Douglas Reservoir Crappie Recovery Plan
Douglas has one of the most popular crappie fisheries in the state. It is located in Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, and Sevier Counties and covers 30,600 surface acres. The fishery was highly exploited in the 1980s when it was common to catch 200 or more crappie per day. In 2001, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission established a 10-inch minimum size limit with a daily creel of 15 fish to maintain the quality of the fishery and protect crappie until they reach spawning size.
Crappie anglers fished approximately 160,000 hrs in the year 2000. They spent an estimated $379,390 which generated an overall economic impact of $811,895. There can be no questioning the importance of this fishery to the local community on both an economic and social level. Catches declined 74 percent between 1998 and 2000 due to poor reproduction and it appeared the fishery was in trouble. This prompted the TWRA to develop a recovery plan to address the problems facing this important fishery.
The plan included:
- TWRA encouraging TVA to raise and hold water levels at full pool prior to April 1st and provide minimal fluctuation of water levels throughout the spring and summer months via an official resolution.
- TWRA stocking crappie fingerlings as needed.
- TWRA renovating the six-acre pond on Henderson Island to raise crappie fingerlings for direct release into the lake.
- TWRA working with individuals from surrounding counties to improve fish habitat. Most of the shoreline is privately owned and landowner permission is required before structures can be installed which has made the establishment of habitat improvement sites problematic. Anyone interested in helping improve habitat on Douglas, particularly landowners, should call TWRA's Russell Young (800) 332-0900, Ext 250 to find out how they can help with this work.
|TWRA RESOLUTION||HENDERSON ISLAND|