Sport fishing regulations set

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission approved the state’s 2011 sport fish regulations during its October at Pickwick Landing State Park.  

The new regulations established by the TWRC on Thursday (Oct. 28) will be effective March 1, 2011. Among the new regulations for 2011 include:

*Slat baskets must be checked at least every 72 hours.

*Shovelnose sturgeon may not be harvested. This means that all species of sturgeon must be released immediately.

*15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass at Great Falls Reservoir.

*Established a delayed harvest season on Piney River near Spring City.  From Nov. 1 through last day of February, only artificial lures may be used and all trout must be released.  From March 1 through October 31 trout may be harvested by all gears with a 7 trout creel limit.

*At Gibson County and Browns Creek (Henderson County) lakes, there will be an 18-24 inch protected length range (slot limit) on bass, with a creel limit of five and only one may be over 24 inches.

*Big Creek (Polk County) will follow the statewide trout regulations.  

*To provide additional protection to muskellunge at Melton Hill Reservoir, muskie that are not intended to be harvested must be immediately released in a manner that promotes survival of the fish. Culling of muskie is not allowed.  

*Removal of special trout regulations in Dale Hollow Reservoir. Dale Hollow will follow the same as statewide regulations.

*Changes to trout fishing on the Hiwassee River include the removal of the 14 inch length limit on brown trout and eliminate the Quality Trout Fishing Area from the entire trout zone (from the Apalachia Powerhouse downstream to the L&N railroad bridge at Reliance). Other changes include the implementation of a delayed harvest regulation for Hiwassee River (from Apalachia Powerhouse downstream to the L&N railroad bridge at Reliance). From Oct. 1-Feb. 28 all trout must be released and only artificial lures may be used.  From March 1-Sept. 30, all gears are allowed and the trout creel limit is seven trout (all species combined), only two may be brown trout. 

 *Changes on South Holston Reservoir were made to match Virginia regulations for the reciprocal agreement. They include no harvest of white bass, changing the catfish creel limit to 20 per day; only one of which may be over 34 inches, reduce bluegill creel limit to 50 per day and reduce the number of limb lines from 25 to 15.

  In other business at the meeting, the commission approved a pair of rule amendments to establish a $10 non-refundable application fee for computerized quota hunts for deer, turkey and Wildlife Management Areas. Currently, TWRA already requires a non-refundable fee of $10 for the Elk Quota Hunt and the Waterfowl Quota Hunt. This rule amendment will not affect Sportsman License holders, (including Annual and Lifetime Sportsman License holders, and persons possessing an Annual Senior Citizen Permit, Type 167), who will not be charged an application fee.

A resolution on wild hogs control was approved by the TWRC. The resolution defines that a wild hog on private property has potential for negative impacts and therefore the presence of a wild hog is evidence that damage is taking place. The goal of the resolution is to allow more efficient issuance of wild hog control permits to private landowners.

The annual awards for the TWRA Wildlife and Fisheries Biologists of the Year were  presented at the meeting. David Lane, Erwin Hatchery Manager, was named the Fisheries Biologist of the Year. Chris Hunter, of Dyersburg, received the Wildlife Biologist of the Year award.

In addition, for the first time, the agency presented awards for the Wildlife and Fisheries Technicians of the Year. Wayne Ellison, from Chuck Swan WMA, was selected as the recipient of the Wildlife Technician of the Year. Carl Williams of the Stream Survey Unit was named Fisheries Technician of the Year.

The TWRC is scheduled to meet in Gatlinburg Dec.1- 2. The public is invited to attend. 


Three elk bagged at hunt


 Three hunters recorded harvests during Tennessee’s second-ever managed elk hunt which concluded Friday, October 22 at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

The three sportsmen join five persons who all harvested an elk during last year’s historic first managed hunt. Five persons again participated in this year’s hunt, four winning the right to participate by computerized drawing and the fifth participant was the recipient of a permit that is donated to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which this year was the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Jeffery Burdick, of Oakdale, had the honor of recording this year’s first harvest on Monday, Oct. 18. The bull field dressed at 495 pounds and was a 5x4 (the number of points per antler).

The second harvest came on Tuesday, October 19.  Joseph E. McDonald harvested a 3x3 bull which field dressed at 209 pounds.  McDonald is a Clinton resident.

The final harvest came on Thursday.  Gregory Joseph Burns, of Clarksville, recorded the biggest harvest of this year’s hunt.  The 5x5 bull field dressed at 562 pounds.  Burns had bow hunted the previous days before using a gun to record his harvest. 

All three of the harvests came within the 12:30-4 p.m. time frame. In 2009’s inaugural hunt, three of the harvests came early on opening morning while the final two harvests came late in the afternoon.

Randy Hoisington of Blocksburg, California, bid $11,000 for the NGO permit to participate in the hunt.  He used a bow to hunt during the duration of the event.  Michael Duane Galloway, of Corryton, was the fourth recipient of the drawing who participated, but was unable to come up with a harvest.

Five elk hunting zones were selected on the Royal Blue Unit of the North Cumberland WMA, each about 8,000 acres. The division helps ensure the harvest was spread over the entire core of the elk zone.  Each hunter was assigned a zone through a random hand-held drawing. 

 The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has worked to make habitat improvements at North Cumberland WMA.  The first arrival of 50 animals came in December 2000 and were the first elk to be in Tennessee since they were reported in Obion County in 1865.  Studies have proven that the elk herd is seeing an annual growth rate of 13-15 percent.