Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Rafters vs. Fishermen Again.
Whitewater groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to lift a ban on boats and allow kayaks and canoes on the upper section of the Chattooga River. Needless to say anglers who frequent the river and enjoy its peace and quiet are not exactly thrilled with the idea. Many fear that the upper section will become as popular with rafters and kayaks as the lower section. The lower section was made famous in the 1974 film "Deliverance"
"But thanks to a surging interest in outdoor adventures over the past few decades and the Chattooga's role as the backdrop in the 1974 movie "Deliverance" rafts full of shrieking people at every twist and turn have become a constant presence along the bottom portions of the river."
U.S. Forest Service officials have attempted to broker a deal between the two sides but so far haven't had much luck.
"As the squabble grew louder and the finger-pointing more intense, Andy Holland, a fisherman from Seneca, walked out in disgust. It's not about us, he muttered on his way out. It's about fish."
I think it is about us as outdoorsmen and women. While, I do think that we should all just try to get along, I see no reason that the upper sections of the river shouldn't be reserved for the anglers with the lower sections being for the rafters and kayak jockeys. In a simplistic sort of way it sounds pretty fair to me.
Perhaps area anglers could erect a series of "Raft repellent Stations" along the river's edge. These stations would be simple enough to build by using large speakers to broadcast banjo tunes across the river. This along with the required viewing of a video of Ned Beatty talking about river etiquette should do the trick quite nicely.