If the numbers are down it's from greed. Last fall on a website called tndeer.com in the fishing section a guy was posting the maps with all the spawning sections and how to fish them. He was obviously stupid and probably did alot of harm to the river by doing so. Needless to say he caught alot of grief over this. Did his stupidity and greed of others hurt the Caney, who knows.
IF there were a lot of big fish harvested in the fall and the river is down, AND the baitfishermen and flyfishermen get together to complain, then maybe TWRA will see the the advantage of controlled harvest or closed sections during the spawn on the Caney as it should be. They close the S. Holston, and Arkansas closes the the White. Surely TWRA can the the advantages to closing a section during a spawn or even a false spawn. These fish are the most in danger of greed on the part of some "fishermen", whether it be from cooler fishermen to guys playing a big fish too long that dies in the end, or worst yet, those that practice snagging over fish on redds.
I am a great admirer of spectator sports, especially on television; it keeps the riffraff off the trout streams.