Protect The Caney
Part I: Designate a Catch-and-Release, Artificial Lure-Only Section
This is a crucial step towards protecting a truly amazing tailwater trout fishery. Middle Tennessee is very fortunate to have a river like the Caney Fork and the large holdover trout should be protected. A catch-and-release, artificial lure-only section of the river would give trout a safe haven to grow to trophy size.
Part II: Simple Slot Limits & More Regulations Signage
Recently, the slot limits that vary from species to species are causing more confusion for those who wish to keep fish. To combat this confusion, simple slot limits that protect all trout over 14" in length should be put in place. This style of slot regulation should lead to less illegal trout killing. Brown trout would remain a completely protected species, regardless of size.
Part III: Protect the Brown Trout That Spawn in the Fall
The trophy brown trout that spawn in the fall should be protected, no matter if they can successfully spawn or not. Catching fish during this time in their lives can put a great deal of pressure and stress on them. This type of protection could be limited to a portion of the river with the highest spawning activity.
Part IV: Constant Summer Flow
In regards to the minimum flow, the hot Tennessee summer is the main issue. We think having a stable sluice during the summer months would help the fish a great deal. An optimal CFS sluice during the summer days would allow for consistent cold water. Currently, the US Army Corps of Engineers is sluicing a minimum of 250 CFS and that is a great flow. We're working with some people that are very knowledgeable about water management so hopefully they can come up with a proposal that will solve this! It is looking like this piece of the puzzle will have to be carefully thought out and planned.