Fellow UCCTU members:
It’s summertime in Atlanta and we’ve been blessed with a relatively mild one. Nevertheless, it is a critical time for trout in the Chattahoochee tailwater. Several weeks ago, Chris Scalley of River Through Atlanta e-mailed us, and many other interested parties, about the dangerously high water temperatures and low DO level at low flow conditions from Buford Dam. This is an annual situation and Chris has anecdotal evidence of fish being harmed as a result. The Dam operation is controlled by the Corps of Engineers under Federal regulations. Obviously Georgia Power is involved, too. And there are a host of environmental regulations that impact the River. The Georgia Council and Atlanta area TU chapters addressed their concerns about this danger to our trout fishery in a jointly signed letter to the Corps. Our own Conservation Chair, Kevin McGrath has convened a stakeholder meeting on August 27 to discuss the problem. There is a simple solution; “sluicing” a small amount of water at all times can maintain temperatures and DO levels at which trout will not be jeopardized. We will be working with the Corps, the Riverkeeper, NPS, Nature Center, and other interested parties to try to implement this practice as standard policy.
I’ll miss you at the August meeting. I will be floating the Kongakut River above the Arctic Circle in Alaska for char and grayling. Should have a great report for you at our September meeting. See you then.