Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More Anglers vs. Rafters on the Chattooga

We are not sure exactly who in their right mind would want to go white water rafting on the Chattooga River in the first place. Don't these people watch old movies? Currently on the Chattooga boating is allowed only on the lower sections of the river with the upper section, above highway 28, reserved for anglers. However in 2004 American Whitewater filed an appeal that sought to open the entire river to the raft and kayak hatch.

An administrative appeal was filed by American Whitewater in 2004 with Forest Service’s Washington Office. The appeal challenged the boating prohibition on the river above Highway 28. The Washington Office of the Forest Service decided to reverse the agency’s decision to continue to allow floating only below Highway 28, and directed the Regional Forester to conduct a visitor use capacity analysis to help make a more informed decision about how that section of the river should be managed by the agency. Until this work is completed and a revised decision is issued, the relevant provisions of the Sumter’s 1985 plan remain in effect, including the prohibition on floating above Highway 28.

Any floating on the Chattooga River above Highway 28 may only be allowed by Forest Service permits associated with this analysis. Activities allowed during this analysis period are only for data collection purposes, and may or may not be allowed in the agency’s final decision.

The US Forest Service has announced a public meeting on July 27th, 2007 in Highlands, North Carolina for the purpose of giving an update on the status of this appeal. For more information see this press release from the USFS or contact the following people:

Terry Seyden, Public Affairs Officer, National Forests in North Carolina 828-257-4202

Karen McKenzie, Public Affairs Officer, Chattahoochee/Oconee NF 770-297-3061

John Cleeves, Chattooga Analysis Team Leader, Francis Marion/ Sumter NF 803-561-4058

Here is a link to additional information about this subject from the Mountain Bridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Here is a link to previous coverage of this subject on FlyFishMagazine.


Tom Chandler said...

Outside of disagreements over flow regimes (whitewater folks want more, fly fishers want less), I don't see much reason for conflict between the two groups.

The rubber hatch on the Upper Sac comes off in the spring, but I can't honestly say I've ever had my fishing ruined by one.

Yellowstoner said...

The folks in Montana have addressed the "Row vs Wade" conflict by using postcards from Duckboy (http://duckboy.com/)

We see the resolution in terms of puncture vs. placid.

Murdock said...

At least both groups involved have the same aims for conservation of the resource.