the same amount of physical resources.
Originally Posted by waterwolf
On Saturday there was a meeting where TWRA attended and discussed was this very issue.
[TWRA staff] offered the brilliant synopsis that the abnormally thin fish in the lower river was a result of the fish being at the end of their age cycle, in other words dying. Which is an amazingly laughable theory, considering the fish above a certain point in the river that are the same size and age are in perfectly good health.
This thought is so absurd it is almost impossible to believe that a biologist would make it, and be the one running the show.
I have fished the Clinch in the past few years quite often some would say. So; I feel I have a pretty good mental picture of recent changes. I am one that subscribes to a cause and effect theory. First; you look to the obvious and most apparent environmental factors. Those are the dismal flows early in the year, lack of rain, and one of the hottest summers on record. Also; there were heavy flows all winter and the fish grew to fit their habitat. During the low flows; they were stressed and had to work harder to maintain their food needs. Additionally; they were not able to fully utilize the fluid dynamics of hydrology (Karman Gait) to assist them with feeding as in higher flows. The result would be a negative gain in calorie intake and would result in skinny/snake looking fish. I believe this is a resilient issue and it will correct itself once water flows become more consistent at a higher flow rates. The problem is that they must make it through the summer and high-stress times.
A bigger issue to increase the fishery would be to change the stocking procedures and sluice the fish or to put temporary no fishing zones around stocking areas. I see numerous people deplete the recent stocks by hole fishing around the ramps after a stocking. It is ridiculous. I heard one guy say to a friend that he had caught 80 and had to take them home and get another cooler.
Brown Harvest Limit:
I would love to see a harvest limit on one-brown per day and more browns stocked in the Clinch. Brown trout are an extreme minority on the Clinch compared to other types of fish and it is only apparent that they should be protected to increase their numbers.
Also; some better slot signs posted at the upper end of the river. It would probably be good to post a summary of fishing laws that pertain to the Clinch as well. I know the metal road signs are pretty expensive, but; I would expect Trout Unlimited or another organization may contribute to getting some vinyl plastic signs. Some tips on how to wet handle fish, use barb-less hooks, catch & release, etc. Signs or Us may donate to TWRA if asked. It would be a tax deductible donation and they could still put their logo at the bottom and get great advertisement.
I think a fabulous idea would be for fishermen to have to wear a visible fishing license on a lanyard or in a placard on their vest. This would help enforce licenses and create a sense of following rules subconsciously enforced by the public. If you were not wearing one; you would look around and wonder why others were wearing them. Also; you would wonder what else you may be neglecting that you should address. I know many old timers would raise a hoot at the beginning; but, after a year or two; it would be second nature. Heck; you pay nearly $50 for it; why not show it off and be proud that you bought one....
“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
Last edited by Paula Begley; 07-31-2012 at 02:00 PM..
Reason: quoted post edited