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Posted by Rob Nichols on May 21, 1997 at 10:59:03:

In Reply to: Re: CATCH & RELEASE posted by JeffG on May 20, 1997 at 10:41:15:

: Evan, you have not "offended" me. But I am a strict advocate of catch and release. See by enforcing such a program, not only would the number of fish increase, but so would the size. By setting aside a stretch of the Hootch it would give fish that the state does stock a chance to grow, and maybe if we wish hard enough, to naturally produce.
: I suggest that if you get a chance, read about or fish other tailwaters such as the White River AR, Little Red AR,North Branch Potomac MD, Savage River MD, and a whole bunch of others that has either set apart certain sections or put size limits into effect. Almost all the fisheries that have instituted such a program has taken good fisheries and made them into fantastic fisheries.
: The hootch could become a famous fishery(for better or worse) with more stocking of fingerlings(under 8 inches), a catch and release area, trying to control the run-off from so much development, and the enforcement of the creel limits......
: that's my two cents.

Catch and Release sounds like a beautiful idea
for a section on the Hooch, but there are
several problems asosciated with it. For one,
the section that is C&R only will have to be
a long enough stretch to keep the fish in. Trout
do forage for food and are also migratory, they
could possible leave the C&R area and be caught
and kept. That is not the biggest problem.
In response to JeffG, who said they should stock
fingerlings and let them naturally reproduce
and develop the C&R into a world
class fishery rivaling White and Red Rivers. The
White and Red Rivers are very fertile and have
lots of food. The Hooch is quite the opposite,
plagued by bad water quality from pollution during
Lanier turnover, and by sedimentation from
construction. Bad water quality, and especially
sedimentation inhibits the natural reproduction
of trout. Habitat destruction coupled with no
spawning rivers at proper temperatures will cause
trout to maybe spawn, but the eggs will not hatch.

The C&R area will really not but maximal or an
optimal yield, stocking will be
inevitable, and
no true wild trout will exist. C&R would be a
great idea, but also enforcement by the law would
be a problem. I never see them. Poaching in
artifical areas is a problem. More funds and
manpower would be needed, that is a problem.
I have often thought about this, and have even
done some preliminary research and planning to
see if the Hooch could become a world class C&R
fishery. Maybe sometime in the future?

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