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Old 12-17-2011, 11:12 AM
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77punk 77punk is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: knoxville tn
Posts: 201

i'm still trying to understand the wier dam on the clinch. i know the addition of this device is a big part of what makes the tailwater such a great fishery. and i have read that without it the river bottom was basically an oxygen devoid mud pit when the water was off. however in the fall when the generators are shut off and the water dropping, the trout, especially the browns, take advantage of the lower flow and instinctively move upstream to spawn. the problem is, i have witnessed dozens of breeding size trout get stranded on the grates and die. this happens every time the water is shut off during the browns' run. i was there in november, and could not stand the sight of so many fish about to perish. i took off my shoes, rolled up my pants legs, and climbed down onto the cold dam while there were still "pockets" of water poking up from the rocks beneath the grates keeping the fish alive. i put back at least thirty fish ranging in size from 12-30" that day. i brought this up to a ranger who stopped by to inspect the fishing a little later on. at first he didn't believe me and argued that the trout make it across just fine. but after he crossed the island and witnessed the ravens feasting on trout on the other side, he had no argument anymore. i posed the question to him, why are our licenses paying for twra to stock fingerlings into the river, only for them to kill so many of the breeding trout who could help offset the costs of stocking? if you do the math, the dam is killing hundreds of breeding size trout each fall
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