Alexander, McConnell, Corker, Paul Introduce Legislation To Stop Fishing Restrictions

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.), along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), on Thursday introduced legislation that would stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from restricting fishing in the tailwaters below the Cumberland River dams.

Sen. Alexander’s legislation would prevent the Corps from enacting its plan, rather than simply delay it, as previously intended, because of the Corps’ continued commitment to move forward.

In addition to introducing the legislation, Sen. Alexander spoke by phone on Thursday with Secretary of the Army John McHugh, and announced that he will meet Monday with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to discuss the Corps’ planned restrictions.

Sen. Alexander said the Corps is pushing an “unreasonable plan to restrict fishing below Cumberland River dams that will destroy remarkably good recreational opportunities and many jobs.” The Corps plan would restrict public access to the fishing waters below 10 dams on the Cumberland River.

Sen. Alexander continued, “Water spills through the Cumberland River dams less than 20 percent of the time on average. To close off the tailwaters to fishing 100 percent of the time would be like keeping the gate down at the railroad crossing 100 percent of the time: The track isn't dangerous when the train isn’t coming, and the tailwaters aren’t dangerous when the water isn’t spilling through the dam.”   

The senator, who is the senior Republican on the Senate committee overseeing Corps funding, also said that he “wanted to know exactly where the $2.6 million that the Corps plans to use to erect physical barriers is coming from during these tight budget times.” Sen. Alexander said Congress may also need to consider whether the funding required for the barrier system is in the best interest of the American taxpayer.

State officials have said safety concerns can be addressed by anglers adhering to current requirements, and by making changes to policy that would be far less restrictive than the Corps’ plan. Sen. Alexander has called on the Corps to reconsider its position, in the hopes that a compromise could find a way to better address safety concerns only when the waters are dangerous.


TWRA Commission Sets New License Fee Structure

For the first time in a decade, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved a license fee structure adjustment for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The increase was one of five rule amendments made by the TFWC at its January meeting, which concluded Friday at the Discovery Park of America in Union City. Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses expire on Feb. ... (click for more)

9th Annual Young Sportsman Quail Hunt Is March 7 In Knoxville

The Knoxville Quail Forever Chapter and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will sponsor a young sportsman quail hunt on March 7, at the McGhee-Carson Unit of the Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area. This hunt will be for young sportsmen ages 10 to 16 who have passed a Hunter Safety class.  The hunt will start at 8 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.  Each young sportsman ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non-life threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)