Old Hickory dam protected for fishing, lock opens to visitors - WSMV News 4

Old Hickory dam protected for fishing, lock opens to visitors

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Many people will spend time on Old Hickory Lake this summer. And thanks to new legislation some of the best fishing spots will be protected for several more years.

"It's a good place. I bring my grandson down here," said fisherman Brian Jones.

The swift-moving water by the dam makes it a popular fishing hole.

"When the water is coming out, discharging, all the fish come up stream. The fish can't go any further, and there will be every species you'd want to fish for - from the blue gill to the striper," Jones said.

Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, there has been serious talk in Washington about the need for tighter security around dams operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, meaning less access to those popular fishing spots.

Such talk ended last week, however, when Congress approved a fisherman-friendly bill that U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, called a victory for generations of Tennesseans who fish the waters near dams like the one at Old Hickory.

"Forty-five years I've been coming down in here," said fisherman Jerry Rogers.

Now, Rogers knows his fishing future at Old Hickory Lake is as intact as his fishing past.

"It's always been a good fishing area to me. If you don't catch nothing, you've got all kinds of people around you to talk to and just shoot the breeze and everything like that," he said.

Also, for the first time since 9/11, the public can get unescorted access to the Old Hickory navigation lock. The lock is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until September.

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