The Emmy Award winning show produced through the generosity of the Jackson
Foundation, Tennessee State Parks, and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

Tailwater Controversy

For generations anglers have fished just below dams on the Cumberland River, in what are know as tailwaters. These are areas filled with many kinds of fish that school together, swimming as a group, presenting a perfect chance to catch everything from sauger and striper to bass and baitfish.

Now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to restrict boat access to these tail waters, saying it’s time to enforce a little known rule in order to protect lives. The Corps’ plans have angered fishermen everywhere, threatened the very livelihood of bait shops and provoked one of our U.S. Senators to file legislation challenging the Corps’ decision. Wild Side Guide Alan Griggs shows us how emotions are running high and patience wearing thin among those who love to fish.

While public sentiment is overwhelmingly against its plan of action, the Corps says it will move ahead to bar fishing boats from dam tailwaters along the Cumberland. That would mean buoys, waterway signs and physical barriers will be put in place at the ten dams — four in Kentucky and six in Tennessee — by early summer. As for anglers, they vow to keep fighting against the Corps’ decision as long as it takes until boat fishing in the tailwaters is restored. In the meantime, the U.S. Senate has passed an amendment that would allow Congress to prevent the Corps of Engineers from erecting barriers on the Cumberland River tailwaters. Click here to learn more.

Tailwaters are just one of many great places in Tennessee to fish. Visit the TWRA website to learn more…you can even buy your license online. And remember, whether your fishing rough water or calm, it pays to wear your lifejacket or some other personal flotation device at all times. They float, you don’t.

From show #2512.

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