Originally Posted by flyguys
<snip>...TVA basically finally said, "We are flood control and power generators, we don't have time to worry about the fishing. flyguys
Actually, TVA is required by the act that created them to provide navigability of the waterways and flood control first and foremost. Power generation falls below those two and everything else (recreational use) is just a happy bonus once the other duties are met. Sucks for us, but what can you do. They had problems during the bad drought years when they couldn't release enough water for electricity generation because they had to hold enough back to ensure navigation through the lower stretches.
The actual text of the original Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933 can be found at http://www.tva.com/abouttva/pdf/TVA_Act.pdf
Pay particular attention to the order in which their responsibilities are listed in the following section:
(j) Shall have power to construct such dams, and reservoirs, in the Tennessee River
and its tributaries, as in conjunction with Wilson Dam, and Norris, Wheeler, and
Pickwick Landing Dams, now under construction, will provide a nine-foot channel in the
said river and maintain a water supply for the same, from Knoxville to its mouth, and will
best serve to promote navigation on the Tennessee River and its tributaries and control
destructive flood waters in the Tennessee and Mississippi River drainage basins; and
shall have power to acquire or construct power houses, power structures, transmission
lines, navigation projects, and incidental works in the Tennessee River and its tributaries,
and to unite the various power installations into one or more systems by transmission
lines. The directors of the Authority are hereby directed to report to Congress their
recommendations not later than April 1, 1936, for the unified development of the
Tennessee River system.
Also note that the 9' navigation channel and water supply requirements only go from Knoxville to the mouth of the system, which helps explain why all the tailwater fishing is upstream from Knoxville. Interesting read if you've got the time and inclination.