Remember those fishermen I showed you on Thursday?
Well, I hope they read this sign. Catch and release is still a good idea when fishing in the Tennessee River.
For decades, Knoxville did what many other river cities have done: dump all their solid and liquid waste into the river. By the 1950s, the city was pouring so much raw sewage and industrial waste into the river that fish couldn't live in it, and it smelled like - well, like the open sewer that people had turned it into.
Even though Knoxville was the first large city in Tennessee to build a water treatment plant in the 1950s, and even with the Clean Water Act of 1972, mercury, PCBs, and chemicals from roads and soil runoff have sunk into the riverbed and still circulate in the ecosystem.
On the upside, the Tennessee River never caught on fire, and water quality continues to improve. But until we can control the non-point pollution that runs off into the river, I'd suggest going elsewhere for your fish dinner.