There have been goings ons down on the Toccoa, so let’s get everyone up to speed. In Capt. Kent Klewein’s editorial on the Toccoa in the fall issue it was stated that the Toccoa had not been stocked at the time of writing, which was true. The Toccoa did get stocked however, before we released the magazine and due to editor error (I’m an asshole) the copy went out uncorrected. So in order to make things right I am taking full responsibility for the error and have talked to John Deemer, the head dude in charge of the Toccoa at GADNR, and learned that since October 1st, there have been a total of 41,823 trout stocked in the Toccoa tailwater. Of this obscene number 21,023 were fingerling Rainbows; 10,000 were fingerling Browns; 5000 were catchable Rainbows; 5000 were catchable Browns, 500 were catchable Brookies; and 300 were brood stock. According to Mr. Deemer the fingerlings are in the 3-4″ range, the catchable trout are on average 9″, and the brood stock fish average over 3 pounds. These fish were spread out by volunteers and DNR employees at over 23 sites on the Toccoa river. So there it is, just the facts.
I also talked to Kent this morning who informed me that the Toccoa River Coalition held a public meeting last Thursday in Blue Ridge, GA that approximately a hundred locals and interested parties attended. The purpose of the meeting was to gauge public sentiment towards instituting special regulations that would promote the development of a trophy trout fishery on the Toccoa. From my understanding (I was not there) the room was divided in a typical fly vs. spin demarcation.
In my humble opinion the fact that the GADNR has stocked the Toccoa with a more than healthy amount of fish is great news for everyone that cares about the Toccoa (especially for those that rely on the river, and people fishing the river, for their livelihoods). The question becomes, how long will those fish last in the river under current regulations? Which leads to another question, with federal hatcheries on the chopping block and state budgets in the crapper, how sustainable are those kind of stocking numbers in the future? I guess time will tell.
To stay current with what’s going down on the Toccoa check out The Toccoa River Watershed Coalition’s website here.