The South Holston River in Sullivan County, Tennessee, is considered by many to be the best tailwater fishery in the southeast. Recently, however, water releases have been at an all time minimum, and low flows have become a serious problem. The community of anglers and others who love the river are trying to stay ahead of the curve and avoid a long-term issue. A recent study by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) found a 35% decrease in the trout population, which has set off alarm bells.
When flows are low, water temperatures rise and aquatic grasses flourish and clog-up the habitat for aquatic insect life, especially mayflies such as sulfurs and blue-winged olives. The proposed minimum flow would be a beneficial change for the environment, for wade fisherman, and for boat fisherman. It’s a win-win scenario.
The Blue Ridge Guide Association and Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited are proposing that the Tennessee Valley Authority establish a 300 CFS minimum flow and a stable recreational flow schedule, similar to the one used for the nearby Wilbur Tailwater. The 300 CFS minimum flow and recreational schedule would help fish and aquatic life thrive and make the South Holston River more accommodating for recreational use for years to come.
BRGA and OMTU have launched a petition to help show how many people support their cause. At a meeting this Thursday, advocates will present the petition to executives from the local power company which controls the flows, so please sign NOW.
Make Your Voice Heard:
Click here to Sign the Petition