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Thread: Slot Limit on the Clinch

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  1. #1
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    Default Slot Limit on the Clinch

    Let's discuss the proposed slot limit on the Clinch River. I am very much in favor of this regulation change. RW is a friend of mine and we don't agree on this but we will remain friends. If you think he is attacking me, he is not. He is too kind a gentleman to do that. Flat is also a friend of mine. We see eye to eye on this issue.

    I noticed in an older thread that Flat asked RW if LUCRO thinks only locals fish the Clinch River. Though I am an avid sportsman I can't help but look at issues from a business point of view also. Many of our customers fish on the Clinch River and I've heard for a few years from them that the fishing quality has declined.

    My question is, do the local people who live near this river understand that fishing is big business?

    Fishing means tourism, tourism means revenue and revenue means jobs. If they don't agree have them go to Gander Mountain, Bass Pro or Cabellas. Fishing is a huge business! And, tourism is big business in Tennessee. I will serve as Vice Chair for Tourism and Travel in our County next year. I am already getting ready for that. I've learned that we didn't have tourism in Blount County our property taxes would be several hundred dollars higher per year per household.

    In the past 12 months we have sold 3,385 fishing and hunting licenses for a total revenue of $80,609 here at our small store. Of the total licenses sold 58.9% were to non-residents and those accounted for 62.7% of the revenue. I don't know the number, there's no way but some of them were sold to people who fish the Clinch River. I think a lot of them were. There are also 3 or 4 other establishments in Townsend that sell hunting and fishing licenses.

    It seems to me that the opposition to this proposal (not you RW) are folks who live close to the river and may not be looking out for the best interest of all the citizens in their county and their state. Could it be that they don't want anglers fishing their river? Could it be that they know that better fishing will attract more fishermen and they don't want that?

    Maybe if the oposition to this proposal would look at this from an economic as well as a fishing point of view they might reconsider their stance. A slot limit is not a big change. It is not a step toward mandated catch and release. It is simply a management tool to improve the perceived quality of fishing to a larger group of anglers who buy a license to fish the river, visit Tennessee and provide jobs in the counties near the resource.

    This will be part of my thesis sent to TWRA and TWRC.

    Byron

  2. #2
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    Byron:

    Related to the economics, I would pose another question. Do the local landowners provide enough revenue from their licenses to pay for the current stocking programs? Given the number of non-resident versus resident fisherman who utilize the Clinch, I would like to see some actual numbers.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Begley View Post
    Fishing means tourism, tourism means revenue and revenue means jobs. If they don't agree have them go to Gander Mountain, Bass Pro or Cabellas. Fishing is a huge business! And, tourism is big business in Tennessee... Byron

    I may be wrong, but...

    I heard somewhere that part of the development under construction at the intersection of I-75 N and Hwy 61 is going to include a Cabella's. Hmmmmmm.

    Gerry

  4. #4
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    Default Re

    Byron I will respond in more detail latter to this post of yours as there are many others I wish to respond to first. I also want to spend time and separate opinions from fact as best as I can

    One quick point the fisheries reports point out 80% of the fisherman on the Clinch are from Anderson, Campbell and Knox counties if you include Blount it is 88%. Also 97% of the fishermen on the Clinch are from Tennessee

    I know that your thesis will be from projections, etc from a business point of view and I understand that. Mine was from all their reports and data. I do see and understand the other side. I just don’t buy into it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Romer View Post
    I may be wrong, but...

    I heard somewhere that part of the development under construction at the intersection of I-75 N and Hwy 61 is going to include a Cabella's. Hmmmmmm.

    Gerry
    Cabella’s has not bought an option yet per the people who own the land they are looking at, at least from the conversation I had with the landowner the other day. Cabella’s is currently building a store between Chattanooga and Atlanta, There was also a report out of Nashville that Cabela’s was going to take a anchor spot in a mall there. I find that hard to believe, but….

    Fox Toyota is going in on the east side of the Interstate and Wal-Mart is going in on the west side. Additionally some more restaurants may go in at the Fox entrance

  6. #6
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    RW,

    I would say that most of the anglers I talk to who fish the Clinch River are from East Tennessee. Anderson County is not a large tourist destination yet. But, if Cabellas does open there hold on because it will be and Anderson County will become a strong competitor of ours here in Blount County for tourist dollars. The infrastructure will build, more hotels, lodges, campgrounds, rental cabins and restaurants. Land prices will increase and with two wonderful resources, Norris Lake and the Clinch River tailwater I think residents of Anderson County have a bright future ahead for them. I just hope the leaders have the vision to deal with the growth in a good way like we are trying to do here in Blount County.

    KyTroutMan

    I would like to see the numbers too. I doubt if the local landowners could support the fishery but apparently residents of East Tennessee do.

    Byron

  7. #7
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    Maryville, Tennessee
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    I own a house on Norris and the past couple of years has been amazing. Anderson County and Campbell County tourism dollars are getting people from Ohio and Kentucky down on that lake. I believe the area is having a hard time keeping up with the number of people coming to the area. The house next to ours rents out and it is full 3/4 of the year. 90% of the time there are Ohio tags in the driveway.

    I believe it is a matter of time before you get some overflow from the lake goers on the river. I'm like you Byron, I hope they manage that growth well. Anderson County can get caught up in making money. Just look at the problems with them trying to let in Rinker.
    "The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing." Babylonian Proverb

  8. #8
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    Flying Trout,

    I bet Norris is getting a lot of visitors that would have gone to Lake Cumberland. Having lived and played on Cumberland before moving to Tennessee in 1973 I know that Ohio residents used that lake a lot. Some are going to look for a substitute for a few years and Norris is the most likely destination choice or at least that's what I think. Anderson County is a beautiful place to visit.

    Thankfully the Cumberland Tailwater has been and is currently fishing well. I was afraid the trout population was in peril.

    Byron

  9. #9
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    Default Increase in fishing pressure

    Hello all,

    Here is another factor to throw into the mix. I am currently at a conference in Washington and the projected population numbers are that the Southeastern portion of the US will grow by 30% in the next 20 years while the northeast and great lakes region will either remain constant or decline. Some areas such as East TN and N GA are expected to grow upwards of 40% in that time frame. Along with this increase in population is increase in fishing and hunting pressure. If the pressure on our tailwaters, I am primarily speaking of the Clinch, is great now, do we wait until the pressure is even greater and then try to remedy the situation. I believe that we should start working to improve the fishery now before unforseen problems arise and make it absolutely necessary to make adjustments.

    Just for the record out of the people I have talked to regarding this topic the numbers are 14 for the slot limit and 2 against. Of those people 9 were FF's and 7 were bait/spin fisherman.

    Travis

    P.S. If this population boom happens as projected, I think I will be house hunting in Utah or Idaho.
    Last edited by ChemEAngler; 09-25-2007 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Added a note.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Begley View Post
    RW,

    I would say that most of the anglers I talk to who fish the Clinch River are from East Tennessee. Anderson County is not a large tourist destination yet. But, if Cabellas does open there hold on because it will be and Anderson County will become a strong competitor of ours here in Blount County for tourist dollars. The infrastructure will build, more hotels, lodges, campgrounds, rental cabins and restaurants. Land prices will increase and with two wonderful resources, Norris Lake and the Clinch River tailwater I think residents of Anderson County have a bright future ahead for them. I just hope the leaders have the vision to deal with the growth in a good way like we are trying to do here in Blount County.

    KyTroutMan

    I would like to see the numbers too. I doubt if the local landowners could support the fishery but apparently residents of East Tennessee do.

    Byron
    I have answered a lot of this in other places already so I won’t repeat my self. Norris Lake cannot hold much more boat traffic during boating season. I use to walleye fish on the lake a lot in the summer. You cannot do that now. The boats that are on there are oversized. I keep hearing people talking about some restrictions like they have in other states on the size of wake a boat may throw, etc. IMO it is needed as it is eroding the shoreline. As you know the health of the river depends a lot on Norris lake. It as well as Melton Hills affects are little know and little understood

    We have already discussed land prices. I own acreage on Norris that is my own private hunting place. However due to encroachment by transplants it is getting less usable. Somewhere down the road I will sale it but not for a few years.

    Growth is not always good or beneficial. However as this is a fairly well educated area I don’t think both sides of the coin is lost on them. The orange route corridor will spur some growth as well as the bypass that is planed to go to Sevierville. But again where is it in TWRA’s mission to manage a resource for tourism?

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