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Thread: Guide License fees back on TWRA agenda

  1. #11
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus View Post
    The license increases are not just for fishing, but they are increases in pretty much all licenses. TWRA is funded through the sales of licenses, not through a general fund from the state. This keeps wildlife management in the hands of biologists and not in the hands of politicians. I have no issue with the increases.

    https://news.tn.gov/node/13340

    http://www.tn.gov/twra/license_fee_i...posed_fees.pdf
    Some of those are pretty significant. A $30 increase in annual sportsman's license, and look at the increase for the lifetime license.

  2. #12
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    Jan 2006
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    First off.....Grumpy made a very valid point. Warm water guides (lake, river, pond etc) will oppose this and there are a whole lot more of them than there are of us (coldwater guides).

    With that said, I think Tennessee has some of the best tailwater fisheries in the country, most definitely in the southeast. Our mountain streams are not bad either. Tennessee is home to great trout fishing in many forms yet we lag behind many of our neighbors in managing our resources.

    Kentucky. Known for the mighty Cumberland River.....really it's only great trout river. Resident guides are required to pay $150 for a guide license. Non Residents like myself are required to pay $400 for a guide license. In addition to the monetary charge, all guides are required to have a background check, Kentucky Boating Safety Certificate, a USCG Captains License if you plan to use a motorized boat, a government issue TWIC card, and first aid/cpr certifications. Pretty aggressive regs for coldwater fishing guides. But I know I feel better about working around other guides in Kentucky because I know they have a vested interest in the river, the sport and their business. I've also seen active patrols on the river and feel like my money is well spent with the Kentucky DNR.

    Now let's look at Georgia. Georgia has some wild trout streams that are marginal and fish much like our lower elevation mountain streams. Georgia's claim to fame are it's numerous private trout streams. These streams contain monster pet trout that come running when they hear footsteps. They know how to eat what you throw'em, fight little, and smile for a quick grip n grin before you release them back into the water. Now the Toccoa River is OK and the Hooch keeps getting better with time but overall these fisheries are far behind the quality of tailwaters Tennessee has. In Georgia, anybody who buys a fishing license can be a guide....all it takes is for an unknowing Sport to give you a call. There's no regulations to abide by or any standards.

    North Carolina. They do require $150 license for fishing guides. They also host some good mountain fishing for trout and some tailwaters as well. Their big claim to fame is the Delayed Harvest. NC does DH better than anyone in the SE. Extra monies collected seem to give the DNR a little more to work with in managing and patrolling these rivers. Supplemental feeding is also prevalent on a lot of the smaller streams and private waters.

    Our tailwaters, with the exception of the Hiwassee, have the ability to grow trophy sized fish. Lot's of trophy sized fish too. Not just one here and there, or the occasional brooder that was released. But genuine quality fish. Some of these fish are born in these rivers while many are stocked as fingerlings. But the difference is, our rivers and streams are fertile enough that our fish can grow well on their own and seem to do just that when quality regulations are put in place. I've always imagined what these rivers could become if they were actually managed and funded to be great fisheries.

    On a personal level. My TN fishing license and trout stamp run me about $48 bucks a year. I feel this is a **** of a deal for the privilege of fishing here. Out of state anglers face a little higher price for a year long license....$88 bucks I think. Small increases to both will still be (imho) a great deal when compared to other recreational costs. Night at the movies, bowling, golfing or even a meal at a restaurant will often cost you more than a one year license. I look at license costs as everyone carrying their weight.

    I will add that I think TWRA needs to keep the one day non resident all species license and they should move to a year to date system on their licenses (good for year from day of purchase). Which is why I would also support a difference in price for a catch and release license in comparison to a harvest license. This would allow those who deplete the resource to pay their part.

    I think a guide license in TN would be a great thing. It would provide the state with much needed money to manage our fisheries and patrol them. Like mentioned, it breaks down to a small per day costs for real guides who only guide for a living, and is a small amount to pay if you're making your living off these resources. Out of state guides are going to complain but again, for those who are really guiding for a living....it's a reasonable investment.

    Guides on the Tennessee River System and Cumberland River system (any system considered part of the intercoastal waterway) are supposed to have the USCG Captains License (OUPV Six Pack or better). I think this should become a requirement for all guides who use boats to access the water with clients. In fact, I think all guides should be required to have first aid, cpr, whitewater rescue certs and liability insurance but that's another story.

    I've always considered myself lucky to work on the rivers I spend the majority of my time on. I've seen guides come and go but for the most part, our local rivers are not that crowded and the few guides I do share the river with are pretty good dudes that I feel represent well. I don't have to deal with the crowds and craziness that happens in NE TN. I remember one day last fall that I fished the SoHo down to Jack's. I got to speak with Jack for a few minutes and he said they'd ran 45 shuttles that day. That's right, I said 45! It was a madhouse on the river with most of the pilots of the other boats having no clue what in the world they were doing. I saw boats hitting each other, running into trees on the bank, and basically just being rude to all other boats. Just imagine if the water was off and all 45 of those boats over on the Watauga.

    I don't imagine support for the guide license will be high but I do believe it would be a good thing for our rivers and our trout, not to mention the warm water fisheries.

    We all have our opinions and mine may not be popular but ain't that the way it usually goes.

    I suppose that was a long enough rant.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    134

    Default graduated license

    ChemEAngler, I would like to consider a graduated fee based on age. Not sure the details but I am concerned that we're loosing our best resource and that being young boys/girls to enjoy the outdoors. When I was in my teens it was on me to buy my fishing/hunting permits. With so many other interests competing for our youth and their money, maybe they deserve a break.
    c.v.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Maryville, Tennessee
    Posts
    159

    Default Jr Resisent Licenses

    The Resident Junior (13 - 16) licenses are pretty reasonably priced. There is already so many different licenses to keep track of that they get hard to explain. A good solution might be extending that age range from 13 to 18.

    A lack of involvement of parents etc is probably doing more to discourage youth fishing than permit costs.

    North Carolina doesn't require a license until an angler turns 16. Within the last year or so Great Smoky Mountains National Park clarified the age for needing a license in the Park boundary to anyone 16 or older.

    Daniel

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Maryville, Tennessee
    Posts
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    This isn't even something that is on the table....but I wonder what anglers would think about GSMNP having a National Park fishing license that would just cover the Smokies?

    Daniel

  6. #16
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    Sep 2008
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Drake View Post
    A lack of involvement of parents etc is probably doing more to discourage youth fishing than permit costs.
    Agree 100%

  7. #17
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    Nov 2007
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    Louisville, TN
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    I oppose this and David knapp pretty much summed up my thoughts. If we all think about how often Twra checks people and catches poachers, it's pretty much never. Give them more money? No thanks. They will still be "understaffed" and won't catch many folks over the limits

  8. #18
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    Jan 2006
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    I would 100% back a fee if they could guarantee more Officers to keep an eye on things.
    Let's say David K. is running a trip on the Caney, he get's checked & has forgotten his life jacket's for the boat because they got soaked the last time out & were drying. He get's a ticket, goes to court, the Warden goes to court & has lost a day out patrolling & the judge slaps David's wrist & tells him not to let it happen again.
    Or the judge fines him $180 per jacket times three=$540, TWRA will recieve maybe $40 of that fine & a lost day patrolling, the court system , county & state get the rest of it. You have to wonder, why bother

    I've been working on programs with TWRA for 13 years now, have heard all kind of stories from the officers, they're basically danged if they do & danged if they don't.
    Sure, there can be improvement's all across the board, a fishing license is still cheaper than the tank of gas it takes to get you there.

    Grumpy

  9. #19
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    Jun 2008
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    I've been adamantly against this idea for eons, but after this past summer I am all for it.

    There are too many dang "guides" on our rivers, period, and the only way to knock the numbers down is either issue licenses with strict requirements or a fee which weeds out a bunch due to costs.

    The fish are a public resource yet guides bombard them every day of every week over and over and over. Anyone who fished at Indian Cave knows what I am talking about. By the time us in the corporate world get a crack at them, they are beat to pieces and sometimes driven to the point of being almost uncatchable. At times there are so many guides that recreational anglers have little if any free water to fish, and when it is found a never ending precession of guide boats continually puts the fish down.

    I am a former guide, and when I was guiding it was just us and no one else. Now every rube in East TN fancies themselves as a guide.

    The warmwater shouldn't get a pass either, the new fangled Smallmouth guides are a real problem as well. Not only for the reasons listed above, but their care for caught fish is atrocious causing early mortality due to pictures and other gaping at a decent fish.

    To say I am over the masses of guides that have popped up in recent years would be an understatement.

    The fish are paid for by everyone, and everyone should have a chance to fish on waters not overrun with folks making money off of a public resource.

    My comments are directed towards the newbies not the guys like Mike Bone and Rocky who've been around for ever, and act with courtesy on our rivers and most times rotate stretches to try and avoid over fishing a particular stretch.

  10. #20
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    Nov 2008
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    Norris, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockyraccoon View Post
    First off.....Grumpy made a very valid point. Warm water guides (lake, river, pond etc) will oppose this and there are a whole lot more of them than there are of us (coldwater guides).

    With that said, I think Tennessee has some of the best tailwater fisheries in the country, most definitely in the southeast. Our mountain streams are not bad either. Tennessee is home to great trout fishing in many forms yet we lag behind many of our neighbors in managing our resources.

    Kentucky. Known for the mighty Cumberland River.....really it's only great trout river. Resident guides are required to pay $150 for a guide license. Non Residents like myself are required to pay $400 for a guide license. In addition to the monetary charge, all guides are required to have a background check, Kentucky Boating Safety Certificate, a USCG Captains License if you plan to use a motorized boat, a government issue TWIC card, and first aid/cpr certifications. Pretty aggressive regs for coldwater fishing guides. But I know I feel better about working around other guides in Kentucky because I know they have a vested interest in the river, the sport and their business. I've also seen active patrols on the river and feel like my money is well spent with the Kentucky DNR.

    Now let's look at Georgia. Georgia has some wild trout streams that are marginal and fish much like our lower elevation mountain streams. Georgia's claim to fame are it's numerous private trout streams. These streams contain monster pet trout that come running when they hear footsteps. They know how to eat what you throw'em, fight little, and smile for a quick grip n grin before you release them back into the water. Now the Toccoa River is OK and the Hooch keeps getting better with time but overall these fisheries are far behind the quality of tailwaters Tennessee has. In Georgia, anybody who buys a fishing license can be a guide....all it takes is for an unknowing Sport to give you a call. There's no regulations to abide by or any standards.

    North Carolina. They do require $150 license for fishing guides. They also host some good mountain fishing for trout and some tailwaters as well. Their big claim to fame is the Delayed Harvest. NC does DH better than anyone in the SE. Extra monies collected seem to give the DNR a little more to work with in managing and patrolling these rivers. Supplemental feeding is also prevalent on a lot of the smaller streams and private waters.

    Our tailwaters, with the exception of the Hiwassee, have the ability to grow trophy sized fish. Lot's of trophy sized fish too. Not just one here and there, or the occasional brooder that was released. But genuine quality fish. Some of these fish are born in these rivers while many are stocked as fingerlings. But the difference is, our rivers and streams are fertile enough that our fish can grow well on their own and seem to do just that when quality regulations are put in place. I've always imagined what these rivers could become if they were actually managed and funded to be great fisheries.

    On a personal level. My TN fishing license and trout stamp run me about $48 bucks a year. I feel this is a **** of a deal for the privilege of fishing here. Out of state anglers face a little higher price for a year long license....$88 bucks I think. Small increases to both will still be (imho) a great deal when compared to other recreational costs. Night at the movies, bowling, golfing or even a meal at a restaurant will often cost you more than a one year license. I look at license costs as everyone carrying their weight.

    I will add that I think TWRA needs to keep the one day non resident all species license and they should move to a year to date system on their licenses (good for year from day of purchase). Which is why I would also support a difference in price for a catch and release license in comparison to a harvest license. This would allow those who deplete the resource to pay their part.

    I think a guide license in TN would be a great thing. It would provide the state with much needed money to manage our fisheries and patrol them. Like mentioned, it breaks down to a small per day costs for real guides who only guide for a living, and is a small amount to pay if you're making your living off these resources. Out of state guides are going to complain but again, for those who are really guiding for a living....it's a reasonable investment.

    Guides on the Tennessee River System and Cumberland River system (any system considered part of the intercoastal waterway) are supposed to have the USCG Captains License (OUPV Six Pack or better). I think this should become a requirement for all guides who use boats to access the water with clients. In fact, I think all guides should be required to have first aid, cpr, whitewater rescue certs and liability insurance but that's another story.

    I've always considered myself lucky to work on the rivers I spend the majority of my time on. I've seen guides come and go but for the most part, our local rivers are not that crowded and the few guides I do share the river with are pretty good dudes that I feel represent well. I don't have to deal with the crowds and craziness that happens in NE TN. I remember one day last fall that I fished the SoHo down to Jack's. I got to speak with Jack for a few minutes and he said they'd ran 45 shuttles that day. That's right, I said 45! It was a madhouse on the river with most of the pilots of the other boats having no clue what in the world they were doing. I saw boats hitting each other, running into trees on the bank, and basically just being rude to all other boats. Just imagine if the water was off and all 45 of those boats over on the Watauga.

    I don't imagine support for the guide license will be high but I do believe it would be a good thing for our rivers and our trout, not to mention the warm water fisheries.

    We all have our opinions and mine may not be popular but ain't that the way it usually goes.

    I suppose that was a long enough rant.
    Very good and informative post Rocky!

    Quote Originally Posted by elkhaircaddis View Post
    I oppose this and David knapp pretty much summed up my thoughts. If we all think about how often Twra checks people and catches poachers, it's pretty much never. Give them more money? No thanks. They will still be "understaffed" and won't catch many folks over the limits
    I do feel they are understaffed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    I would 100% back a fee if they could guarantee more Officers to keep an eye on things.
    Let's say David K. is running a trip on the Caney, he get's checked & has forgotten his life jacket's for the boat because they got soaked the last time out & were drying. He get's a ticket, goes to court, the Warden goes to court & has lost a day out patrolling & the judge slaps David's wrist & tells him not to let it happen again.
    Or the judge fines him $180 per jacket times three=$540, TWRA will recieve maybe $40 of that fine & a lost day patrolling, the court system , county & state get the rest of it. You have to wonder, why bother

    I've been working on programs with TWRA for 13 years now, have heard all kind of stories from the officers, they're basically danged if they do & danged if they don't.
    Sure, there can be improvement's all across the board, a fishing license is still cheaper than the tank of gas it takes to get you there.

    Grumpy
    Grumpy, I agree-this is ridiculous and the county courts usually get 90-95% of the ticket costs. There needs to be some law changes in how tickets are debated and enforced so that it is not detrimental to enforcement and impeded on civil liberties (the right to defend oneself).

    I think these increases could be good for the sport of fly fishing. However; I always challenge cost increases and desire that they be validated/justified. Once you go up; they will never go back. My observations are that we are getting less for our money from TWRA (printout receipt tickets, volatility with stocking funding (lack of long-term funding plans), lackluster presence of signage along the rivers informing fisherman of slot limits and laws. The plastic wrapped signs, stapled to trees worked for the first month or so; but, they are nothing but an eyesore now. I think there should be more idiot proof signage around the high traffic areas and below the dam on the Clinch. Also; it would be nice to see more data reports about our ecosystems and fish health reports. I think TWRA needs some sharp financial guys to manage their money longterm and to thin out some of the bureacratic paperweights in management that impeded changes, improvements, and fresh energy.
    ----------------------FROM TWRA's FB Page This Morning----------

    Hey everyone, we appreciate your thoughts and questions, we really do. And we promise, we're reading your comments! Please be sure to visit our website to review FAQs, cost comparisons and other important information related to the license fee structure proposal. Hopefully that will help answer some of the questions or ease concerns.

    http://www.tn.gov/twra

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