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Urgent! A Call To Action!

Started by Dougfish, April 21, 2016, 15:13:37 PM

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Dougfish


DARBA is holding three public meeting about the weekend releases.
The first one is this coming Thursday, April 28!

6-7:30pm
Henry Co. Administration Building
3300 Kings Mountain Rd.
Martinsville, VA

We need as many bodies and voices as possible there. Spread the word to any non-member fishermen you know. too.
Spin, fly, we need all voices. The dam is broken now, but in about 6 mos., we are threatened with a return to the 4 hour mid day generation on both Saturday and Sunday. What is said next Thursday could make a real difference. Be courteous, be polite, be passionate, but be heard.
Get there early. At least a half hour early. We don't know how small a room it is being held in and we don't want to find it packed with nothing but paddlers.
Remember, our position is that we want a compromise. We have wanted a weekend generation for many years to keep the fish downstream healthy in the heat of summer. But two days, no. 4 hours, no. Right in the middle of the day, no. Year round, no.
Remind them that fisherman make an economic impact, too. And VDGIF's stocking program might be affected by the current schedule.
And what science was consulted before this release schedule was implemented? The press will likely be there as well as local and state legislators or their representatives. They need to hear us.

The next two dates are May 12 and June 9. Put those on your calendars, too.

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

troutfanatic

I cannot make Thursday as I have a final on Friday morning. The other dates are up in the open for now as I am taking summer session classes. May 12th may be viable as my class does not begin until the 16th.

I wrote a letter several weeks ago but have no idea who it should be sent to. I think my key points are solid:

-I am a nonresident living near Fort Bragg, NC. The Smith provides me the closest opportunity to fish for trout.

-For several years, I have paid $94.00 for a nonresident license. This year, I have declined buying one because it is not economically viable for me to make a three hour drive to fish a couple hours and get out due to recreational releases, then get back in and fish for a few more hours.

-I am a disabled veteran and active in my local chapter of Project Healing Waters and I have introduced dozens of anglers from my local community to the Smith River. Many of them are undecided on buying a license this year.

-The State of Virginia not only loses a $94.00 license fee by my absence; a trip leads me to spend money in the local communities of Martinsville and Bassett. A tank of gas, meals, snacks and other amenities are purchased on a typical trip. On occasion, I stay overnight (okay, I'm embellishing, I stay at Al's but they don't need to know that).

-It is my desire to see an amicable agreement reached, which is beneficial to both anglers and kayak enthusiasts alike.

Bottom line, let me know if this is useful. I have no issues handing it off to Al. I am dropping by his house tomorrow to give him some tomato plants.


VaTrout

Yes. Key players are Delegate Morgan Griffith, Henry County Board of Supervisors - Jim Adams - chairman, Senators Warner and Kaine.
They all need to hear it and often.

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troutfanatic

Quote from: VaTrout on April 21, 2016, 21:53:53 PM

Yes. Key players are Delegate Morgan Griffith, Henry County Board of Supervisors - Jim Adams - chairman, Senators Warner and Kaine.
They all need to hear it and often.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Need some addresses.


VaTrout

Quote from: troutfanatic on April 21, 2016, 22:11:38 PM

Quote from: VaTrout on April 21, 2016, 21:53:53 PM

Yes. Key players are Delegate Morgan Griffith, Henry County Board of Supervisors - Jim Adams - chairman, Senators Warner and Kaine.
They all need to hear it and often.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Need some addresses.

http://www.henrycountyva.gov/members
https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm
https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact.
http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

And these guys are funding DRBA in Henry County:
http://www.theharvestfoundation.org/page.cfm/topic/contact-info


troutrus

For those that decide to attend, I think it would be valuable to have some key talking points. The paddlers seem very well organized, and some of their advocates are also trout anglers who are very well aware of how trout fishermen can work around a four hour generation to continue fishing. Suggesting that such a generation plan will keep one from fishing may not fly with these folks. The old adage of don't try to bullshit a bullshitter comes to mind.
Based on the link below, the paddlers have been working on this for quite some time and seem to have their ducks in a row. I would hope that if representatives from the angler user group were offered the opportunity to speak, they will have something credible to offer.

http://www.henrycountyva.gov/news/details/id/67

So, for those that want to attend, does anyone have specific points we should be making, i.e. :
If 4 hours is too long, what would be acceptable and why?
If middle of the day is not acceptable, then when and why?  Please keep in mind that we are attempting to compromise along with another user group.
If we have always asked for weekend generation in summer for the health of the fishery,  how do we turn back now?
How exactly might the VDGIF stocking schedule be impacted by weekend generation?


Mudwall Gatewood 3.0

Very good points, Troutrus!!!

Here's something I thought about last evening.  Will the hypothesis hold water? Trout adversely affected, because of decreased availability of terrestrials during summer 4 hour pulse.    I have no idea.

After talking with Doug last evening, it was confirmed to me that the latest VDGIF recommendation was a one hour pulse on a weekend day.  Why one hour on one day?  What was the impetus for this recommendation?  Were the VDGIF biologists not only concerned with elevated downstream temperatures but also the trophic dynamics of the fishes, particularly during the summer?

Every angler that visits the Smith after the yellows have departed understands the value of terrestrials.  I dare say that during the sweltering summer that the ants, beetles, moths, and such are the predominant brown trout food source, at least in the upper/middle reaches of the river.

More of Mudwall's questions:

1.    Would the summer terrestrials be as available to the browns during the pulse?  Is the flow too much during a pulse to allow successful feeding on land-based critters?  Where do the browns hold during a pulse?

2.   If not, how would a weekend 4 hour/day summer fast affect the browns?

3.   Broad question:  How would this length of pulse, affect the brown feeding behavior?

4.   How does a 4 hour pulse in the middle of the summer day, during the hours of peak terrestrial activity, affect brown trout growth?

Anecdotal bits and pieces are all we have at this time.  VDGIF biologists should be consulted.

"Enjoy every sandwich."  Warren Zevon

troutrus

April 22, 2016, 14:09:51 PM #7 Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 20:14:52 PM by troutrus

Good points Mudwall. I agree that if any credence is to be given regarding trout feeding regimen, it would carry much more weight if it was to come from a fisheries biologist, as anecdotal evidence from anglers is nothing more than a fancy phrase for bullshit to many folks.


Onslow

April 23, 2016, 20:48:27 PM #8 Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 20:55:35 PM by Onslow

I honestly do not believe the folks you all are trying to move give two shits about the fishery, or any matters regarding biology.  Pony shows are all the rage while any sincere enjoyment of nature is a thing for oldish eccentric weirdos.

Someone needs to point out the kayakers are not legally obligated to purchase any licenses or permits.  Fisherman pay out of every orifice, particularly those out of state purchasers.  Any bureaucrat with an IQ over 74 should understand the significance of these facts.

It may also be worth mentioning that the lower Smith has enough natural flow to supplement the low water release making it feasible for the lower to be floated at any time.  Low water however extends trip times and kayaks may suffer more wear and tear, but a 700cfs release is not essential at all on the lower river.  Smith at Philpott Dam drains 214 sq. miles, at Martinsville, 379 sq. miles, and over 500 @ Mitchell Bridge.  The average output for the middle and lower Smith is 1 cfs per sq. mile.  I've floated a rocky section of the Dan just upstream of Pine Hall @ 150 cfs with only minor problems.  Also, American Whitewater's river steward suggested the standard 700+cfs release is not really a safe flow for rank newbs in the Bassett area.

One concern about not having releases on weekends or one weekend day is the following.  Tubing services are a great alternative to kayak rental service.  Short shuttles, no concerns about flows....cold release water is clearly not your friend.  A successful tubing enterprise on the lower may cause more problems than the current proposed release schedule.


Yallerhammer

April 25, 2016, 07:50:17 AM #9 Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 07:52:01 AM by Yallerhammer

If the yuppie yakker crowd holds as much political sway up there as they do down here, good luck. Not that I have anything against kayaking, it's fun and gets folks outside. But they definitely trump the fishermen with the powers that be here in most situations.

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

driver

Quote from: Yallerhammer on April 25, 2016, 07:50:17 AM

If the yuppie yakker crowd holds as much political sway up there as they do down here, good luck. Not that I have anything against kayaking, it's fun and gets folks outside. But they definitely trump the fishermen with the powers that be here in most situations.

haha you've never seen the Smith River yakker crowd. They usually have more beer in their boat than Drifts does.


Al

I need to get on the record here........................  This may clarify the original post / email authored by SRTU President Doug Jessie

We are not anti-paddler and we do not mind sharing the river with canoes, kayaks, rafts, etc. I personally enjoy seeing them   and view them as another group who can be called on to help protect such an important resource.  What we do object to is the way the current weekend flow proposal was developed.

Up to this point no one from SRTU or as far as we can determine any other fishing group was consulted. They did take a letter (probably written by me) from several years back asking for summer weekend generation as proof local fishermen supported the proposal.  They did the same with a many years ago discussion with DGIF biologists on the same subject.  No one from SRTU or regional DGIF biologists were invited to the table as stakeholders when the current plan was discussed. DGIF was invited to a meeting last month but by then the plan was already in place.

From what I have heard and read from several sources I believe the purpose of the meeting is to tell us what has already been decided and how great it will be for everyone concerned - I hope I am wrong. As Doug said, we are willing to listen and hope there is still room for negotiation and compromise.

The only way we will effect change is for us to make the effort to show up at the meeting Thursday evening -   You can bet the folks who want 2 days, 4 hours right in the middle of the day; 52 weeks of the year will be there.


Dougfish

And show up early, find out what room the meeting is being held in and get to that room.

Couple of more points to add to Al's.
1. They argue that the cold water pulses are good for the fishery.  That is true for June-September. Not necessary for the fishery in the other 8 months.

2. Paddlers do not pay a fee. Fishermen do. Stocked trout fisherman pay even more. The Smith is the only stocked trout water in Henry County. The weekends are when most people fish. And yes, many can move and fish around a 4 hour generation. But many cannot (disabled, elderly, youth), and many just want to fish their favorite spots. These folks are denied this opportunity in the middle of the day, both days.

3. VDGIF will probably change their stocking program. We know some scheduled stocking did not take place recently because of the current sluicing. They took the fish elsewhere.

4. There is no science behind this plan. They are basically running an experiment with Harvest Foundation money. Are they monitoring bug density before and after, water temperatures up and down the river before and after? No. Their science claims are lip service.

5. Every thing they point to as a success is boats at the ramp, that's the economic impact. Hold on, this is not the New, The Gauley, The Nolichucky, The Ocoee. The paddlers are probably from with in 50 miles. The go home to their houses and eat. They are shopping locally anyhow. The Fisherman traveling from all over the states of VA and NC have a bigger economic input.

See you there.

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

troutfanatic

April 27, 2016, 14:59:02 PM #13 Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:33:32 AM by DAYUMson

This is a worthwhile effort.

I agree that bringing acid to discussion is a losing battle. I also agree that the kayak crew is much better organized. I think we can change that.

First thing up, the scientific perspective. Hiner asks some good questions. At least he and one other member of this forum have studied fish a fair amount. Is there anyone taking up that argument that has the educational clout? What about George (last name?) the biologist? Is he involved in the discussion? Between talking to Hiner and George during last August's shock session, I got the idea that both of them know the river fairly well and at least have hypotheses on some of the mysteries of growth, reproduction and forage. Also G, you fish it, you know stuff... speak up. Maybe you find the basis of a PhD study in natural select versus microhabitat.

I mentioned before, I am in finals week as I type. I'd like to be at this tomorrow, but I can't. I can and will make the next one if it will continue to be a worthwhile effort. I may be able to fill my car with a few others that would like to weigh in.

It's almost May and VADGIF has not received their $94.00 from me yet. I have only fished twice because of conditions.
Add to that (not sure how relevant) that I fished last month and caught a rainbow in a place that has never been stocked (just below fish camp, old special regs). The broken dam winter free flow  has really dispersed fish. Not sure if that is good or bad.

I have fished around generation, absolutely; but I am disabled. I need a staff under moderate current and I'm not willing to risk messing my body up more than the Army already did for me.

What I'd ask of the group: Someone who attends tonight, Al/Doug, whoever, post a synopsis of what transpired and hit me with some points for the next go-round and I'll do it if it appears more pressure will help.


TroutMedic

So did anyone go?

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