Trout in Trouble?

Trout stocking in Tennessee, started to replace native fish displaced by dams, is now in jeopardy, putting the state's trout populations in danger.

It’s a recurring theme in the relationship between people and nature. Progress we achieve today often causes problems that have to be addressed later. Such is the case with Tennessee’s largest rivers where, where through the direction of the federal government, TVA and the Corps of Engineers built dams for flood control and power generation starting back in the 1930’s.. But little thought was given to protecting life in the rivers below the dams—the tailwaters, where cold water released from lake bottoms changed aquatic ecosystems, making them uninhabitable for native fish. That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with the TWRA, began raising and stocking trout in these streams. Now that stocking program is threatened. Wild Side Guide Alan Griggs takes a closer look at the problem and why we should all be concerned.

You can learn more about the trout stocking issue on the Tennessee Wildlife Federation website. Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, along with the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, TWRA, and Georgia DNR, helped broker a deal with TVA and the USFWS to provide $2.7 million in short-term funding over three years, but the long-term problem is not going away. And since stocking programs need to plan early to start raising next year’s trout, a decision will need to be made soon. The budget process is ongoing and it’s not too late for public input to influence the decision-making in Washington. To make your voice heard on this important issue, contact USFWS Director Dan Ashe at, or via twitter at @DirectorDanAshe. Hopefully a long-term plan will be put in place to continue stocking the fish and ensure that Tennessee remains a world-class trout fishing destination.

From show 2811

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