Re: CATCH & RELEASE


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Posted by Hooker on July 22, 1997 at 22:03:05:

In Reply to: CATCH & RELEASE posted by TRAILBLAZER on July 22, 1997 at 12:04:10:

That's great for Arkansas, but not Georgia. The water quality
here is totally different. Arkansas has a limestone base under
their streams that releases a continuous supply of lime into the
water which produces streams of incredible fertility. Lime which
is calcium carbonate is used by aquatic insects to create their
exoskeleton. Therefore a stream that is rich in limestone will have
a superb insect food chain for the trout.
The Chattahoochee on the other hand is an essentially sterile river
because it's bed is a granitic monolith that contains very little
soluble limestone. In fact, the only place the food chain gets a boost on
the Hooch is at sewage outfalls.
The Chattahoochee is an artificial trout stream created by the frigid
water from the bottom of Lake Lanier. The DNR stocks about 200,000 trout
a year into the Atlanta Hooch, and of this number, about 190,000 will die
before the next year. They are eaten by otters, ospreys, trout, stripers,
bass, and cormorants; starved ; and flushed down the river to warmer water
where they hyper-metabolize. Notice that I didn't include fishermen as a
predatory factor. Anglers have very little impact on the Chattahoochee trout
population. Even if there was no fishing allowed in the Hooch, the carry over
from one year to the next would not exceed 5%, because the ability of the river
to feed and shelter large numbers of trout through the winter simply doesn't
exist. This is a sterile, polluted, artificial, put and take trout stream.
I think the DNR does a fabulous job with their management of the Hooch,
and they deserve a pat on the back for giving Atlanta anglers the opportunities
that they provide us with to catch trout.
Trying to apply management practices and test results from Arkansas to the
Chattahoochee is like comparing apples and oranges. It is two totally different
situations.
The one situation that I think it does help is to release trophy
fish that are 15+ inches. These fish have learned how to survive in a harsh
environment. They have switched to a piscatorial diet, and they are now big
enough to outcompete the stockers for food and shelter and continue to grow. These
are the fish that Atlanta Anglers need to be releasing to create a semi-trophy
trout stream.
I see so many "purist" scoffing and commenting about the "trout killers"
taking stockers out of the river. I'm personally glad they do remove these fish
because the river is grossly overstocked anyway, and by removing these "extra" fish,
they make more food and shelter available for the trophy fish and improve the condition
of the trout herd.

Hooker


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