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Posted by Hooker on May 21, 1997 at 21:29:37:

In Reply to: CATCH & RELEASE posted by BILLS on May 16, 1997 at 17:12:04:

Catch and release is a great thing for streams managed for
trophy trout, but the Atlanta Chattahoochee is a put and take
fishery. Biologists maximize the number of trout to keep
the largest segment of the fishing public happy.
One of the problems with catch and release is that the Chattahoochee
only has enough cover and food to support a limited number of trout.
This is called the carrying capacity. The DNR stocks about 200,000
trout a year in the Hooch, but if the river only has the food and shelter
to keep 125,000 trout alive, than hooks, otters, ospreys, and starvation
will remove the rest from the poulation. This normally occurs during the
winter when the amount of food is limited (winter kill). So I guess you
can C&R all you want, but its the carrying capacity that controls the
trout population.
I personally think the river is over-stocked. If I catch less than
50+ fish a day, I'm having a bad day, and that shouldn't happen on a
"quality" trout stream. I get tired of catching fish that are less than
10". I guess this is why I like to fish below Morgan Falls. There, the Stripers
remove many of the stockers from the population which makes more food and
shelter available for fewer trout. The result is a better quality
trout. Quality and quantity can not exist in the same fishery.
I feel that we as Chattahoochee Trout Fishermen need to talk
about trophy management, organize, and pressure the DNR into setting
aside a section of the Hooch as a trophy area. I would like to see Buford
Dam to Morgan Falls become an exclusive trophy stream. However there is
another segment of the fishing public that would not agree.
I am a fervent supporter and practitioner of catch and release especially
with 15"+ fish, but I seriously question the effectiveness of releasing every
This is why I love NGTO so much. It is the perfect tool to
make trophy management happen. Thank you Mr. Sago.

Hooker ;-\

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