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Thread: concern about holston high temperature

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default concern about holston high temperature

    I've noticed higher than usual temps. for this time of year and am worried about survival rates for the Holston.
    We had good hold over trout and they are needing some revival after a normal fight. They are getting stressed faster/easier.Ussualy i fish the holston untill july but i doubt this year i can/should do that.
    Unfortunately not much water left in cherokee and this year we may run into problems....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Knoxville, Tennessee


    While I haven't been to the Holston in the last few weeks, I'm not surprised by what you are saying

    The Spring rains just never happened and while we have been getting enough rain to cover the signs of low water, the aquifers and base stream levels are REALLY low for this time of year. Last year the Summer rains helped buffer the temps, but unless we get some good rains I think this tail water is especially susceptible and will take a big hit. It really sucks because if it wasn't for the lake turnover, it would probably be one of the best tail waters around.
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012


    Several factors affect the water temp on that river. Primarily water temp in the lake is the major contributor. But once summer sun hits the large shallow flats that ae all along the river, that flat shallow water warms a lot during the day. When the pulses get in to that flat water and push it in the main flow of the river there are some places when that occurs where one leg will be standing in warm water flow (from the flats) and the other in cold water flow(from the dam release). Further down the river the greater this temp affect , and when river temp pops up from that pulse carrying warm water the fish are effected , both feeding wise and fighting wise. Spring inflow and more two generator discharge usually offset the warm flat inflow, but this year has not seen the affect of this factors as much.

    Good news is that TVA has added in last year or so an additional 12 miles or so of ventilated tubing that carries liquid oxygen into the bottom of cherokee lake, which has the affect of both re-areating the lake (and discharges even more) plus some cooling affects. The larger holdover fish that are in the river this year undoubtedly benefited a lot from that improvement. When you see all the improvements in the tailwaters cold water quality, it makes you sort of scratch your head about why TVA would consider walking away from supporting the trout sticking programs when it has spent millions to improve the oxygen and temp issues in the last three decades?

    Personally l think the intense daily fishing pressure in some areas of the river have affected the condition of the fish. Many of the larger fish are caught several times a week and that stress is taking perhaps more toll on the fish than the water temps. Careful handling and releases are important to get the fish revived in many instances. This is particularly true in the rivers lower reaches i think as several guides seem to have spent the spring there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Imo water temps seem warmer because of the lack of heavier generation. The back water gets bath water warm and the pulses pull all that warm water into the main river this warming the water up. The actual pulse at the dam is running around 57 degrees.

    The biggest issue facing the Holston is the unrelenting pressure it's receiving ths year. That will affect holdover far more than the current water conditions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    knoxville tn


    Glad I'm not the only one who noticed. I launched out last week, fished for half hour but before pulling the yak out and heading upstream. I usually leave that river alone end of may/early june
    don't go ninja'n anybody don't need ninja'n

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Clinton, TN


    I fished it last week. Although I didn't take a water temp, It seemed to me that the temps weren't too bad(compared to some of my past experiences over the years) I wasn't very far down river and I'm sure its warmer farther down

    Fish were very strong and active and didn't seem bothered by the water temps IMO.

    My Blog: Fly Fish East Tennessee


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