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Old 08-22-2008, 12:52 PM
waterwolf waterwolf is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,316

Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
I don't want this to turn in to an argument but we do need to realize that TVA doesn't exist to cater to our need to fish, raft, recreate etc. This is a side effect for our benefit. TVA is federal agency which has a mandate to establish flood control and to generate hydroelectric power.
This is incorrect to a degree, TVA was established under a much different mission then how they operate now. They used to be focused on the environmental and recreational aspects of their operations in conjunction with flood control and hydro to help fund their organization. In 1993 everything changed when the heads of TVA changed and they became super focused on Hydro $$$ and some other stuff.

It has only gotten worse. 3 years ago new legislation was passed which requires them to have 25,000 continuous CFS coming into Chattanooga. This completely derailed any other concerns they had, other then sellng off power to make more $$$. Now The Elk River has been virtually destroyed and the Holston below Cherokee as well as the French Broad below Douglas are taking a hit.

TVA used to be super focused on the ecology of their system. Hence weir dams, hub baffles, and oxygen infusion systems. All of these are found on Cherokee, Norris, and South Holston. All were designed to maintain min. flows and increase DO. There have been zero new projects of these types in over 10 years and none in the future are planned.

Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
I do know some people want to put politics in to this and I do regret that some streams were destroyed in the process of flood control and cheap power. The era of cheap electric is over and we are lucky who can enjoy trout fishing on some of these rivers. A few of these rivers wouldn't support a single trout if it wasn't for TVA. Clinch, and Holston prime examples.
Yes the era of cheap power is over, as highlighted by the front page of the paper yesterday, a 27% increase in 2008 alone. What we should be asking as consumers and customers of TVA is how they can turn a deaf ear on the demise of fisheries and ecologies and jack up their rates. In other words what are all of us sportsmen and non-sportsmen getting in return.

Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
A few of these rivers wouldn't support a single trout if it wasn't for TVA. Clinch, and Holston prime examples.
Try South Holston, Watauga, Ft. Patrick Henry, and Hiwasee as well. What many fail to notice or care about is that entire native populations were wiped out because of the damming of these river systems. TVA created coldwater fisheries and they used to think it was their responsibility to manage them to the best of their potential.

Hans I know you aren't from here and may not be aware of this, but do some research on the Little T and the atrocity that TVA committed by damming a perfectly healthy river system for nothing more then residential development. One of the great tragedies in this area and one which TVA and their supporters should be embarrassed to have on their record.

Embrace TVA all you like, and there was a time when they did a lot of great things for the system, but in the last few years they have totally lost focus and our fisheries are suffering because of their greed.

You are right that a handful of us and some paddlers have an uphill battle but if we want to maintain the quality of our fisheries we have to speak out about this stuff and do so now. We cannot just rollover or we will get steamrolled and our fisheries will suffer the brunt of the weight.
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