Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency news

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 Approval of hunting seasons among items on May agenda

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (TWRC) will set the state’s 2011-12 hunting seasons at its meeting this week, May 19-20, at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Ray Bell Region II Building.

Officials from TWRA previewed their recommendations for the 2011-12 hunting and trapping seasons at the commission’s April meeting. The recommendations feature several significant changes.

At the 2011-12 hunting seasons preview last month, new TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division Chief Daryl Ratajczak said the agency is proposing to keep consistent regulations for the sportsmen and sportswomen of Tennessee and to save considerable time and money by not recommending changes for 2012-13. The regulations to be affected include big game, small game, furbearer, manner and means, and TWRA-managed wildlife management areas. Even with the proposed two-year cycle, the TWRC could recommend changing any of the regulations at any time.

Other major changes would include:

•Creating a continuous gun season for deer hunters that would run from the traditional starting date of the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Jan. 1. 

•Wild hogs will no longer be considered a big game animal and will be allowed to be taken at select wildlife management areas during deer hunts.

•Landowners would be given the ability to kill wild hogs by means not previously allowed. This includes all legal weapons and live trapping with bait outside of big game seasons.

•The fall turkey season would be moved from December to October, and the number of days would be increased from 12 to 14. 

•Quail season would close the last day of January to help protect the resources and hopefully increase the state’s quail population.

The fisheries division will make a presentation on the activities taking place at TWRA warm water hatcheries to highlight the fish spawning process. This includes brood collection, egg fertilization, fry development and the final process of stocking fingerlings. Committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on May 19. The formal commission meeting starts at 9 a.m. on May 20. The public is invited to attend.


Fishing opportunities this summer at Army Ammo Plant

As it has for the past four years, the Holston Army Ammunition Plant (HSAAP) is providing the opportunity for the general public to fish the restricted section of the Holston River within the installation’s boundaries. 

The HSAAP public fishing program was approved by the HSAAP commander under a strict set of guidelines designed to insure that safety and security standards are maintained while each fishing event is being held. The HSAAP is currently accepting applications for 4 fishing events scheduled for this summer: June 25 and 26, and July 9 and 10. Anyone interested must apply for a random drawing.

Applications for this year’s fishing events are available online at www.holstonwildlife.com and at www.tnwildlife.org.  Applications may also be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address: Holston Army Ammunition Plant, Attn: Fishing Information, 4509 West Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660. Applications must be received by June 1 in order to be considered for the drawing. For additional information, contact Bruce Cole at 423-578-6276.