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Front Page - Friday, July 27, 2018

Bassmaster names Chickamauga Lake No. 2 in the nation

Chickamauga Lake in Dayton has reeled in accolades during the annual fishing events the lake hosts.

In the new issue of Bassmaster Magazine, Chickamauga Lake is named the second-best lake in the U.S. and the top lake in the Southeast.

“This is a big-bass factory,” writes Bassmaster on Chickamauga Lake, touching on the 42-pound winner during Chickamauga Lake’s 2018 The Chick fishing event. While anglers compete to catch the biggest fish of the day, Dayton benefits with approximately $14 million in economic impact.

Chickamauga Lake offers 36,240 acres of bass fishing. It stretches from Watts Bar Dam to Chickamauga Dam, bordering Rhea, Meigs and Hamilton Counties with 810 miles of shoreline.

In addition, famous Tennessee fisherman Bill Dance, angler and host of “Bill Dance Outdoors” on the Outdoor channel, boasts about the lake’s favorable characteristics, which include current, riprap banks, a rocky bottom, cool water in the summer and bait fish.

“The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association has done an incredible job developing and maintaining the high-level fishery that Chickamauga has become,” says Kevin Triplett, commissioner of Tourist Development for Tennessee. “Our devoted outdoor visitors love catching fish. What draws them more is not only the opportunity to catch more fish but bigger fish.

“We have a tremendous quality of fishing water across Tennessee. And Chickamauga is gaining a reputation nationwide for what we have known for a while: If an angler heads to Chickamauga, he’d better bring a sturdy fishing line and a big net.”

To determine its rankings, Bassmaster Magazine uses fish weigh-ins from tournaments held in the past 12 months at the fishery, the catch rates, fish and forage densities, premium access and the experience for anglers.

Tennessee is home to more than 500,000 acres of lakes and 55,000 miles of rivers and streams. Of the state’s more than 110 million visitor stays, 14 percent participate in outdoor activities ranging from fishing and boating to hiking and hunting, according to DK Shifflet, a tourism and travel research firm.

Compared to surrounding states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Missouri, Tennessee ranks No. 1 in total economic impact for fishing, according to 2011 research provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Finally, 833,000 anglers account for $1.43 billion in economic impact nationwide, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Source: Tennessee Department of Tourist Development