State wildlife commission names officers for 2011-12

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 The February meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (TWRC) marked the final scheduled meeting for three commissioners, while the commission named its officers for 2011-12.

Mike Chase of Knoxville, Johnny Coleman of Livingston and Mike Hayes of Hornbeak have their commission appointments conclude at the end of February. Coleman was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. The two outgoing commissioners present were recognized for their service.

William “Chink” Brown of Chattanooga will assume the role from Chase as the TWRC chairman for the coming year. Mitchell Parks of Nashville will serve as vice-chairman, and Jeff McMillin of Bristol is the new secretary.

The TWRC approved a $750,000 budget expansion for the Cumberland River Aquatic Center in Gallatin. The TWRC was given an overview of the current projects and the future plans for the facility.

During recent committee meetings, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) wildlife officers Dale Grandstaff and Jereme Odom presented a report and video on one of the largest deer poaching cases in Tennessee history. The violations occurred on the Fort Campbell military installation.

TWRA Fisheries Division Chief Bobby Wilson presented an overview of the state’s fish hatchery programs. The annual production of warm-water fingerlings has increased by about 2.5 million annually as a result of improvements made since 2000. The annual production of trout has the potential to increase by 50,000 pounds (100,000 to 150,000 by number of fish) over the next few years as a result of improvements made to the cold-water hatcheries since 2004.

The TWRA has five warm-water hatcheries that raise a variety of fish such as crappie, walleye, striped bass, largemouth bass, sauger, catfish, hybrid striped bass and various species of sunfish. There are four cold-water hatcheries in the TWRA system that raise trout.

The TWRC will meet again next week (March 23-24) in Nashville at the TWRA Ray Bell Building.