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  #81  
Old 08-25-2007, 03:15 PM
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kytroutman kytroutman is offline
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Gerry, I saw the same CNN report. Unfortunately for Kentucky, most of those areas are very isolated in their rainfall. Central and Eastern KY is about as dry as East TN with water advisories almost every where.
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  #82  
Old 08-28-2007, 09:21 PM
clinchguy clinchguy is offline
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I was at the Pittman Center City Hall today and watched a 10 inch trout walk down Webb Creek. It looked like there was only 1.5-2 inches of water flowing in the deep parts of that section. I guess it was going downstream to look for more water.
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  #83  
Old 08-28-2007, 09:30 PM
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The few fish I saw on Tremont Sunday couldn't even walk... even the dinks were struggling.
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  #84  
Old 08-28-2007, 10:33 PM
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I drove through Metcalf Bottoms on the way out of the park, and I find it hard to believe that anything other than tadpoles were left in there. What I found shocking was the temp I got on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon, around mile marker 6 on the road; 69.5 degrees, in a stream that, from everything I've read, is normally always cold - I know it was a few weeks ago. Not only do the mountains need rain, they need some cool nights as well.

The difference between the streams on the N.C. and Tennessee sides was really striking. I've seen it on the radar time and time again - showers will pop up on the N.C. side, grow and move up the mountains, then stop right on the state line. The weather pattern is fascinating, but frustrating at the same time.
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  #85  
Old 09-01-2007, 02:28 PM
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Gerry Romer Gerry Romer is offline
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Post Link to AP article

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to start up something new here.

I found this article in this morning's Daily Times (local to Blount County) and I thought that it provides a necessary backdrop for what I have been trying to say. The books are now closed on August and the official word is that Tennessee just endured the hottest August on record, coupled with a drought that began last winter. I commented earlier that we were in uncharted territory...

Here's the full article:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

Now, if we go all the way back to the beginning of this thread, there was a request made for "real data... studies or even anecdotal evidence" that would deliver the facts. Further, "Without that data, it just becomes a battle of anecdotal viewpoints."

Okay, maybe I just really didn't make my point clear at the outset.

As I recall, to arrive at a set of data that could be deemed scientific, the trials, experiments, or studies would first have to be repeatable. Someone else would have to be able to replicate all facets of the study.

Clearly, when you are experiencing record temperatures and drought conditions that no one has seen before in their lifetime, this set of conditions cannot be replicated. The initial question is rendered moot as there can be no data available for conditions which have not existed in our recorded time.

Who would want to replicate these conditions anyway?

And if the conditions cannot be replicated, and you cannot arrive at "real data" through accepted scientific method... well then about all you're left with is the anecdotal evidence. So when a Steve Moore says he knows what he's doing, we pretty much have to take his word for it.

When all of the anecdotal evidence is rejected out of hand, I have to question the motivation of the initial request.

To me, the initial question was just plain silly and didn't deserve a legitimate response. I am glad however that many people contributed links to some fascinating information. I learned a lot about what was probably triggering my own mid-summer fishing success.

What bothered me from the outset was the timing of this whole thing. The initial post came up hot on the heels of Byron's appearance on local TV, advising fishermen to not fish in the mountains at the time. It may or may not have been, but I saw it as a direct attack on Byron and his character. I felt then and I feel today that Byron did the right thing. Sure it may have cost him business in the middle of an already difficult summer, but I believe it gained him (and his business) immeasurable credibility and goodwill.

As I said, I felt the question was silly and didn't even need to be asked. To me, however, the timing and the comments regarding Byron's public position suggested another agenda.

Thanks to all for the invaluable information!

Gerry Romer

Last edited by Gerry Romer; 09-01-2007 at 02:30 PM.. Reason: grammar... as if you cared.
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  #86  
Old 09-01-2007, 04:28 PM
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I took a look at the Huntsville NWS site, and they had some interesting statistics. Some of their stations are as much as 50 inches below normal for a three year period...that's the key - this drought is not just this year, it has been in the works for a couple of years, and it will take a couple of years to get out of it. The water table is low, so the streams are at the mercy of whatever rainfall they receive...that's why there's such a wide discrepancy between streams. For example, the entire Little River watershed was, until this week, really hurting - certainly not fishable, from what I could see. On the other hand, I found Straight Fork over in N.C. to have a nice flow and great temps - that area has received rain, and it also has several headwater streams that start very high up. Now, I wouldn't even have gone to the mountains last week if I wasn't up there to look at some property; that 9 hour drive is a bit much just to find marginal conditions, at best. I would like to make an October trip, but I will probably pass on it if the mountains have another dry spell like this last one. Hopefully, the pattern is changing; I know that the moisture hasn't been far away - we've had a fairly wet, "normal" summer here on the gulf coast, except for the beginning of August.
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  #87  
Old 09-01-2007, 08:23 PM
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Default Multi-year drrought

ijsouth --

Thanks for the info. Byron and I were talking about the drought last weekend and neither one of us has been able to come up with any definitive info that says this is a multi-year drought. I've felt all along that we're in the middle of something that's going to take a while to get out of. That's what was behind my earlier joke about the Townsend flood of '94 and the blizzard of '93.

Gerry
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  #88  
Old 09-01-2007, 08:29 PM
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Everything I've read about droughts points to persistence - once drought conditions set in, it takes a lot to pull out of them...the conditions feed on themselves. Right now, the long-range predictions really don't tell us much - there's an equal chance of below or above average precipitation and temperatures for the next several months. Now, I think the streams will be fine, provided they get some rain every few days or so; they'll need that until the water table gets built back up.

It's early, but one possibility is for Felix to curve into the gulf (bad for us here on the coast), and work its way inland (good for the mountains). Most of the models have it taking a similar path to Dean, but it is quite early.
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  #89  
Old 09-06-2007, 03:32 PM
snaildarter snaildarter is offline
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Default Last Will and Testament

Well, back from vacation in the Adirondacks. Fishing was great, and the weather was spectacular, although I never hooked a pike like I wanted to. In fact, caught mostly largemouths (one about 4 pounds or so).

I have spent some time re-reading everything in this thread, including the studies. I think there is enough material to review here that to simply comment on it all would easily fill a 300 page supermarket 12-step book. I am going make a few statements, and then put this thread out of my life for a while. I think that everyone can agree here that it can be very exhausting to continually defend your point of view, and at some point, it can easily feel as if your back is against the wall, and it turns into something else - an ego fight. That's no good for anyone.

This thread certainly went nuclear. That was unanticipated by me. I didn't handle that as well as I should have. I'll be more prepared for that in the future. I've never really experienced anything quite like this.

While re-reading everything, I took all your comments to heart. For example, I see why Gerry thinks I was arrogant. I didn't feel arrogant, but seeing it from his point of view, well, I can see it. Sorry Gerry, I'll honestly try to not be that way in the future. Please accept my apology. I would still like to fish with any of you, and I don't want to damage those possibilities any more than I already have! I know some of you may laugh at that, but I do mean it.

Since I left, I see the thread went on without me pretty well (or maybe even better?). There are some fantastic posts, and by most everyone involved. I started naming all the good posts, but that list included practically everyone who posted. I especially liked Fishermansfly's ethics post. Part of the reason this thread exploded like it did was because we were really talking about more than one big issue, although I didn't see it at first. The Big Issues might have been better asked separately:

1) How high a temp kills trout?
2) How low a water kills trout?
3) Does angling pressure matter in the Smokies?
4) Even if it doesn't matter, is it ethical to fish under these bad conditions?

Perhaps, had this been broken out into more threads, each trying to answer the above questions separately, the discussions would have went more smoothly. Combining them all into one thread was unwieldy and extremely complicated. For example, brookiefly touched on this in his post about a rift between competing value systems. It shouldn't have taken 8 pages of posts to come to such a good bit of wisdom.

There are so many good posts since I left. 63, 66, 68, 70, 73, 78, 79, 80, and well, 85, Gerry's post again wondering about my motives, the timing of my post, my political agenda, the silliness of my question, and his thinking that I may be attacking Byron. I don't want to incite any more argument by defending myself much, so I'll just say that my motives were only to try to figure out what is the closest thing to truth here. I've personally communicated with Byron a few times about this thread, and as everyone has stated here, he is a most excellent and honest person. Gerry, I think I understand where you come from now, and hopefully that understanding will make me a better communicator in the future.

SO, to quickly answer questions 1-4 above, with NO REAL ATTEMPT to defend my beliefs:

1) and 2) should be combined. The question is really how much stress kills a trout. And so you would combine water levels, temperature, food availability, stream disease load, dissolved oxygen, acidity, metal ions, salt, angler pressure, species specific hardiness, and other factors to come up with something like a "stress factor." And then, with enough data, you could say, "Uh-oh, looks like the Stress Factor is over 100 today, the fish are really in trouble." Of course there will never be enough data to do something like that. I think that maybe the studies showing that fish are fine even up to say, 75 degrees, tend to show that only in an otherwise very good environment for the fish. But as we all know, in natural conditions, if the water is at 75, then it is probably also very low. So I guess that that is my final belief on this matter. The temps only matter as part of the whole package of stressors. But if you find 75 degree water, the vast likelihood is that those other stressors are also bad too, so you could assume that fishing in 75 degree water, most of the time, will have a high mortality on the fish you catch. But to extend this further, I think that even if you found 65 degree water in our current conditions, many of the streams are so deadly low, that you may still kill about as many trout.

3) The answer here is probably no, at current levels. That doesn't mean that all the folks on this forum couldn't act in concert on a single stream and kill nearly everything in there, but I believe that the biologists have a pretty good handle on this one. It is interesting to think, that say if 50% of the fish have died this summer, you could maybe have made the situation better by fishing for them, thinning their numbers, so that maybe 10% died by anglers having fun, and 40% died from the drought and other stuff. Just a thought.

4) I'll be noncommittal on that one. I'll say that a decision to fish is a decision to stress some, and to kill some, no matter how good or bad the conditions.

I wish everyone here well, and I continue to hope for rain.

p.s., I'm not arm wrestling anyone!
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  #90  
Old 09-06-2007, 04:23 PM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Snaildarter,

Good to have you back. Your new post is well written as usual and well thought out. I never once thought you were attacking me.

About the time you left I started getting reports of dead trout, as many as six visible in one pool. The rumor from the park was that about half the population had died. Remember the used book I ordered? Trout Biology. It came in and there was nothing about trout mortality due to temperature.

While you were gone we did get some rain and the streams rose to fishable levels. Also the water temperature dropped. A lot of people fished in the park and reported back to me. I didn't hear any bad fishing reports. It was about like usual. Everyone I talked to said the fish looked healthy. Glenn Allgood fished on the Middle Prong today and caught about 30 trout. Joe McGroom who also works here went up to the Crusher Hole with a mask and swam around looking for large trout. He said the water was too cold so he couldn't stay in very long.

I guess you can see that things are pretty bad in your part of the state. Much worse than here.

Byron
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