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Why has the Chattahoochee DH so dissapointing?

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  • #61
    So far Georgia has "won" meaning the 650 or 750 cfs flow at peachtree creek is all "we" are legally obligated to provide. I'm hoping Florida will win the next ruling so as to hopefully increase the required minimum release from Buford dam


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
    -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

    "Stop Whining"

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    • #62
      Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
      Spoke with a few fisheries folks yesterday. From what I gathered, the biggest contributing factor to the DH being so disappointing this year is lack of water being generated from Lanier after Atlanta declared it will decide what to do with its water in the past few years.


      Why don’t they just stock above Morgan Falls and stop wasting fish in the DH? I’ll admit this was my mindset for a long time. Then I thought why is there a DH in that area? It hasn’t been around forever, since 2000 only. Probably around the time when the decline in trout populations became obviously noticeable?


      We’ve got some great folks in wildlife resources but they’re not magicians. They’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got to work with which isn’t a whole lot. Sure we can’t put more fish in the DH but until a long term solution is found this will be an ongoing issue with some years fishing well and others not so.

      Atlanta is growing. You got an influx of west coast unholywood folks, Katrina folks, immigrants, Phillystines from the NE and even people from FL. I wouldn’t be opposed if some horrendous biological epidemic from the CDC.....sorry. Florida hasn’t been making a strong case against our hoarding practices but seems there may be optomistic outcomes based on some of the murmurs.

      You got to remember we’re dealing with self serving beurocratics who all have a stake in varying interests and I don’t think a once thriving trout population is high on that list.
      Your last statement... nail on head. "You got to remember we’re dealing with self serving beurocratics who all have a stake in varying interests and I don’t think a once thriving trout population is high on that list." Which shows their true ignorance to how valuable conservation is. Just for example, how much property value would be added to every home that lies along the Chattahoochee if the river were improved and achieved a certification as a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream again??? Answer, A LOT and property owners like free added home equity!!!
      I stopped by and spoke at length with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper folks. They informed me that the state of Georgia has on paper some of the toughest laws on the books natiowide regarding waterway resource management and protection. The problem is because we have a majority state represenatives who are pro development (i.e. let's whore the environment out to the highest bidder) there is literally ZERO enforcement of these laws. Currently this would fall to the local municipalities who border the river system. Preface, I am not making this a political discussion but this has been a blue minded state and well states that have had success managing fisheries successfully usually are not found in states that run this blue. Before people pipe in and say look at North Carolina, kindly look at how they have two river basins on the american rivers site listed below. Florida is a swing state but look at their enforcement! Those folks have challenges that are immense but the law makes itself very well known regarding waterways and fishing and boating. If this gets those parties upset, I am sorry and apologize as I am only trying to bring it up for awareness sake. We have proof over the past 30+ years of how the river has been named several times on the 'Most Endangered Rivers' list from poor management and we are listed again in 2017 also as a part of the Mobile Bay Basin. FYI, it specifically names Atlanta as a culprit. https://www.americanrivers.org/endan...-bay-basin-al/

      AGAIN, not trying to start a politics war just stating some really easy to bear out facts. Without stronger enforcement the river has a true uphill battle to face. Personally I would rather face challenges head on and be proactive rather than reactive and stick my head in the sand.
      On another note regarding the Riverkeeper, they mentioned they have a training to help citizens identify and self police runoff and non-point pollution for reporting purposes to them. Why is this not a standard part of EVERY NGTO fling event?!? We as fishermen are some of the most constant stewards of the river and could help identify and document these issues so the Chattahoochee River Keepers could go take this to both the political and legal arenas to fight for the river. The more fishermen that know what to look for that are trained on this, the better the river can potentially get.
      You nailed it with the beaurocrats with their 'self serving agendas' towards businesses rather than the environment. Shows me their priorities are lost focusing on things that cannot outlast the environment and mother nature.


      Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
      I thought about this also but what’s going to happen is we’ll start seeing more bank fishermen that will undoubtedly affect fall and winter fishing for the rest of us who enjoy the solitary and challenges of fishing during the more brutal weather months. Following the Christmas stocking this was definetly the case at JB.

      Brown catch rates will decline with a bigger human presence as they become more elsusive and as they are being plucked out in bigger numbers when they become less careful during pre and post spawn feeding periods.
      Yes, and this was reiterated by virtually every entity I spoke with whether it was TU, NGTO folks or folks who work for the state of Georgia. But remember that we also have had multiple biologist recommend taking browns from the river to aid in the enriching of the size classes of fish we have so there is a happy medium here but it is not clearly defined.

      Originally posted by trout1980 View Post
      How is stocking some trout during the winter for limited c&r keeping folks from fishing the upper river?

      All the pressure is now below MF?
      I believe you need more clarity in your statement. It is not that it keeps folks from fishing the upper tailwater during the cooler months because there are plenty of bank fishermen out with two to three poles at a time when the weather is nice on the upper river above MF. Most of the folks are chasing the stocking truck waiting on their 'Guvment Cheese' fishing. This was quite noticable how many bank fishermen I saw out the weekend of the government shutdown. Actually it was disgusting honestly. These fishermen were informed enough to know the state stocked before the shutdown somehow. And no, there is not nearly as much pressure on the DH as there is consistently on the upper tailwaters.

      People in general are LAZY, lol.

      Originally posted by troutbum69 View Post
      So far Georgia has "won" meaning the 650 or 750 cfs flow at peachtree creek is all "we" are legally obligated to provide. I'm hoping Florida will win the next ruling so as to hopefully increase the required minimum release from Buford dam


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      YES!!! Totally agree with you sir. Florida & Alabama ultimately winning would be a win for the watershed as a whole and by proxy we would benefit immensely. Thank goodness we are at a 7 for minimum flows though rather than being down at a 6 like we were. The entire river at a 6 was noticeably slower and about a half a foot lower in the river channel.
      #JBNavy

      "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
      -Chinese Proverb

      “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
      -Norman Maclean

      "We are what we hunt."
      -PH

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      • #63
        Originally posted by djangofly View Post
        Haven't followed this closely, but I think one of the defenses to the Georgia/Florida water dispute was failure to add a necessary/indispensable party - that party was the corp of engineers/the federal government. I believe the special master "ruled" in favor of georgia because there was insufficient evidence to show that a restriction on GA water use would result in improved conditions for the oyster fishery in the gulf...just going from memory here so don't quote me on that.
        Pretty spot on here’s the special masters report if anyone is interested:

        https://www.pierceatwood.com/sites/d...636x7AC2E).PDF


        Essential since the corp was not party to the suit they cannot be compelled to redirect water to the basin.

        From the special master:

        "This raises the possibility that the actions Georgia might take would not significantly increase the flows to Florida. This is vital because in other equitable apportionment cases, the Court has clearly stated that it will not order a state to take actions that will not produce the desired benefit to the other state in the dispute.”

        Then seemingly contradictory to the above, he states “no other remedy other than USCE involvement”

        Meanwhile that fishery has declined from over 100 boats to now around a dozen in the past 10 years. There is overfishing thats causing more harm to what’s left and the salinity levels are elevated.
        We are the music-makers,
        And we are the dreamers of dreams,
        Wandering by lone sea-breakers
        And sitting by desolate streams;
        World losers and world forsakers,
        On whom the pale moon gleams.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
          Pretty spot on here’s the special masters report if anyone is interested:

          https://www.pierceatwood.com/sites/d...636x7AC2E).PDF


          Essential since the corp was not party to the suit they cannot be compelled to redirect water to the basin.

          From the special master:

          "This raises the possibility that the actions Georgia might take would not significantly increase the flows to Florida. This is vital because in other equitable apportionment cases, the Court has clearly stated that it will not order a state to take actions that will not produce the desired benefit to the other state in the dispute.”

          Then seemingly contradictory to the above, he states “no other remedy other than USCE involvement”

          Meanwhile that fishery has declined from over 100 boats to now around a dozen in the past 10 years. There is overfishing thats causing more harm to what’s left and the salinity levels are elevated.
          Yes and my understanding from a legal standpoint was that by him making this statement, he essentially told Florida and Alabama that the COE needed to be included as a party in the suit which it previously had not been named as a responsible party which is why Georgia was favored in the prior decision. It will be interesting to see how the appeal goes.
          #JBNavy

          "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
          -Chinese Proverb

          “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
          -Norman Maclean

          "We are what we hunt."
          -PH

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Philhutch80 View Post
            Yes and my understanding from a legal standpoint was that by him making this statement, he essentially told Florida and Alabama that the COE needed to be included as a party in the suit which it previously had not been named as a responsible party which is why Georgia was favored in the prior decision. It will be interesting to see how the appeal goes.
            Seems to me, most of the Justices seemed to side with Florida, but based on the way they presented the case, language they used, etc., Florida might be having a bit of a shyster crisis. Undoubtedly being bilked millions of dollars by these scumbags for whom its a win-win situation either way if a favorable decision is made for Florida making them look good or if this war goes on.
            We are the music-makers,
            And we are the dreamers of dreams,
            Wandering by lone sea-breakers
            And sitting by desolate streams;
            World losers and world forsakers,
            On whom the pale moon gleams.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Philhutch80 View Post
              I stopped by and spoke at length with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper folks. They informed me that the state of Georgia has on paper some of the toughest laws on the books natiowide regarding waterway resource management and protection. The problem is because we have a majority state represenatives who are pro development (i.e. let's whore the environment out to the highest bidder) there is literally ZERO enforcement of these laws. Currently this would fall to the local municipalities who border the river system.
              Phil, this is somewhat true but it's a little more complicated. If the city (or state) fails to enforce water quality standards such as the Clean Water Act on a jurisdictional "Water of the United States" such as the Chattahoochee, I believe they can actually end up losing their permitting status by act of the federal EPA (good luck under the current federal administration though which is actively undermining water quality rules throughout the country). Part of the issue with enforcement is non point source pollution often goes unnoticed. Every time you spot a torn or missing silt fence at a construction site in the watershed, you can call it in to code enforcement. They WILL come out and shut down the work site until it is brought in compliance. Barring active complaints, a lot of sloppy building practices go unchecked. I agree enforcement is likely not a priority for the folks in the gold dome, however, there is at least a theoretical check in the federal EPA.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by djangofly View Post
                Phil, this is somewhat true but it's a little more complicated. If the city (or state) fails to enforce water quality standards such as the Clean Water Act on a jurisdictional "Water of the United States" such as the Chattahoochee, I believe they can actually end up losing their permitting status by act of the federal EPA (good luck under the current federal administration though which is actively undermining water quality rules throughout the country). Part of the issue with enforcement is non point source pollution often goes unnoticed. Every time you spot a torn or missing silt fence at a construction site in the watershed, you can call it in to code enforcement. They WILL come out and shut down the work site until it is brought in compliance. Barring active complaints, a lot of sloppy building practices go unchecked. I agree enforcement is likely not a priority for the folks in the gold dome, however, there is at least a theoretical check in the federal EPA.
                Agreed as I do not plead complete ignorance but I have not looked at depth at the laws and regulations I am speaking of. If anyone has good material on this that I could read for a better understanding of it I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for the perspective!
                #JBNavy

                "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                -Chinese Proverb

                “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
                -Norman Maclean

                "We are what we hunt."
                -PH

                Comment


                • #68
                  I’m still not seeing a good reason to continue stocking trout below MF especially if GA wins the lawsuit

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by trout1980 View Post
                    I’m still not seeing a good reason to continue stocking trout below MF especially if GA wins the lawsuit
                    The reason is simple; entertainment! The concept of the DH was born for one purpose and one purpose only; to make marginal trout water fun to fish during the winter months. Those trout are put their to die, not to thrive.
                    Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

                    Buck Henry
                    Simple Goat Herder
                    Former NGTO President
                    Hall of Fame Member

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                    • #70
                      WOW. My thread starter really took a lot of twists and turns. I went fishing at Paces Mill and WW last Thursday. Covered a lot of water with woolly buggers and nymphs. I faint strike i think. Maybe I should have gone smaller to midges. I am thankful for the stocking we do get in the Chattahoochee DH. Had my share of 25+ days over the years. Seems like that one week after stocking the catch rate is down 50%, after 2 weeks down under 25%. That's ok with me. Just have to work harder to catch them. Sometimes all I need is one fish to make my day.

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                      • #71
                        interesting discussion fact or myth I overheard a discussion on survival rate of stocked trout in Paces DH. 25 % die the first week another 25 % die the second week Do dead Trout float or roll along the bottom with river flow?

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by jimbo View Post
                          interesting discussion fact or myth I overheard a discussion on survival rate of stocked trout in Paces DH. 25 % die the first week another 25 % die the second week Do dead Trout float or roll along the bottom with river flow?


                          I've seen them along the bottom closer to the dam. That might be heron attacking float bladder though


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                          • #73
                            I miss the good days on the DH. 2010 was the best year I can last remember. I remember being at cochran shoals with the most insane caddis hatches going off in December with hundreds of fish rising all around me. Lost count of the number of stockie bows I caught on a black EHC. Haven't hit the DH this year, but last year I caught several browns dry dropping banks in ~1' water. They do smarten up

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by GAjohn View Post
                              I miss the good days on the DH. 2010 was the best year I can last remember. I remember being at cochran shoals with the most insane caddis hatches going off in December with hundreds of fish rising all around me. Lost count of the number of stockie bows I caught on a black EHC. Haven't hit the DH this year, but last year I caught several browns dry dropping banks in ~1' water. They do smarten up
                              I will have to disagree with that last statement. DH fish do not really smarten up, they usually die by striper or heron or cormorant from being too shallow. Many a fishermen has witnessed this as there were several fish that just bout beached themselves continuously. Also those fish are fresh from raceways so their is only so much acumen they can obtain about being in a natural environment vs the browns above MF who are born and live there their entire life cycle.
                              Ah thank you for bringing up such a good point about the black caddis. Apparently those were directly affected the most from the floods we have had and that bug goes hand in hand with growing rainbows. Apparently bug life for that particular species has all but disappeared which really affects trout growth factors throughout the whole river system.
                              #JBNavy

                              "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                              -Chinese Proverb

                              “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
                              -Norman Maclean

                              "We are what we hunt."
                              -PH

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Philhutch80 View Post
                                I will have to disagree with that last statement. DH fish do not really smarten up, they usually die by striper or heron or cormorant from being too shallow. Many a fishermen has witnessed this as there were several fish that just bout beached themselves continuously. Also those fish are fresh from raceways so their is only so much acumen they can obtain about being in a natural environment vs the browns above MF who are born and live there their entire life cycle.
                                Ah thank you for bringing up such a good point about the black caddis. Apparently those were directly affected the most from the floods we have had and that bug goes hand in hand with growing rainbows. Apparently bug life for that particular species has all but disappeared which really affects trout growth factors throughout the whole river system.
                                By wisen up I do mean instincts taking over and fish spreading out into more natural holding patterns as opposed to all of them corralling in a deep hole like a hatchery raceway. Sure a lot of them still hole up but I did still catch several on shallow banks underneath branches, or in shallow riffles.

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