TVA dam restrictions lifted

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Posted by TroyJ on December 10, 2001 at 16:12:08:

The article below was brougt to my attention by Alan Clemons / Huntsville sports writer. The article is in the Knoxville news. Mr. Moulton makes sense with the words "balance security with public access". Well said in my opinion! Maybe this will put to rest the talk of a permanant restriction below the TVA dams in North Alabama.

""It's over! Ban on fishing near TVA dams lifted

By Bob Hodge, News-Sentinel outdoors editor

Anglers who enjoy fishing close to TVA dams have another reason to be jolly this month. TVA has lifted a ban on people onshore or in boats getting within 100 yards of its dams. The Authority is also taking down barricades at several of its facilities.

Spokesman John Moulton said some areas will still be off limits.

"If a road, visitor center or access area has a locked gate then it will remain closed," Moulton said. "But temporary barricades will be coming down."

TVA announced the 100-yard restriction in early October after federal authorities said there were threats of more terrorist attacks in the U.S.

After the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks, TVA tightened security at all of its facilities, but the 100-yard restriction came later.

"We still have heightened security, of course," Moulton said.

Some anglers questioned the need to make the areas immediately below the dams off limits and voiced their concerns to TVA. Besides temporary barricades and signs telling anglers and others that an area was off limits, security personnel were also on hand if the 100-yard zone was violated.

Fishermen getting too close to the dam were simply asked to back away and TVA made no arrests and issued no citations.

"We had one group of fishermen in Alabama offer to form a sort of neighborhood watch group to help us out," Moulton said. "They're calling it 'Lake Watch' and we're still talking to them.

"We also want to advise everyone to be safe when they are fishing below the dams. The advisories about rapidly changing water conditions are still there."

TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams and had barricades in place at most of the major facilities like Fort Loudoun and Watts Bar.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates several dams in Middle Tennessee, is also lifting a 100-yard restriction put in place after the attacks.

Moulton said if further alerts are issued, and security again needs to be tightened, the 100-yard restricted zone could go into effect once again.

"We want to balance security with public access," he said.""

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