Do not take this reply as directed at you, it is not, nor is it directed at anyone on this board. It is thoughts in general incorporated in with some answers to questions you asked and a few other thoughts
If you want to change the rules for my back yard you need to do so based on fact not on what is perceived or desired by others, especially a minority. Lots of political implications there as well. A lot of problems in doing any work in the watershed were a result of overzealous special regs. It hurt conservation efforts and created an unneeded atmosphere of mistrust. That is a long story and not for today or the board. There is too much potential for he said she said that would only open old wounds or poor salt in them.
First it is called catch and harvest and is legal, by applying the same logic to rhetoric we can come up with release and kill or release and maim. Maiming occurs because of the high incidence of injures from hooks. A study of this issue can be found here http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/Fi...nd_release.htm
I have used 10% mortality for FF as several C&R articles I read on some prominent studies supported that figure. That is under ideal conditions.
Per the Management Alternatives Report for the Clinch River 01-04 by Phillip Bettoli, PhD hooking mortality may be as low as 3% for ideal conditions and as high as 30-50% for less than ideal For bait the ideal number was as low as 16% I did not see the high number as I just rescanned the report and did not read it all. (Very interesting it discuss the possible alternatives for the Clinch with pros and cons based on science – I recommend it for all who are interested in science based management).
Catch and Release Box Score FF:
12 trout caught, 12 trout released. Success Rate: 100% (Perfect)
Real Box Score FF:
12 trout caught, 2 trout killed. Success rate: 84% (16% mortality) note this is based on ideal conditions
(From another mortality study - sorry I have misplaced the link at the moment)
If you have a slot limit of 16-22 in which all the fish in that range is released using the above stats you can see that sizable percentage in that range that will be killed by all types of anglers. This is a size range that there is a substantial population of fish. Bait fisherman generally keep what they catch.
TWRA’s studies are done in accordance with accepted practices nation wide. What about them is a fallacy? They take a cross section across time of day, different days and parts of the river. Having fished sun up to sundown many times I can tell you the make up at one spot varies greatly throughout the day. However take a census anytime you feel like it. Now how would it be accurate as it represents one trip of a few hours duration in one spot?
There can be no clear proof of what a change will do to the economics of the area without an economic impact study. However one can draw some obvious conclusions if you take 2 miles of the public access and make it a Special Reg, say C&R you would knock out ~ 80% bait and spin fisherman from accessing it. As there are no other trout waters near by and the other 4 are already overcrowded to the point it is combat fishing. The lakes are at full pool so bank fishing is limited and with some of the wakes the boats are throwing being washed off the bank is a real possibility. Now if 200 people do this type of fishing there each week on average and 30% of them spend $15 a trip at Betty Joes whose profit from that is $5 what type of impact does that have on Betty Joes?
Suggest looking at the some rule changes
1. Once a trout is placed on a stinger he cannot be let go you kept it is part of your limit
2. Make the use of game fish as bait illegal
3. Based on some of the stocking vs catching numbers (I am not sure of other factors that may be involved here/the numbers for stocking vs total catch for the Clinch are in the Creel survey for last year I have linked many times) in conjunction with the impact of reduced creels have, perhaps the Clinch and maybe other trout fisheries would benefit from a reduced creel limit. This needs to be looked at more thoroughly and with more complete data than what I have seen. For the Clinch making the limit 6 is projected at a 4% harvest reduction, to 5 makes it 11 %, 4 reduces it 20%.
1. Flows changed back to allow late afternoon access at Hwy 61 so fathers can take their children fishing there again
2. Flushing flows establish to blow silt out of the river when necessary
3. Studies to see if the new flow regime affected the spawn, if it has had a negative impact on it find away to return to the flows that promote the spawn and protect it by special rules
4. Studies to see if and what kind of spawn is occurring in all tributary streams, find the problems, then institute fixes and protect the spawn
5. Better law enforcement (A special agent for the Clinch was discussed with TWRA numerous times, the shear cost alone for training, equipment, doing it for one river an not others with the resulting increase I license fee’s could be viewed as discriminatory – if a group put up the money then there could be charges of favoritism, etc. makes it unreasonable, they had numerous other objections most where grounded in sound logic. If this is what you want take it up with them)
6. Encourage reporting of fishing violations
7. Work with local canoe groups to establish rules of etiquette for fisherman and boaters to improve better sharing of the resource
8. There is much steam bank restoration on the Clinch and along the creeks in its watershed
1. Is it more ethical to keep a fish that is not going to make it or to let it go?
2. As to the Holston it is my understanding at worse it is 19 miles and maybe as much as 26 miles of trout water. Besides the Dam and Nances Ferry there are numerous pull offs. Property could be found along this river for TWRA to develop more access well. The inveterate population is very abundant and varied. Some of the hatches of caddis and mayfly’s even in the fall have been described as being so think that it is nearly impossible to see to navigate a boat. It is expected to develop into a outstanding trout fishery. This is per a TWRA biologist. There are already many reports of 20+ in trout coming from this river. I also know other biologist who have fished the river and given similar reports.
There is no reason unless a overwhelming majority of the fishing public and residents oppose that special regs could not be applied here. There is plenty of other streams to support those who wish to harvest as well. The river is of sufficient length to support multiple types of regulations
So why not have special regs? It will encourage improvements and public access and there are plenty of other places for the harvesters to go as well
3. For those who wish total exclusionary types of rules and fishing again the Crosseyed Cricket is for sale where those types of rules will not affect the common public and those who desire them can have their own private paradise. Self policing is possiable as it is private property so rules enforcement would be fairly easy-the violator is not allowed back his membership is revoked) Is this not a win-win for all concerned as we use to say.
4. As guides are more and more on our rivers. Why should we not start pushing for a state licensing of the guides? Some states are already doing this for multiple reasons. After all if we want a tourist industry should not our guides be certified to insure the paying public is getting ethical guides, who obey the law, respect others, the fishery, etc?
5. What about the 80+% bait and spin fisherman’s license fees TWRA is not funded by state tax dollars.), his son’s, his cousins, his buddies, then is their opinions just as important as yours? Might they be of more importance, as they are more what most politicians would say constitute a super majority?
6. How many miles of artificial lure fishing is there in the state of Tenn.? What if they decided they wanted something like a bait fishing only area? Would it not be fair that they have one? After all how many miles of single hook artificial lure water is there in East Tenn? How many miles with other special regs that is exclusive of what they are looking for in a fishery? Is it not fair they should be allowed the same?
7. Should we manage everything based on what some people think is correct or science?
8. When you get down to it what is the purpose of special regs. Create bigger fish? Artificially create trophies? If the majority of the users do not want that why should it be forced down their throat?
9. How does anyone have the moral authority to impose the will of a definite minority on a definite majority? Why should the Clinch be singled out with no other available waters near by? Look at the other rivers with special regs. you had landowner and user buy in. There are adequate streams open to all types of fishing near by. There is not the case for the Clinch