COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Adjustments have been made for the August handheld duck bling drawings and an update on a fisheries research cooperative effort was given among the agenda items at the June meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission which concluded Friday.
At the TFWC’s May meeting, the commission requested Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency staff review the handheld duck blind drawing process for consistency and ways to reduce the likelihood of buying/selling of blind sites.
At the Aug. 3 blind drawings, a two stage process will be used. Parties will be formed after the first drawing. The second drawing will be for blind locations for those selected in the first drawing.
Dr. Mark Rogers, leader of the Tennessee Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit, provided an overview of the cooperative agreement between the TWRA, U.S. Geological Service (USGS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Tennessee Tech. The cooperative leverages USGS and TTU resources to address TWRA’s research needs. Recent and ongoing projects include monitoring the movement and abundance of Asian carp, an evaluation of Florida largemouth bass in Chickamauga Lake, and assessing the contribution of stocked rainbow trout fingerlings in the Clinch River.
The commission amended a proclamation to reflect calendar date changes only for the South Cherokee Wildlife Management Area bear and deer gun hunts.
An overview of the TWRA quota hunts program was given. TWRA currently holds nine drawings a year. The TWRA Licensing Division and Brandt, the agency’s license vendor, have worked to provide customers and agency personnel with a more user friendly application process for quota hunts.
The commission approved a rule amendment in regard to the governing shooting-operation of private wildlife preserves. This amendment allows big game wildlife preserves to acquire in-state CWD susceptible species once the animals are enrolled in a CWD monitoring program with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA). This removes the current mandatory enrollment, minimum of five years, and prior to a preserve taking possession of the animals. Also, the amendment requires the TDA to be responsible for all mandatory CWD testing on preserves and any escapes of non-indigenous mammals.