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?