Posted by Kerry Grissett on October 11, 2006 at 22:06:53:
In Reply to: Re: Crappie Fishing Lake Guntersville posted by sammie on October 11, 2006 at 18:32:00:
Sammie, I agree that higher fishing pressure is a part of the problem, but not the whole picture.
The Tennessee river lakes used to run more freely before the advent of nuclear power and higher
usage of coal fired power plants. It was once unusual to see the river (in Florence at least)
not moving downstream. Today, it is not unusual at all to see the river either still or backing up.
This plays against increased pollution, from industry, agriculture and individuals, which is now not being flushed through the river system as
it once was. Also, the habitat for crappie and other species has been (IMHO) compromised simply by the lack of water flow based on historical levels of current on this river system.
Back to fishing pressure... I am not at all sure that people who take their legal limit and follow
all the laws, rules and regulations are really the problem. I suspect that the illegal activity,
such as taking crappie under the length limit, taking more than the daily limit, etc. has more of
a detrimental affect on the crappie population than those who follow the law. Is it greed if you strictly follow the law? I guess
it depends on your definition and point of view. Is it greed if you don't follow the law? YES.
Having said all that, I have been told stories about how there would be between 50 and 100 boats fishing for crappie along the Street Bluffs 20 to 30 years ago. All of them taking their limit (and I suspect more than their legal limit in many cases) day after day. Today, I don't even bother fishing that area for crappie anymore. So, fishing pressure seems to be at least one cause of the down-turn in crappie fishing for that area. However, I can't prove it.
My best guess for the lowered populations of crappie in the North Alabama area is the way the river is treated by TVA, agriculture and industry. Fishing pressure plays a starring role, but I think it is mainly due to bad management of the river system as a whole where the crappie are concerned.
Now, having said all THAT, TVA actually does a fairly good job considering all the different conflicting views concerning how the river system should be managed.
Good luck and good fishin'
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