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Old 12-22-17, 06:22 AM   #31
huntfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sighter View Post
"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." - Mark Twain

It's okay for y'all to agree to disagree. Both parties have stated their viewpoints and if this continues it'll get redundant. I will add that I enjoyed reading this post though.
So true.
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Old 12-22-17, 06:29 AM   #32
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29 browns over 8 pounds in about 15 years? That averages to the pace I kick out on artificial. Actually a slower pace. I'd say the browns are still rolling pretty well.

The rainbows are a shame though.
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Last edited by browniez; 12-22-17 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:34 AM   #33
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Here is a big target you can chase if you are serious about this: The minimum flow leaving Buford Dam.

This past year the EPD officially LOWERED the minimum legal release from Buford. I believe this will expedite the slow decline of fishing on the Hooch. That, and the fact that the COE cut way back on the releases from Buford last summer in an effort to retain more water in Lanier, definitely reduced the water quality in the Hooch below MF this past year. It definitely affected the fishing, and I'm not talking about trout, so you can only imagine how tough that was on trout. Up until last year, there was a pretty steady schedule of water releases during the week, and they would generally only not release on Sat and Sun. It was pretty standard to have cold, green water on Sat afternoons, and we would plan our trips around the falling, colder water, and it wasn't too unusual to catch the odd trout all summer long.

I think they played a little slight of hand in rewriting the new rules too. The way I read it, it used to be just a minimum flow, that I assume meant as measured at Buford dam, and now they have reworded it to be minimum flow at Peachtree Creek, meaning that they are taking credit for all the inflows from the various creek between Buford and PC, which would also be warm water inflows. I remember in the 90s and early 2000s, the minimum flows were in the 800 cfs range at the dam, and now they are in the 580-610 range, so that is a big drop in the amount of cold water in the riverbed.

Siltation over the past 10-15 years has also been a huge factor.

I find it ironic that, for the sake of the river fishery, I am hoping that Georgia loses the "Water Wars" with Florida to some extent, and that the COE is made to release more water downstream, but not enough to drain Lake Lanier, which is some people's fear. I think a minimum outflow of 700-800 cfs is very doable in normal water years. However, I don't see things going that direction given recent developments.

FM
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Old 12-22-17, 10:01 AM   #34
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Nail hit on head FM.

Although based on the young of the year surveys supposedly it was one of the best years for browns. Who knows why.

It seems like a truly difficult aspect of this is the two separate stretches are hard to balance from a management perspective.
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Old 12-22-17, 11:14 AM   #35
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Nail hit on head FM.

Although based on the young of the year surveys supposedly it was one of the best years for browns. Who knows why.
One of the beliefs is that there is not enough brown trout harvest in the river.
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Old 12-22-17, 04:47 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Dylar View Post
Look at the data again. The average summer temps in the South Platte through Denver were around 67 degrees. The lower Chattahoochee tailwater basically never got below 70 degrees at all between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The lower Hooch is significantly warmer than the French Broad in Asheville, which is purely a bass fishery. There is no way you can seriously compare it to a fishery at 5000 feet, and the data bears that out.
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A sustained temperature above 70 degrees for 3 months is not trout habitat.

You need to look at TSS and DO. You'll see the correlation.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...s/fisc2001.pdf
Guys, I was looking at the wrong line in the graph. My interpretation was literally 10 degrees off, which would be dang near death for a trout. Sorry bout the error.
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Old 12-22-17, 05:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browniez View Post
29 browns over 8 pounds in about 15 years? That averages to the pace I kick out on artificial. Actually a slower pace. I'd say the browns are still rolling pretty well.

The rainbows are a shame though.
Yeah 30 rainbows over 8lbs. ON TOP OF 29 browns though. Could not imagine looking up seeing 285 with a 10+lb. rainbow on the line!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
Here is a big target you can chase if you are serious about this: The minimum flow leaving Buford Dam.

This past year the EPD officially LOWERED the minimum legal release from Buford. I believe this will expedite the slow decline of fishing on the Hooch. That, and the fact that the COE cut way back on the releases from Buford last summer in an effort to retain more water in Lanier, definitely reduced the water quality in the Hooch below MF this past year. It definitely affected the fishing, and I'm not talking about trout, so you can only imagine how tough that was on trout. Up until last year, there was a pretty steady schedule of water releases during the week, and they would generally only not release on Sat and Sun. It was pretty standard to have cold, green water on Sat afternoons, and we would plan our trips around the falling, colder water, and it wasn't too unusual to catch the odd trout all summer long.

I think they played a little slight of hand in rewriting the new rules too. The way I read it, it used to be just a minimum flow, that I assume meant as measured at Buford dam, and now they have reworded it to be minimum flow at Peachtree Creek, meaning that they are taking credit for all the inflows from the various creek between Buford and PC, which would also be warm water inflows. I remember in the 90s and early 2000s, the minimum flows were in the 800 cfs range at the dam, and now they are in the 580-610 range, so that is a big drop in the amount of cold water in the riverbed.

Siltation over the past 10-15 years has also been a huge factor.

I find it ironic that, for the sake of the river fishery, I am hoping that Georgia loses the "Water Wars" with Florida to some extent, and that the COE is made to release more water downstream, but not enough to drain Lake Lanier, which is some people's fear. I think a minimum outflow of 700-800 cfs is very doable in normal water years. However, I don't see things going that direction given recent developments.

FM
Nailed it FM but to take your thought further, I happened to run into someone from the USGS today after getting off the river. We were discussing the river and he mentioned he was checking the temperature gauge. I asked why there was no turbidity gauges further north on the river than Medlock Bridge and he stated that due to the sterility of the river from the dam down to medock they cannot accurately measure the turbidity.
He then mentioned a very very good point; the reason for the nutrient depletion ironically is due to Lanier. It is a giant settling pond and all the nutrients that would be available for the upper tailwaters would be supported by this discharge from Lanier if it were to be pulled through the dam. He also added that nutrients are added in via the streams that flow in but not at the level necessary to charge the river until much further downstream, but that also happens to be where the worst of the siltation is occurring.
We also discussed how from Buford Dam to Medlock that the water table on the river was vastly lower than the floodplain level due to scouring and no riparian zone protection. The steep, sandy and gravelly banks are the number one contributor to the siltation downstream and the physical evidence is everywhere. Has there ever been a rip rap restoration project discussed locally for the river?
Reason I ask is he also pointed out that Buford Dam will be here for potentially several hundred years. After a certain amount of time, the river will scour all the way down to bedrock and it could cause the channel to become deeper and more dangerous and it will not be getting better sitting by passively watching. How cool would it be if we had areas stabilized with limestone rip rap in the zone where the river goes up and down the most? Could it help to protect the property values on the river... yep! Would it help the nutrient deficiencies we face in the river, do not know but it could not hurt. After all the trout fishery was started by grassroots fishermen like us.
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