I am a great admirer of spectator sports, especially on television; it keeps the riffraff off the trout streams.
On Saturday there was a meeting where TWRA attended and discussed was this very issue.
[TWRA staff] offered the brilliant synopsis that the abnormally thin fish in the lower river was a result of the fish being at the end of their age cycle, in other words dying. Which is an amazingly laughable theory, considering the fish above a certain point in the river that are the same size and age are in perfectly good health.
This thought is so absurd it is almost impossible to believe that a biologist would make it, and be the one running the show.
Last edited by Paula Begley; 07-31-2012 at 01:59 PM. Reason: removed specific TWRA staff name
I have fished the Clinch in the past few years quite often some would say. So; I feel I have a pretty good mental picture of recent changes. I am one that subscribes to a cause and effect theory. First; you look to the obvious and most apparent environmental factors. Those are the dismal flows early in the year, lack of rain, and one of the hottest summers on record. Also; there were heavy flows all winter and the fish grew to fit their habitat. During the low flows; they were stressed and had to work harder to maintain their food needs. Additionally; they were not able to fully utilize the fluid dynamics of hydrology (Karman Gait) to assist them with feeding as in higher flows. The result would be a negative gain in calorie intake and would result in skinny/snake looking fish. I believe this is a resilient issue and it will correct itself once water flows become more consistent at a higher flow rates. The problem is that they must make it through the summer and high-stress times.
A bigger issue to increase the fishery would be to change the stocking procedures and sluice the fish or to put temporary no fishing zones around stocking areas. I see numerous people deplete the recent stocks by hole fishing around the ramps after a stocking. It is ridiculous. I heard one guy say to a friend that he had caught 80 and had to take them home and get another cooler.
Brown Harvest Limit:
I would love to see a harvest limit on one-brown per day and more browns stocked in the Clinch. Brown trout are an extreme minority on the Clinch compared to other types of fish and it is only apparent that they should be protected to increase their numbers.
Also; some better slot signs posted at the upper end of the river. It would probably be good to post a summary of fishing laws that pertain to the Clinch as well. I know the metal road signs are pretty expensive, but; I would expect Trout Unlimited or another organization may contribute to getting some vinyl plastic signs. Some tips on how to wet handle fish, use barb-less hooks, catch & release, etc. Signs or Us may donate to TWRA if asked. It would be a tax deductible donation and they could still put their logo at the bottom and get great advertisement.
I think a fabulous idea would be for fishermen to have to wear a visible fishing license on a lanyard or in a placard on their vest. This would help enforce licenses and create a sense of following rules subconsciously enforced by the public. If you were not wearing one; you would look around and wonder why others were wearing them. Also; you would wonder what else you may be neglecting that you should address. I know many old timers would raise a hoot at the beginning; but, after a year or two; it would be second nature. Heck; you pay nearly $50 for it; why not show it off and be proud that you bought one....
Last edited by Paula Begley; 07-31-2012 at 02:00 PM. Reason: quoted post edited
-Shawn Madison“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
Shawn those are all really good ideas and points, and I do not disagree with any of them. I would love to see them implemented and watch the river react to the changes.
With regards to TWRA/TVA. TVA has done far more good than bad for the river, situations are going to occur with river operations that can be challenging for the fisheries. I understand that and am fine with it, but do wish to try and work with TVA amiably to make sure those issues can be prevented if possible.
TWRA is fine as well as a whole, but their coldwater fisheries group is a travesty and probably the worst managers imaginable for our resources. Over the years they prove time after time that they are essentially clueless about how to manage coldwater fisheries, and constantly demonstrate their lack of knowledge about coldwater fisheries as a whole.
Here is another gem from [TWRA staff] from this past Saturday...Apparently he was adamant that the fish in the Holston below Cherokee never survive and all die every year due to water temps. Anyone who has ever spent much time over there knows just how false this statement is, and that only an uneducated bafoon would preach this stuff.
Last edited by Paula Begley; 07-31-2012 at 06:43 PM. Reason: removed name...
Well; interesting observations fellows.
I believe most biologists OFFER "OBSERVATIONS" OR OPINIONS to justify the need for their job.... most spend less time on any given water than those who fish it regularly.
The notion that there are no "holdover trout" in the Holston is Bull$h!+; I caught an enormous number of plus 20 inch fish at Nance's this year fishing my "secret weapon fly">
I LIKE FACTS!
That said it is perhaps time to get the FACTS from an independent source who has no horse in the race, meaning not TVA or TWRA.
In Maine WE (Kennebec Valley TU won a lot during the re-licensing of many Dams with FACTS from real experts.
My thoughts are that it's a ****ed shame that outside of the TU effort in the Smokies (great thanks to Byron & company) the TU effort on other rivers in East TN is not so good (just my observation as a newbie to these waters).
SHAWN; I love you man and all of you who are passionate fly fishers who love and enjoy rivers..... but are you a members of TU? Do you bust your butt for the protection, enhancement and conservation of our cold-water fisheries or wish only to complain that the biologist is an idiot (I won't argue that one).
I ask this of all of you?
If you want to CHANGE the situation on the Clinch what are YOU prepared & willing to do?
IMO I've never given anything until I felt I have suffered for it physically, emotionally or financially or spent a lot of my time giving.
Jeezum; I really wished I lived closer to the Clinch instead of freaking Sevier County...... I'm jealous of those who can casually run down to this river any time they have a free moment and enjoy a really great fishery. If I lived in the neighborhood I would likely fall in love with the place and in short order become one of it's greatest advocates.
I could show you how to get everything you want but none of you ever want to join me. bummer.
Corbo, TWRA tried to "unbiased" approach however they hired a shill for them to do a study, which years after the fact, is still a good comedy piece for those with much knowledge of the Clinch fishery. That study was [snip] a complete waste of resources.
The TU chapters that work on the Smokies streams have done some great work over the years, and I participated for 10+ years with the Acid deposition stuff before becoming too busy guiding to have time to help anymore.
With that said (and this will piss some off, but oh well), The Clinch Chapter which my father, myself and a handful of other started deteriorated into nothing more than an extension of LUCRO. Which is the bane of quality trout fishing in the CLinch, they were the group who fought vehemently to overturn the Quality Zone and many of the members seem to ignore the current slot limits out of spite. Once the 2 organizations became intertwined, any hopes of having a local TU voice for the Clinch was gone.
They did some good projects in their minds, but for the health of the river probably hurt a lot. The tire removal efforts removed hundreds if not thousands of tires which provided much needed habitat and bottom structure. Sure they are ugly, and may not be ideal to have in the river, but they provided isolated cover for insects, invertebrates, and fish. I actually helped several times with the aid of my drift boat in removing these tires, so I am a little guilty.
I will leave with a positive thing the Clinch Chapter accomplished, they were able to persuade Donnie Scruggs to allow them to fix his bank and stabilize damage done by years of cattle entering and exiting the river. What was done worked and worked well, and for that they deserve credit.
I have not yet "transfered" my lifetime membership to a TN chapter.... while I admire the folks at LRO and those who work so hard for the PARK I'm sort of hooked on big rivers and tail-water fisheries hence I would rather participate in a chapter that needs to rebuild or reinvigorate itself than a group that doesn't need my energy and is focus on a water where my big back cast doesn't land in a tree..
Watcha wanna do brother? Perhaps me, you and Shawn eat lunch together on the river bank; dream big dreams and make them happen in our lifetimes?
Okay. I've edited the thread. I am reopening it for now.
1: TWRA personnel are our friends. We will not tolerate them being named/shamed/slandered on this site. I have removed any reference to individual persons and I would appreciate it if you don't do that in the future on this site.
2: You guys all know when you call into question someone's 'balls' you are questioning their manhood. Quite honestly, I don't want to hear about your balls and whether anyone on this board has them or doesn't. And that type of comment is inflammatory and creates unnecessary drama. Please find some other way to word your challenges.
3: Stating your opinion as fact generally makes people angry. Just sayin'.
Discussion of this issue is great otherwise. Carry on.