Hot Water in the Hiwassee

Concerns over trout due to unexpected warm water release

Thursday, August 21, 2008 - by Richard Simms

Area trout anglers and government biologists are watching the Hiwassee River like hawks.

Most of this week TVA has been spilling extremely warm water over the top of Apalachia Dam on the Hiwassee River, potentially endangering the trout fishery. A TVA spokesman says the breakdown of one of two generators forced them to spill water over the top of the dam. He says however that the generator was repaired Wednesday afternoon and operation is back to normal.

Dan Hicks, spokesman for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said, "We're monitoring it really closely. We've been trying to make (the Hiwassee) a trophy trout fishing situation... one our supervisors is really concerned about what the warm water temperatures and low oxygen could do to the fish."

Jim Herrig, a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service was on the Hiwasee Wednesday. He says he measured 80 degree water temperatures immediately below the Apalachia Dam.

"Water temperatures 80 degrees and above can be acutely toxic to trout," he said.

Twelve miles downstream however at the Apalachia Powerhouse, Herrig said temperatures had fallen significantly.

"I measured the water temperature just upstream from the generator outflow of 74 degrees," he said. "Downstream from the outflow, after the warmer and cooler water mixed, it was 70 degrees."

That water temperature is at the upper end of what trout can tolerate without become extremely stressed.

But again, according to a TVA spokesperson, the situation is back to normal as of Thursday.

Hicks says TWRA personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely.

PHOTOS: ChattaJack 31

Chattajack 2016 was the biggest yet with approximately 500 racers from all over the USA, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, all the way to New Zealand.  The race travels 31 miles through the scenic Tennessee River Gorge. This year, brutal headwinds challenged racers for most of the race. The fastest time was done on a surfski (4hours & 4 minutes) and the race cut off ... (click for more)

Motorists Urged To Be Cautious To Avoid Deer This Fall

Motorists are urged to exercise caution during the fall season as this is a time of peak deer activity, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “Motorists should be alert and pay close attention to the roadsides as we are nearing the annual peak time of the year for deer-car collisions,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)