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  #21  
Old 08-29-2010, 06:05 AM
waterwolf waterwolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
A good review of the issues that limit fish growth is discussed in the management plan:
http://www.tennessee.gov/twra/fish/S...see%20Plan.pdf

Also worth reading:
http://www2.tntech.edu/fish/PDF/Hiwassee1.pdf

and a creel survey:
http://www2.tntech.edu/fish/PDF/Hiwassee%202004.pdf
The problem with the above links is who they are from and how many times in the past those sources have been completely out of touch with reality.

The TNtech study on the Clinch said that pressure had nothing to do with the issues we experienced in the fish holdover, well, several years later it was found that pressure did indeed play the largest role, hence we got slots to help the river. THat is just one example in a long list of the issues with their "studies".

I do not have the time, to go into TWRA and their pitiful management plans, as they historically make no sense to anyone who has a general idea of what is going on, on any individual river. They seem to be driven more by political factors then anything remotely scientifically based.

The Hiwassee has sustained itself just fine for years, and yes there are issues with the river. However, to completely switch strategies makes no sense, to anyone other then a TWRA shill or the baitfishing community. I would have no problem with a delayed harvest below Reliance, but from Reliance upstream to the dam should remain the way it is right now, in terms of regulations.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2010, 10:07 AM
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David Knapp David Knapp is online now
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Having fished the Hiwassee extensively (wading) for a couple of years when I was in Chattanooga, I know for a fact that there are decent numbers of nice browns in there. Personally I have only caught fish up to around 16 or 17 inches but that is just because my skills weren't up to the challenge of the big boys. I have seen big fish and know that it is just a matter of looking in certain spots to find them again... That river is definitely capable of growing big browns, especially if there were river-wide restrictions on keeping browns that were enforced. I have never seen TWRA actually checking licenses on the HI despite seeing their trucks out and about. Just doesn't seem to be a priority. Lots of people catch their limit, head back to the truck to put them in a cooler and then do it again. Naturally, the lack of enforcement is not helping the fish hold over since too many are being caught before they have the chance to grow...not to mention that the rainbows they stock seem extra stupid on the HI...
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  #23  
Old 08-29-2010, 11:59 AM
tennswede tennswede is offline
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David,

Exactly my sentiment, I know the river is not a prime brown trout fishery but it is not as bad as people want to make it. I really think it's a matter of catering to p&t fishing. It would be more honest just to say it the way it is. We are too quick to judge a fishery with browns in it. You with your skill set knows what it takes to become a brown trout hunter. Most people have neither the skill or the patience to consistently catch larger browns every time they go. If they don't catch anything pretty instantly they say : This river doesn't have any good browns in it. I am constantly amazed at the amount of fishermen I see, both on mountain streams and tailwaters who fish for twenty minutes and then give up. Patience is really lacking in today's society. Instant gratification in the form of stocker bows, is the new game in town.
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  #24  
Old 08-29-2010, 12:32 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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The deal with rainbows is interesting. Have you ever seen a restaurant that says they have the best brown trout in town or any other trout for that matter. I have nothing against rainbows, they are a beautiful fish when they grow up in the wild. The rainbow is the ubiquitous trout. Many people see the rainbow as their opportunity to catch their own trout dinner. Plus the fact that they fight pretty well, frequently jump out of the water. As a result the rainbow will always be the primary stocked trout, it's what the majority of people want when the purchase a trout stamp.

The Mad River in Ohio is one example of a change in mgt. I caught my first trout (rainbow) there in the mid-seventies. it was a put-in-take fisher for rainbows, although there were some holdovers and maybe even some managed to reproduce. Some people thought browns were the better species for a sustainable trout fishery on the Mad. They changed over to Browns in the later 80's and they have done pretty well and many believe they reproduce naturally. One difference in Ohio, trout fishing was a minority since there are few streams that can hold trout for any period of time. The fish & wildlife people decided to save money, they didn't renew the leased areas where the public could fish on private land. There wasn't a big outcry from the public since trout fisherman were a minority. That isn't the case in TN or NC. I have no idea how many trout stamps are sold in a year, but I imagine it's a significant source of income for TWRA. Times are tough for state agencies and hunting/fishing license sales are not going up, so they will sometimes make mgt. choices based on license sales IMO.

Sorry for long post, just my opinion on how game & fish agencies operate.

Neal
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2010, 12:42 PM
tennswede tennswede is offline
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Neal,


I agree, and rainbows are great but not all the time and everywhere. Slovenia is a prime example. Slovenia a mountainous country in south central Europe somewhat resembling a Montana in miniature. They have ruined several rivers with stocker bows that grows to huge proportions. All this in detriment to the native Adriatic grayling and browns. They do this so the tourists are happy. Happy tourists equals revenue. We have the same sentiment here in TN although at a smaller scale. I have nothing against put and take fishing and I like DH on some streams. I just don't understand why the only river of any size in TN can't have a meager 3 mile section set aside as artificial single hook only. I enjoy the less pressure in the trophy section and it is one of the prettiest sections of the river. We have both Tellico and Citico not too far away for the P&T and the rest of the river is mostly stocker bow fishing. I guess my grief is more of the fact that I like a section of river not overcrowded with people. But then on the other hand, if most people are buying trout stamps only because of the chance to catch stocker bows for supper then we don't have a chance in saving anything. I afraid we just have to do the best we can with what's left. Can't wait for my upcoming NM trip, will be gone ten days. I'm curious to see what the litter situation, the crowd factor etc will be out there for comparison.
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  #26  
Old 08-29-2010, 02:46 PM
Bfish Bfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
The problem with the above links is who they are from and how many times in the past those sources have been completely out of touch with reality.

The TNtech study on the Clinch said that pressure had nothing to do with the issues we experienced in the fish holdover, well, several years later it was found that pressure did indeed play the largest role, hence we got slots to help the river....
TWRA is data driven. I am willing to bet that if they would say that during the initial study pressure was a none issue (because that is what the data showed). Later pressure increased and that is what the follow-up study showed. If you want changes, you better have data or show how TWRA's data is flawed.

Quote:
...The Hiwassee has sustained itself just fine for years, and yes there are issues with the river. However, to completely switch strategies makes no sense,...
Despite the various restrictive limits that have been tired, essentially the Hiwassee is still a put and take fishery. Why not classify it as what it is, rather than have regulations that no traction?
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  #27  
Old 08-29-2010, 03:07 PM
Bfish Bfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
There are no lack of nutrients for brown trout on the Hiwassee....
There is very little to no growth (with the exception of less than 1%), particular in the lower reaches of the "quality" zone.

Quote:
As for limedosers don't think it would do anything for brown trout.
Calcium is extremely limited in the Hiwassee. Liming would increase productivity, and you expect to see denser bug populations along with growth of the trout (both rainbow and brown). Gravel enhancement could also provide a similar bumping of the productivity.

Quote:
I simply disagree that there are only few decent browns in the river. Of course it all depends on what you consider a decent brown. My adversity for this whole change it's not so much creel restrictions but more of the artificial no bait that appeals to me. It's nice to have a stretch of a river in this state of that size with stricter regs. Making it a Tellico Zoo is not my cup of tea.
Show proof, like I said above TWRA is data driven. Sure a few sizable browns show up (not from the lower reaches of the quality zone). But when the state is stocking 15,000 adults and 15,000 fingerlings per year, yet there is only a couple of sizable browns caught each year, it makes you wonder why to continue to fight a loosing battle. Looking through my records, I have caught 64 browns this year, largest being 14" and the majority of them are around 7-8". My boat's largest brown this year is 16". I would call that pathetic results.

Your stricter regs, may be nice, but they are not doing anything to help the fishery out (at least that is what TWRA's data is showing).

IMO if you want larger browns (and rainbows), the upper river is what should be protected say ramp to ramp. Leaving a section above and below for catch and keep (which TWRA data show only 33% of caught trout were kept).

TWRA's data also show that very few people fish the lower stretch of the "quality" zone. Is it an access issue or lack of fish issue? I tend to think it is more lack of fish issue (size and numbers).
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  #28  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:09 PM
Murray trout bum Murray trout bum is offline
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TWRA's data also show that very few people fish the lower stretch of the "quality" zone. Is it an access issue or lack of fish issue? I tend to think it is more lack of fish issue (size and numbers).[/QUOTE]


I find the lower quality zone fishes just fine, for me anyway. This year alone I have landed many rainbows from 13 inches-14 1/2 inches and 2 browns measuring 15 inches. I have had many 30 to 60 fish days from the lower quality zone too. Access has never been an issue for me either.
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  #29  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:00 PM
Bfish Bfish is offline
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Murray trout bum, I am curious as to where your fishing in the lower quality zone.
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  #30  
Old 08-29-2010, 10:53 PM
waterwolf waterwolf is offline
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TWRA might be "data" driven, but making up data to fit an agenda doesn't constitute good management.

I will say again, if you or anyone else misunderstood me the first times. TWRA Coldwater fisheries management, and the management team manage our resources like a bunch of bafoons. It is embarrassing to go to meetings and listen to these people, especially seeing how we pay their salaries.
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