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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission voted to amend regulations in regard to smallmouth bass fishing on Norris Lake during its March meeting.
Bobby Wilson, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division chief, recently attended a Norris Lake Fisheries Advisory Committee (NLFAC) meeting. The NLFAC is a community-based group of advisors to the TWRC on fishery management. The TWRA acts as advisors to the committee.
The NLFAC made the recommendation which was approved by the TWRC to implement an 18-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass with a creel limit of five from Oct. 16-May 31. From June 1-Oct. 15, there will be a 20-inch minimum length limit with a creel limit of one.
The change replaces the 17-22 inch slot limit which allowed one fish under 17 inches and one over 22 inches that was implemented on March 1, 2010. The amended regulations will go into effect in late April, pending processing through the State Attorney General’s office and will be re-evaluated in 2015.
“We are pleased with the NLFAC’s recommendation,” said Wilson. “Although not as restrictive as the 17-22 inch slot limit, the new regulation should produce a high quality smallmouth bass fishery at Norris Lake. The warmer water regulation (June 1-Oct. 15, 20-inch length limit) was proposed by the tournament anglers on the committee to offset the high mortalities of smallmouth bass incurred during summertime bass tournament weigh-ins.”
In other business at the meeting held at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building, the commission voted to approve a budget expansion of more than $1.1 million as a part of the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program. Ed Poolos, Coordinator CVA-Boating Infrastructure of the Boating Division, addressed the commission during the committee meeting segment.
TWRA Engineering Division Chief Dwight Hensley provided an update on the agency’s continued progress on repairs to agency properties as a result of last year’s May flood. The damages occurred in the western and middle portions of the state.
Two more budget expansions were also approved. A $17,800 expansion will go toward the Morris Ferry Fishing Pier in Middle Tennessee. A $9,000 expansion will go to elk habitat restoration as a result of proceeds from last year’s bid for a permit to participate in the state’s second elk hunt.
The TWRC will hold its next meeting April 14-15 at the TWRA Region II Ray Bell Office Building in Nashville.
Trapper training camp set for May
According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Fur Harvesters and Furbearers Unlimited are co-sponsoring a free trapper training camp for all ages at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, in Birchwood on Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22. Proceedings begin at 6 p.m. on Friday evening and close at noon on Sunday.
All ages are welcome to attend. Actual “in field” training will be provided. Meals will be furnished on Saturday, as well as Sunday breakfast. Games and contests will be held for all ages.
Free primitive camping is available at the refuge. Please call, in advance (if possible), to advise your participation and/or if you require further information, contact John Daniel at 423-595-0986.
This will be an educational and fun-filled event. All ages are welcome to attend.