TVA Survey Signals Good Fishing for Bass Tourney at Watts Bar
April 19, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Sport fish surveys show a healthy aquatic environment, record numbers of fish and promising conditions for The Bass Federation’s 2010 national championship at Watts Bar Reservoir on April 22-24.
An April 14 survey at Watts Bar’s Caney Creek boat ramp netted 579 fish, the largest catch total at the site since surveying began at Watts Bar in 2002. The catch rate of 96.5 fish per hour is also the highest ever.
“Nearly every site we’ve checked at Watts Bar has had big fish and lots of them,” said Tennessee Valley Authority aquatic biologist Donny Lowery. “Our survey results show that this reservoir harbors a very healthy fish population.”
Bass Federation President Robert Cartlidge said the survey results reflect TVA’s outstanding water management efforts and are raising expectations among the tournament’s 94 contestants.
"By all accounts from our anglers who have been there and pre-fished, the fishing on Watts Bar is outstanding,” Cartlidge said. “The work that TVA and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have done with this fishery is phenomenal. Area residents should be proud of the resource that they have in their backyard. We thank them for letting us experience it for a few days.
“Watts Bar is living proof that with responsible management, humans, industry and nature can co-exist together in a successful and meaningful way."
The Caney Creek survey is one of three conducted annually at Watts Bar. TVA surveyors use a boat-mounted electro-fishing technique to temporarily stun fish. The fish are counted, weighed, measured and then released unharmed. Focusing primarily on bass and crappie species, the effort yields data on the population, size and weight of sport fish while also providing an overall assessment of fish health and water quality.
The data help TVA reduce the impact of river operations on fish, support Environmental Protection Agency permitting requirements and supplement state game and fish agencies’ fish management decisions.
TVA is co-sponsoring The Bass Federation championship event. Anglers will compete for two days with weigh-ins at Ladd Park in Kingston, Tenn. The field will be cut to the top contestants for Saturday’s final day. Winners, based on the heaviest cumulative catches over the three days, will be announced Saturday at Knoxville Convention Center. For more information, visit The Bass Federation website at: http://www.bassfederation.com/.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
Mike Bradley, Knoxville (865) 632-8860
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000