Sen. Alexander To Army Corps: This Dam Fishing Thing Has Gone Far Enough

While the Army Corps of Engineers has banned fishing below dams at all times, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has said it won't enforce the ban. Credit: Towboat Garage/Flickr

While the Army Corps of Engineers has banned fishing below dams at all times, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has said it won’t enforce the ban. Credit: Towboat Garage/Flickr

If the Corps of Engineers won’t lift restrictions on fishing below dams, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he’ll place his own restrictions on the Corps’ spending.

The Corps of Engineers has more than 900 active construction projects, some of them in Tennessee. In a hearing Wednesday, Alexander told Corps officials he would make them ask permission to move even small amounts of money between project accounts.

“You’re going to find it very hard to get my approval for any reprogramming request for the Corps of Engineers anywhere in the country until I get the Corps’ attention on this issue.”

The Corps’ ban on fishing below Cumberland River dams is meant to keep more people from being killed in the rough tailwaters. But Alexander argues that being below the dams is only unsafe when water is being released, which is roughly 20 percent of the time.

Alexander is the most senior Republican on the panel that oversees the Corps’ budget. The Democratic chairwoman – Dianne Feinstein – called Alexander “a very reasonable member,” telling the Corps of Engineers that her “strong advice would be to try and work something out with him.

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