Last Man Standing: A Man and the River

Slicing across the tranquil Tennessee River, Leon Bivens looked across the dark blue expanse ahead — at the lights of the factories reflecting off the water and the steel and concrete bridges connecting the River City to destinations north. The 73-year-old’s calloused hands shrouded in yellow rubber gloves reached into the water and pulled on a line. A smattering of catfish and buffalo danced along the 100 hooks. “I love the river. The river is my life. I enjoy going to the river, putting down my lines, pulling them and catching fish, too. I really need to catch them, but I enjoy catching them anyhow. Ain’t I lucky,” Bivens said. For the past 59 years, Bivens has watched the changing world of the fishing industry from his boat’s wooden perch. He saw the rise in popularity of game fishing tournaments, the closing of mom-and-pop fish markets and the fall of independent commercial fishermen. click here to read the story 13:08