Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trout Unlimited Hosts Panel on Toccoa Tailwater

The Toccoa River Tailwater (below Blue Ridge Dam) is a premier trout fishery with enormous importance to the economic, social, and recreational well-being of Fannin County. *Trout fishing and the quality of water in the Toccoa is at risk of collapse as a result of a drawdown of Lake Blue Ridge so the TVA can make essential repairs to the dam and penstock. *Water temperatures and clarity are suffering, and the weather thus far is not cooperating. *The reason the river is in extremis is the timing of the protracted drawdown, which coincided with an unusually hot and dry summer and start to the fall season. * The full extent of damage to the fishery, if any, has yet to be determined. *However, it is not too soon to develop a plan for recovery of the river post-drawdown in order to minimize damage or improve the fishery.*​

No one doubts that the dam repairs were needed, and that the TVA carefully considered many factors in timing the drawdown, including weather patterns, safety, environmental impact, and the like, with input from the public and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. * The question is, however, where do we go from here if trout die and the fishery collapses? *This question and more will be answered in a public forum hosted by Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited at the Fannin Chamber of Commerce, 9 am, October 9, 2010. *Representatives of the TVA, DNR, Trout Unlimited, and the Chamber of Commerce will comprise a panel to discuss the immediate future of the Toccoa Tailwater and to answer questions from the audience. The purpose of this discussion is not to probe how, why, or when the drawdown was done or to criticize anyone in the process. *This meeting focuses on what can be done from this point forward to protect and restore the fishery.*​

Trout Unlimited is an organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and protection of coldwater (trout) fisheries like the Toccoa.

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