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Old 08-18-11, 03:40 PM   #1
random_lengths
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Default Upper Chattooga River

The Draft EA for Managing Recreation Uses on the Upper Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is in the public comment period. Comments must be received by Aug 30. If you care about fishing without conflicts, please take the time to submit your comments.

Visit http://fs.usda.gov/scnfs for more information.

If you don't think whitewater boaters conflict with anglers, watch this video:
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Old 08-18-11, 04:19 PM   #2
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how far up north are they wanting access to? Will they have access to the more remote areas?
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Old 08-18-11, 05:02 PM   #3
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random_lengths,

Why are you fear mongering?

Spurious, example at best.

Fishing during a whitewater release, on popular for beginners-dam released river, that also has fishing releases and not expect to have some kayakers around, especially during peak whitewater season is bit absurd.

Yes it sucks for the angler, but he was forced to fish there by the tournament organizers. An individual could have easily fished the same spot during the morning fishing release or the late afternoon flows and not seen any kayak/canoers.

To use the video to "force" a correlation to a high gradient, remote, flashy natural flows stream that rarely has enough water for whitewater users is a pretty poor comparison.

I am find with you wanting not access for the whitewater users on the upper reaches of the Chattooga, however IMO you will need to support your reasons why the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act outstanding valves (ie boating on the upper sections) should not be followed with sound and logical reasons, not fear mongering based on mistruths.

In the end, both fishermen and whitewater users have a love for moving water. IMO we (collectively) should be bolstering the common good, and not being petty about minor differences.
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Old 08-18-11, 05:13 PM   #4
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I have seen the Nanny closed for a lot of white water events. Why was it not closed to boating for the fishing event? The fishing event has specified days and windows as do the white water competitions. Seems to me the fishing event organizers should/could have had the boats off the river in that stretch for a few hours.

That aside, if you have both angling and fishing, then the user groups need to respect one another. Saying that anglers should change their fishing hours to accomodate boater needs is .................... trying to think of word that will clear the censors ......... ok, how is organic, home bull produced fertilizer.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:04 PM   #5
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The YouTube video attached above is an good example of what could happen on the upper Chattooga River if unlimited boating is allowed.

The boaters will argue that there will be no conflicts between boaters and anglers because the upper Chattooga will only be boated at high water levels when people aren't fishing.

Watch the video. Have you fished the Chattooga at a water level similar to the video? Is boating and fishing occuring the same time in the video? Is the angler being adversely affected by the boaters?

The boaters will argue that the Chattooga is a steep creek that needs rare, flashy rain events in order to be boatable

Watch the video. Is that river's size and gradient similar to the Chattooga River?

The boaters will argue that they go the other side of the river and pass silently by, not disturbing the angler.

Watch the video. Does that river look similar in width to the Chattooga? Are those boaters on the other side of the river?

The boaters argue that zoning the Chattooga River into "boating" and "non boating" sections is discrimintory against them.

Watch the video. Is it discrimintory that the fisherman is expected fish at some other time and place and not be on that section of river during the dam release?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you should expect similiar consequence to what you see on the video to occur on the upper Chattooga River if unlimited boating is allowed.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:11 PM   #6
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The Forest Service's Preferred Alternative is Alternative 12. Here are the highlights:

Allow boating at all flows December 1 - January 15 from the Green Creek put-in to the Burrells Ford Bridge and from January 15 - March 1 from the Burrells Ford Bridge to Lick Log Creek. In addition, maintain current boating opportunities from Highway 28 bridge to Tugaloo Lake, but prohibit commercial boating on the upper segment of the Chattooga WSR.

Boating would not be allowed in the Nicholson Fields Reach.

Boaters would be required to self-register.

Establish frontcountry capacities that prevent crowding and congestion from increasing during the high-use season. This capacity would be managed by establishing a limited number of designated parking spaces at each site.

Establish backcountry capacities that do not cause encounters to exceed levels that currently occur during the high-use season. Backcountry capacities would be lower on weekdays and higher on weekends to provide more opportunities for solitude on weekdays than weekends and allow greater
access on traditionally high-use weekend days than on weekdays.

Backcountry capacities would be managed indirectly through designated parking. Relevant vehicle counts would be correlated to backcountry use and encounters in the different reaches. Establish maximum group sizes for all types of use and minimum group sizes for boaters.

Reduce campsite density to increase opportunities for solitude. Limit camping to designated sites.

All trails would be designated and designed to mitigate resource impacts first, as well as enhancing opportunities for solitude (but less than Alternative 2).

Prohibit large woody debris removal without agency approval or to accommodate recreation use.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:17 PM   #7
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No one is telling you how to respond. You can make up your own mind.

I know that many on this message board have a deep love of the upper Chattooga River. Now is your last chance to have a say in how the river will be managed.

You can be certain that the boaters will inudate the Forest Service with responses. I hope we can get as many or more responses from the angling community.

Responses must be received by Aug 30. Go to http://fs.usda.gov/scnfs to see the Draft EA, the Preferred Alternative 12, and instructions on how to respond.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNKIES View Post
I have seen the Nanny closed for a lot of white water events.
Not trying to be divisive, but but when? I know they have lots of whitewater events, but when has fishing being excluded? I am just not aware of any (not saying that they aren't any closures).

Quote:
Why was it not closed to boating for the fishing event? The fishing event has specified days and windows as do the white water competitions. Seems to me the fishing event organizers should/could have had the boats off the river in that stretch for a few hours.
Excellent point, I whole heartedly agree. Furthermore, why wasn't the fishing event held during the morning rather than during the scheduled "recreational" flow release?

Quote:
That aside, if you have both angling and fishing, then the user groups need to respect one another. Saying that anglers should change their fishing hours to accomodate boater needs is ....................
The converse holds true too. Just saying.
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Old 08-18-11, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by random_lengths View Post
....Watch the video. Is that river's size and gradient similar to the Chattooga River?
Nope. Nantahala is 33 fpm, while the upper Chattooga is over 200 fpm gradient. The Nantahala is a dam release river that has a published schedule of releases months in advance, and the flows are consistently the same. Chatooga has one gage that is 20 miles downstream. Additionally predicted kayak-able flows will only occur 0.8% of the time (ie occur at some point during 30 days a year (could be at night)), as described in the EA I and EA II.

Quote:
......Watch the video. Is it discrimintory that the fisherman is expected fish at some other time and place and not be on that section of river during the dam release?
The converse is true on the Chattooga, isn't discriminatory that kayakers are not allowed to use the river at the same time as fishermen.

Be careful of what you wish for random_lengths, there are repercussions. The scariest thing to me is the precedence that this case sets. If the FS excludes (temporal and spatial) kayaking, then the FS can also exclude fishermen (in the Chattooga or in other FS lands). This adds ammunition that wacko groups (Pe Ta) can use against us fishermen.

Last edited by Bfish; 08-18-11 at 08:31 PM. Reason: spalling
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Old 08-18-11, 09:06 PM   #10
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Once again, it is important to point out that boaters have had unfettered access to the Chatooga on Sections 2, 3, and 4 since the river corridor was designated a Wild and Scenic River. Far from exclusion I would say. There are sections of public parks where skateboarding is allowed and sections where it is not. How is having one section of the Chattooga River free from boating any different?
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