Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/01/2017

Happy New Years!!! Fishing is going to be tough for a few days. The cold snap has everything icing over except for the tailwaters. If you must fish, stay safe and be prepared for the possibility of getting wet. The streams of the Smokies are almost pointless to fish right now. That said, the forecast suggests there may be some opportunity to fish in the mountains and find a little success starting next Sunday. Temperatures above freezing are what we are looking for here. Not good odds, mind you, but certainly better than being in the deep freeze.

Tailwaters are a bit more reliable through the winter months. Streamer action should be anywhere from average to good depending on the day. On low water on rivers such as the Clinch, throw midges and you should find some fish. The Caney is still quite a ways away from seeing low water so it will be a streamer game almost exclusively.

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout
©2017 Leah Shulley

Friday, May 11, 2007

California Loves Their Frogs

The fight for frogs and other native species continues in California. According to this NBC story,
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette said the state's trout stocking program fails to meet environmental laws designed to protect threatened and endangered species, although he declined to temporarily shut it down.

Trout fisherman will be unhappy with the ruling I'm sure and it does raise numerous issues. For example, poaching is generally a problem with just about any fishery including trout and normally, the stocked trout are an easy target. For that matter, what about all the people out fishing for their supper legally? This is all very theoretical, but what happens when there aren't as many trout to go around in the first place? Do native fisheries become a new or more focused target of the catch and keep crowd?

I agree strongly with protecting native species. However, I believe that some very well meaning people are trying to simplify the whole picture. Do trout eat frogs? Possibly, probably likely on occasion at least but is that the only reason for the decline? What about air quality issues which would ultimately affect water quality? Might this not be a culprit?

Not being a fisheries biologist, I cannot offer any support for any of these ideas or questions. That point remains however that the trout seem to be a convenient scapegoat for other problems.

According to the ruling, the California Department of Fish and Game must complete an environmental assessment. Great, once again it is a good idea and well-meant I'm sure. For that matter I'm all for it but if I go to California to fish, I would MUCH rather for my license fees to go towards improving the fisheries and enforcing the regulations instead of funding a study to see if trout eat an occasional frog.

One thing against the California Department of Fish and Game, they used a lousy excuse for their stocking. From the article:
The department had argued fish stocking was exempt from environmental review because the program, which the department took over in 1945, was in place long before environmental laws protecting sensitive species were enacted in 1970.

I give up, they deserved to lose the decision...

Not necessarily the right perspective but thats my two cents...

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