Originally Posted by waterwolf
I got the same impression that the USFWS is not reliable to fund this in the future, and it seemed as if TWRA has drawn a line in the sand where they will only contribute their $400,000.
This burden falls on TVA IMO since they're the ones that created the situation where nothing but trout can really survive below their dams.
I also think there is an opportunity to change management strategies on these rivers to lower the costs by way of reducing harvests and managing the rivers with more of a catch and release approach rather than put and take as they are managed now.
Living in Ohio coupled with a family member in I.C.U. prevented me from attending the meeting in person or via Webinar. With that being said, I am very appreciative to all those who were in attendance voicing concern over the funding of the trout hatcheries; THIS IS
a very serious situation. I primarily fish the Hiwassee River below Apalachia Dam as I have property located in Reliance, the continued stocking of this fishery is imperative under the present management system in order for it to survive.
Waterwolf, I could not agree with you more, the burden of funding these hatcheries should immediately fall on TVA while alternatives sources are generated. As you said, by changing the river systems by virtue of dams, they have created a habitat below them making it difficult for fish species other than trout to survive; consequently it also produced a multimillion dollar commerce in Tennessee and Georgia. With the total economic output relative to jobs, retail sales and tax base, it would seem to me there is a fiduciary responsibility upon TVA to keep these hatcheries open and subsequent commerce thriving. If the three hatcheries operate on an annual budget of approximately one million dollars each, even with pressure to keep their energy costs down, I find it hard to believe that TVA cannot pass this burden on to its 9 million users by .35 cents annually or 3 cents a month to fund these hatcheries. Heck, my kids piss away .35 by leaving the basement lights burning for one night!
On the other hand, our eyes need to be opened as now is the time to look closely at the way these tail water fisheries are managed. It is evident that no one party wants to come up with the money to keep these hatcheries in operation and therefore cost reductions most likely will have to be invoked. That will mean less fish available for stocking so the preservation of current and future resources must take place to ensure quality fishing down the road. As Waterwolf said, changing these tail waters toward catch and release as opposed to put and take is a practical step in the right direction. I have read publications by TWRA where they indicate that there is no significant evidence to support that natural reproduction takes place on some of these waters; I believe otherwise, that it is totally possible and does happen. Designating areas most conducive to spawning on these rivers as “no fishing zones”, during the appropriate times can prove differently. Continuing delayed harvest programs, introducing slot limits on rivers that don’t have one along with reducing creel limits is necessary as well. While TVA may agree to take on the financial burden alone or in conjunction with another organization, we cannot bank on it or believe Manna from heaven is going to fall. I have always believed that the way these tail waters are managed has been to loose and it is now time to tighten the reigns and think more conservation.