The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have reached a multi-agency agreement to provide continued funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have stocked waters in Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout.
The partnership includes the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Since 2013, TVA has provided funding for trout production at three national fish hatcheries managed by the Service: Dale Hollow and Erwin in Tennessee, and Chattahoochee Forest in Georgia. The trout are then provided to the following tailwaters and reservoirs: Apalachia (Hiwassee River), Blue Ridge, Boone, Cherokee, Fort Patrick Henry, Normandy, Norris, South Holston, Tims Ford and Wilbur. Trout-stocked reservoirs in the plan include Fort Patrick Henry, South Holston, Parksville, Watauga and Wilbur reservoirs.
The four partner agencies announced the new agreement Friday at a press conference beside South Holston Reservoir near Bristol, Tn. The agreement provides partnership funding through fiscal year 2024.
“Anglers come from all over the country to fish on TVA-managed lakes and rivers, and with this partnership TVA will continue its role in making sure people will continue to enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the country,” said Allen Clare, TVA vice president of River & Resources Management. “This fits into our mission of environmental stewardship, economic development and the enhancement of quality of life in the Tennessee Valley. An important way we accomplish this mission is by working with our valued partner agencies on projects such as this.”
Last year, the partnership provided more than 1.1 million brook, brown, lake and rainbow trout to TVA waters. More than 256,000 anglers are estimated to fish for trout in Tennessee and Georgia waters each year, spending about $73 for every $1 invested in the hatchery program, and producing an economic impact of about $45 million.
“These partnerships are essential in providing quality outdoor recreation for the people of Tennessee and Georgia,” said Leopoldo Miranda-Castro, regional director for the Service’s South Atlantic-Gulf Region. “This wonderful, long-lasting relationship exemplifies how, working together, agencies can strengthen economic benefits, promote a healthy river system, and enhance recreational opportunities across the Tennessee Valley’s waters.”
“This partnership is critical to TWRA’s management of trout fisheries - each year up to 80% of the trout stocked at TVA projects come from federal hatcheries,” said Frank Fiss, chief of fisheries for TWRA. “These fisheries include some of the best in the Southeast”.
“In Georgia, we are proud of the trout fishery and recognize that it provides not only exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities, but that it also is an important economic driver in many of our mountain communities,” said Ted Will, director of the Wildlife Resources Division for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “This wonderful partnership between federal and state agencies helps us continue to maintain high quality trout fishing that meets the needs of anglers and surrounding communities.”