Watts Barr Lake

Discussion in 'TENNESSEE LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by price, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    The TWRA commission voted at the Jan 16-17 meeting to close Watts Barr to all commercial fishing due to contamination warnings. I personally have seen lots of catfish removed and sold to the public. #1 this was so unsafe it is unbelievable, and I want to thank the TWRA for stopping the sale of contaminated fish to the general public. Additionally, I feel that cats will now survive commecial harvest, and the catfishing will substantially improve. I have always found (especially in recent years) that Watts Barr had quality catfish, just not the numbers you would expect. With commercial fishing being banned the catfishing #'s will have to improve. I read in the Knoxnews where one (yes, just one) commercial fisherman was taking 2,000 LB's of cats out of Watts Barr every week. That has now come to an end, and I feel like many anglers (I do) heed the warnings, and release most of the cats that they catch.
     
  2. Ricky Dills

    Ricky Dills New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    Corryton, Tenne
    Hi my name is rick we had a boat show at knoxville at a chilhowee park i talked with TWRA about that same problem they told me that they keep the big ones alive and sell them to pay lake owners for a huge proffit they are worth more alive to restock in private pay lakes that is illegal and he said it is hard to enforce :angry:
     

  3. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    Just keep the poaching hotline # in your cell phone. If you ever see commercial fisherman (or equipment) on the lake ever simply get a boat # or let them know about the gear and call the TWRA poaching #. That is what anglers can doto make sure people are following the law. I do not think that this is happening that often with the change in the laws in East TN. If people are doing it report them to the law.
     
  4. gatortail

    gatortail New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    tennessee
    ive heard that since they past the big fish law 1 over 34ins the com fishermen if they catch more than one they cut anyothers bellies open and turn them loose and if i catch them i will turn them in :angry:
     
  5. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    SO they have closed it, thats awesome.
     
  6. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    Most of the lakes in East TN they can't even be on for commercial fishing. I commend anyone that will make the call and turn them in when you find them. When I call (I will always turn them in) I give the lake location/area, violation type, and a boat number. The poaching/creel limit violation number is:

    Report Poaching and Creel Limit Violations at 1-800-241-0767 in TN.
     
  7. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    They banned it at watts bar and it pushed them right on south to chick and nickajack. I fear in another 2 years we will have to buy a bite that we want around here.
     
  8. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    Look up a knoxnews article that interviewed a commerial fiserman from Watts Barr. He stated that if it as closed he would have to move to Alabama. The number of commercial fisherman continue to drop (less than 300 in 2007), and the money to be made at the market selling catfish continues to be less and less (TWRA study-price per pound). A lot of the commercial fisherman moved to others states (Kentucky, Alabama) when the 34" rule was passed. They were making most of their money selling to pa* lakes. The problem is that now Alabama is probably going to pass the same law as TN, Arkansas is close, and Kentucky (according to a TWRA person I talked to) is next in line. The practice of stealing big cats from public resources and selling them to these places is coming to an end. If you want to make sure the catfish resources are not hurt on these other lakes call in these big-cat violations to the TWRA poaching hotline. Put pressue on them to follow the law. Do not sit back and say no one will do anything about it. Take the responsibility to call in violations. They CAN NOT make enough money just selling catfish at the market. They will have to be doing something illegal like selling the live cats-and if we make violators responsible for their actions commercial fisherman will soon vanish.
     
  9. bumper

    bumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Georgia
    Bubbbacat, I think commercial fishing is already banned on Chick and Nick, that's why the rod and reel fishing is so good. I'm not positive, though, maybe someone who knows for sure can tell us.
     
  10. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    No, commercial guys can fish both lakes. The main problem is that they use gill nets that not only catch catfish and rough fish, but also gamefish at times. Both lakes are commercial fished, but the vast majority of commercial fishing in TN happens at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes and Douglas lake in East TN. According to TWRA numbers more than 70% happens on these three lakes. Catfish, buffalo, and paddlefish are the most targeted species.
     
  11. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

    Messages:
    899
    State:
    north alabama
    i agree commercial fish is a bad thing , even where i live they take close to a thousand pounds a week and we have a smae river compared to most. i know people have to work and eat but not at the cost of a sport ,there should be enough farm rasied fish to meet the need.
     
  12. bumper

    bumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Georgia
    There is a precautionary advisory against eating catfish from Nickajack Lake; where children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers are not supposed to eat catfish from there at all. Other people are only supposed to eat 1 meal per month from there. You would think this would make TWRA ban commercial catfishing on Nickajack.:confused2:
     
  13. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    If there was some kind of testing requirements in place for restraunts/stores before they could accept catfish to verify it wasn't contaminated with PCB's, mercury, etc. it would solve the problem. The commercial guys wouldn't even go out and harvest contaminated fish knowing they couldn't sell it. I know you could get into a big discussion about not really knowing how safe "anything" is you eat, but I hear these stories so often that I won't ever eat anyones catfish but my own, caught from lakes/rivers without advisories on them.
     
  14. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    I must say over the last year I have pretty much quit eating fish outa our lakes and rivers, after all I hear, well how can so many be bad and a few not, seems that most of our water systems are connected some how or another and with lawn fertilizers and run off how can any of them be safe. I hate it but its all for sport now and I guess I will let them all get bigger.