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The TWRA Region 3 Reservoir Fisheries Crew has completed its annual fall trap netting surveys on Chickamauga and Watts Bar Reservoirs.  Results of these surveys have given a good indication of what levels of crappie spawning success were achieved this past spring.

Chickamauga results showed a decent spawn with both black and white crappie that is consistent with the past few years. However, the crappie spawning numbers in Chickamauga are still not at the levels we would like to see. This is probably due to undesirable water levels and fluctuations in the spring at critical spawning times.

Watts Bar increase in numbers of juvenile crappie surveyed this year, especially white crappie. Watts Bar has been at alarmingly low spawning success rates in reference to crappie for the past several years. In fact, our trap netting surveys have shown minimal success in respect to reproduction since the last big spike in 2003. Long delays in achieving full pool status and water fluctuations within the reservoir during preferred crappie spawning times is thought to be a major negative contributor. Watts Bar crappie populations got a boost to its waters this year. In addition to natural reproduction, there was a stocking of nearly 140,000 “blacknose” crappie fingerlings. Hopefully this will help positively impact this population to more desirable levels. We will continue to monitor the crappie populations in both these reservoirs in the future. 

Center Hill and Dale Hollow received their annual stocking of "blacknose" crappie this year. This stocking has helped sustain a crappie fishery in these two reservoirs. Historically, Dale Hollow and Center Hill had very low success in crappie spawning levels. Many crappie fishermen have benefited from this ongoing stocking program which yields excellent crappie fishing year after year.


Proper tagging of big game animals


With the time of year being here when the majority of big game hunters are taking to the woods, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reminds hunters of the proper way to tag harvested animals.

It is unlawful to move, transport, or field dress any big game animal, except for wild hogs, without validating a properly completed temporary kill tag. Simply punch or mark the month and day of harvest on the kill tag and put it back into your pocket. It is no longer required to attach the temporary kill tag to the animal.

If additional animals are to be harvested on that calendar day, the hunter is not required to stop hunting and tag the animal until he/she is ready to move, transport, or field dress the animal. All animals harvested must be accompanied by one animal with a validated temporary kill tag and must be checked in the same day at a big game checking station or the TWRA internet site where one new temporary kill tag will be issued. 

Evidence of species and sex must be available for inspection by a wildlife officer or agency-designated personnel prior to issuance of permanent game tag. 

The permanent harvest tag is a legal document and must be signed by the hunter. By signing the permanent harvest tag, the hunter is affirming that the information, as it appears on the permanent tag, is correct and valid. The permanent game tag must remain with each carcass until final processing.  

Persons legally hunting without a license are also required to check their animals in at a check station or at the TWRA internet check-in site. After receiving a temporary harvest tag, hunters must comply with all tagging regulations. All big game taken to a taxidermist to be mounted must be accompanied by documentation showing the permanent game tag number and date of kill. 

All bear harvested must be checked in at a TWRA Big Game Checking Station on the same calendar day.

Wild hogs are not required to be tagged or taken to a checking station.

Hunters who purchase the Type 002 Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap license or any big game license Type 009, 010, or 011 receive a temporary kill tag with their license. All others will receive a temporary kill tag when they take their first animal to the checking station.

 Although they are not required to have a temporary kill tag for the first animal, landowners hunting without a license, youth under 13, seniors with a Type 166, and Sportsman License holders may print a temporary kill tag off the TWRA web site if they want a temporary kill tag for their first big game animal.