Camo Coalition
Taking action to protect Georgia's natural resources & sporting heritage.

Camo Coalition

Action Alert: Flint River, Stream Fishing, Round 2

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

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Flint River, Stream Fishing, Round 2

You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the directions at the bottom.

Issue

SB213 remained viable for the 2014 Session after stalling last year. Now, although amended, it still fails to address inadequate water flows to support fisheries and challenges traditional rights to water use in the Flint and rivers statewide.

Background

The Flint River is special. Competing interests, complicated flows, extensive water withdrawals, and water exchange with the aquifers of the coastal plain make maintenance of adequate flows throughout all reaches of the river difficult. This overall complexity means that study and planning for the Flint should include all reaches of the river. This river is beautiful, and it is home to one of the finest and most interesting game fish to be found anywhere, the shoal bass. Radio-tagged shoal bass have been observed to travel over 100 river miles through the course of a year.

The Flint’s water and wildlife, including the shoal bass, are part of the public domain; you and I are the shareholders. Both the water and the wildlife can be used by Georgians like you and me; neither can be owned by either of us or anyone else for that matter – at least not yet. If Senate Bill 213 passes as written, a big question mark begins to grow over the ownership and use of water in the Flint and in warm water and cold water streams throughout Georgia.

Augmentation – adding water in one place on a stream – holds the potential to manage minimum flows at that location while facilitating additional overuse and inadequate flows elsewhere. Shoal bass may spawn and one location and summer well downstream. Maintaining this and other fisheries for the present and future generations requires water throughout entire river systems.

The Executive Branch of government will determine who can and who cannot use augmented water. So, current water rights in Georgia may change, statewide and permanently.

Use the form below to send an e-mail message to your representative. Let them know that SB 213 fails to protect the Flint River, stream fishing, and water rights.

Message To Be Sent To
Your message will be sent to each of the following targets:

Your State Representative
Message
A sample message appears below, which you may edit before sending.

Please vote “NO” to SB 213


Dear Representative,

The Flint River is special. Its water and wildlife, including the shoal bass, are part of the public domain; I am a shareholder in these natural resources. I also am a sportsman who lives in your district and cares deeply about fish and wildlife, the water upon which they depend, and my rights to use and enjoy these resources.

Senate Bill 213 attempts to manage stream flows at the minimum levels needed to defend State management decisions in court. Simply stated, this strategy is not good enough for Georgia’s rivers. Reasonable flows throughout the river that would in fact provide for abundant fish, quality fishing, and recreational boating may be unimportant to proponents for a change to water rights. But, these things are important – very important – to me.

SB 213 has many unresolved issues including impact on our natural resources and the public’s traditional rights to use water. These issues stretch beyond the Flint and include cold and warm water rivers statewide.

Please vote “NO” to SB 213.

Your name and address here


This Action Alert Campaign is Closed.

 

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