According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), boaters are on the verge of being banned from some of the best fishing waters in Tennessee.
The Nashville, Tenn., Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is planning to close recreational access at the tailwaters of 10 local dam facilities. The Corps is claiming that boaters face significant danger compared to shoreline anglers, but the numbers don’t support it, said the NMMA. Over the past 40 years, nine of the 14 deaths that have occurred in the tailwaters of these dams were people who entered the water from the shoreline.
Enforcement of the closures is set to take effect in April 2013. Violators could face fines and other legal action. The closed areas may be blocked by cables, which would prevent rescuers from reaching people in peril.
“It is important that the recreational boating industry ask legislators to reconsider the proposed ban on boating and fishing, and instead convene a panel to develop appropriate safety measures that also preserve access,” said the NMMA in a written statement.
The NMMA is encouraging people to visit www.keepamericafishing.org, where they will find an easy way to write to Lt. Colonel James A. DeLapp of the Army Corps of Engineers and their members of Congress. Or concerns can be directed to Cindy Squires at email@example.com or 202-737-9766.