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Thread: Hot Water release on the Hiwassee

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  1. #1
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    Default Hot Water release on the Hiwassee

    "Most of this week TVA has been spilling extremely warm water over the top of Apalachia Dam on the Hiwassee River, potentially endangering the trout fishery. A TVA spokesman says the breakdown of one of two generators forced them to spill water over the top of the dam. He says however that the generator was repaired Wednesday afternoon and operation is back to normal."

    also stated in the article: "...one of our supervisors is really concerned about what the warm water temperatures and low oxygen could do to the fish."

    ...I don't think it requires a supervisor to figure that one out

    http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_133655.asp
    http://www.troutanon.com rrainshaker at comcast dot netrainshaker at comcast dot net

  2. #2
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    I agree and it is actions like this that prove to me that TVA has lost touch with the environmental impacts of some of their actions over the last 3 years.

    The Elk River is about dead due to their generating regimes.

    The Holston Trout fishery just got whacked again as temps have climbed into the middle 70's.

    Now the Hiwassee takes a bath, because they are too ignorant to NOT SPILL 85 degree water down a coldwater fishery. Why that seemed like a good idea is beyond me, but would it have killed them to scale back generation for a few days while they got things fixed in order to save the fishery.

  3. #3
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    So was the lake so full that they had to dump it over the top while they were repairing the generator or was the water level below way too low? I don't get why they had to dump any

  4. #4
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    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.

    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.

    It is currently very popular to trash anything TVA or government does, but put in to a reality perspective, they have a mandate and a rate of return to produce. If TVA mainly catered to a few trout fisherman and some rafters they would have to shut down.
    Last edited by tennswede; 08-22-2008 at 11:48 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
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    Quote 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.


    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

  6. #6
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    I was waiting for that one, Yes I am an outsider but it is irrelevant. I know all about the Tellico project and I can even put Hungary on a map.

    Anyway, What you fail to understand is the fact that before TVA these rivers were not trout fisheries. If we relly want to be stewards of the environment we should breach the dams and everything will revert to warm water fisheries. Your points are moot because you are facing an artificially created fishery. I love the trout fishing as much as you do and yes I think the Tellico project was a work of politicians but still, the rivers we are talking about were not trout rives except Little T.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfballs03 View Post
    So was the lake so full that they had to dump it over the top while they were repairing the generator or was the water level below way too low? I don't get why they had to dump any
    Heck no the lake is not too full, not even close. The reason they dumped is to make up for the one unit that went offline. Rather then just suck up the loss of outflow for a couple of days they idiotically spilled 88 degree water down the river system.

  8. #8
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    Default Agree and Disagree

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you have said in this last post. With all things being equal, TVA can be persuaded to address longer term issues. If a constituency brings forth a reasonable proposal and in doesn't adversely affect other groups, chances are TVA will approve the measure. We are all very thankful for the folks that have worked tirelessly (and namelessly and thanklessly, no doubt), on behalf of the fishing community and everyone concerned with our local environment. And I hope the fight goes on.

    However, this conversation started with a concern over the warm water spilling over Appalachia in response to the breakdown to one of their generators. The article doesn't go into why TVA had the need to keep the flows up, so we can only speculate.

    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    I agree and it is actions like this that prove to me that TVA has lost touch with the environmental impacts of some of their actions over the last 3 years.

    The Elk River is about dead due to their generating regimes.

    The Holston Trout fishery just got whacked again as temps have climbed into the middle 70's.

    Now the Hiwassee takes a bath, because they are too ignorant to NOT SPILL 85 degree water down a coldwater fishery. Why that seemed like a good idea is beyond me, but would it have killed them to scale back generation for a few days while they got things fixed in order to save the fishery.
    I like your passion for this issue, but I believe that there is more to the situation. With an extended dry period on top of a bad 2 year drought, water flows are at very low levels throughout the watershed and unfortunately for the coldwater fisheries, the water has to keep flowing regardless of the warming temperatures. A big part of TVAs mission has been to regulate the flow of water through the system and when a generator breaks down, they may have to take drastic measures. Had we been in a raining period or had the rivers been running strong already, its doubtful that they would have spilled. But it maybe that they had no choice. And it maybe that similar issues regarding flow are causing the damage to some of our tailwaters as well.

    I go back to the link you provided:
    If the total volume of water flowing into Chickamauga Reservoir is less than needed to meet system-wide flow requirements, additional water must be released from upstream reservoirs to augment the natural inflows (a function of rainfall and runoff), resulting in some drawdown of these projects.

    Its possible that its ineptitude or a conspiracy, but I think its more likely a symptom of our drought and their response to what they have been tasked with doing (keep the flows, even at the unfortunate expense of the fish)

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  9. #9
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    It is in response to the 25,000 crap, but rather then weigh their options and air on the side of respecting the resource they went the exact opposite direction and decided to destroy a fishery over a 2 or 3 day lull in water flows which could have been made up from higher discharges in systems which would not have been adversely affected. It was a boneheaded maneuver and one that they should not be let off the hook for, especially seeing how other rivers are in peril at the same time. This issue is just getting warmed up, so stay tuned.

  10. #10
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    *sigh*

    Do not let this thread degenerate. Seriously.

    Unless someone has the inside information as to specifically why TVA released water, I'm inclined to just close this thing. Speculation is just that, speculation. I won't have a war here.

    Paula

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