(Updated July 10, 2019)
TWRA TO HOST WEST TENNESSEE CWD WORKSHOPS
JACKSON, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host six CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) workshops in West Tennessee this summer.
There will be a short presentation at each of the sessions, followed by a question and answer session. TWRA and University of Tennessee staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding CWD from the public.
Six meeting locations have been set in the newly formed CWD Zone in West Tennessee. Meetings will start at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.
July 9, 2019, in McNairy County at the University of Tennessee Selmer Center. Located at 1269 Tennessee Avenue, Selmer, TN 38375.
July 11, 2019, in Tipton County at the Tipton County Farm Bureau Office. Located at 1798 Hwy 515, Covington, TN 38019.
July 16, 2019, in Madison County at the Madison County Extension Auditorium. 309 N Parkway Jackson, TN 38305.
July 18, 2019, in Shelby County at the Shelby County Agricenter International. 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis TN 38120.
August 1, 2019, in Haywood County at the Haywood County Justice Complex. 100 South Dupree, Brownsville, TN 38012
August 27, 2019, in Chester County at the Henderson City Hall. 121 Crook Avenue, Henderson, TN 38340.
Boating registration fees to increase
On July 1, pending approval by the Government Operations Commission of the Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee boaters will see the first boat registration fee increase in 12 years.
Any boating vessel operated by a gas engine, electric motor or sail is required to be registered. The increase is in line with the rise of the consumer price index since the last fee increase was made.
The current fee for a 16-foot boat and under is $13 for one year, $24 for two, and $35 for three. The new fees will be $15, $28, and $41, respectively. Vessels with a length over 16-feet to 26-feet will increase from $25 to $29 for a year. Those over 26 feet to 40 increases from $38 to $44 and vessels more than 40 feet moves from $51 to $59 for a year.
Boat owners have the option to have their vessels registered for one, two, or three years. The registration term may not exceed three years and 30 days. Boat owners will not see the increase until their current registration expires.
Those vessels that are powered only by paddle such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and rafts are not required to be registered. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports there are about 264,000 vessels registered.
Boat registration can be made online 24/7/365 at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at any TWRA regional office located in Jackson (Region I), Nashville (Region II), Crossville (Region III), and Morristown (Region IV), or by mail.
Legislative amendment affects motorized watercraft renters
An amendment passed in the Tennessee General Assembly this year requires persons who rent motorized watercraft be given an orientation for the specific type of vessel being rented. The renter of the watercraft must sign off in acknowledgement after completion of the orientation. The marina or any other rental entity will keep the acknowledgement on file for at least a 30-day period.
Tennessee residents who have successfully completed a monitored National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) exam and hold the TWRA-issued wallet certification card are exempt from this orientation. Any out of state visitor, who holds a NASBLA-approved boating safety education certification, is also exempt as is any person who holds a United States Coast Guard operator license.
Tennessee residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 are required to pass a boater education exam administered by an approved representative of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in order to operate any motorized vessel over 8.5 horsepower. Out of state residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 must show proof of successful completion of NASBLA approved boating safety course. Non-resident certification may be from their home state or any state issued course.
Tennessee residents born after the Jan.1, 1989 can purchase a Type 600 Exam Permit online or from any hunting and fishing license vendor for a cost of $10 and go to a testing location to take the exam or take a class. Locations for testing and for classes can be found on the TWRA website under the boating section. For study materials, telephone (615) 781-6682.
New CWD Unit hunting regulations established
With Chronic Wasting Disease occurring in Tennessee, the TWRA has established the goal of keeping CWD from spreading, keeping the number of diseased deer in the affected area to a minimum, and reducing disease rates where possible. To achieve that goal, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission established a CWD (chronic wasting disease) Unit with specific regulations to achieve our goals that are science-based and data-driven.
The aim of Unit CWD hunting regulations is to increase the deer harvest by empowering hunters to harvest more while targeting high-risk deer and allowing the agency to sample more deer to better understand the disease. Data collected to date indicates that bucks are twice as likely as does to have CWD. Older bucks are three times more likely to have CWD than younger bucks. Other research proves that bucks have a much larger home range so the likelihood of bucks transporting CWD to new areas is higher. For all these reasons, the harvest of bucks will help the most with accomplishing these goals; however the harvest of does is also very important since they can spread the disease as well.
The following hunting regulation changes were made to Unit CWD counties to accomplish the above-stated objectives:
o Tennessee's antlered deer bag limit (2) did not change; therefore it still applies to hunters hunting Unit CWD as well as the rest of the state.
o Only hunters hunting in Unit CWD counties may earn additional bucks.
o Unit CWD hunters may earn up to two bucks for harvest, in addition to the statewide antler deer bag limit of two.
o Earned bucks are received by harvesting two Unit CWD antlerless deer, checking them in, submitting them for CWD testing, and being notified by TWRA.
o Earn-A-Buck will increase the number of deer (does and bucks) harvested and the numbers of deer tested for CWD.
• Replacement Bucks
o Unit CWD hunters will receive a replacement buck if they harvest a CWD-positive buck and the lab result is confirmed by TWRA.
o There is no limit on the number of replacement bucks.
o Replacement bucks will encourage hunters to continue hunting and harvesting and be an added incentive for hunters to have their deer tested for CWD.
• The August 3-day hunt now allows the use of muzzleloaders, in addition to archery, and applies to most public lands (Presidents Island in Shelby County is excluded).
• Muzzleloader season will begin on October 28th in Unit CWD
• Gun season will begin November 9th in Unit CWD
• Antlered harvest allowed during the January 5-day private lands hunt (traditionally antlerless only)
• Mandatory physical check stations on Nov. 2-3 and Nov. 9-10 for Unit CWD counties except Hardeman and Fayette.
The CWD hunting regulations only apply to CWD positive counties of Fayette, Hardeman, and Madison and CWD high-risk counties of Chester, Haywood, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton. Carcass export and wildlife feeding restrictions remain in place for Unit CWD.
Urban bowhunts application period
The application period for Arkansas's special urban bowhunts for the 2019-20 deer hunting season is now open. These hunts, which begin Sept. 1, offer bowhunters in Arkansas an early opportunity to get into the woods in order to help maintain white-tailed deer populations at levels which reduce conflicts with homeowners and drivers.
Hunters interested in participating in the Cherokee Village, Russellville, Fairfield Bay, Horseshoe Bend, Heber Springs and Hot Springs Village hunts should visit www.arkansasbowhunters.org/UrbanHunt to register online or contact J.D. Crawford at [email protected].
Hunters wishing to participate in the Bull Shoals or Lakeview hunts should contact Larry Hodge at 832-514-9663.
CWD management zone expanded
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has expanded the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone to include Baxter, Scott and Stone counties following the confirmation of CWD-positive deer in or near these counties during the 2018-19 deer hunting season.
AGFC biologists identified 241 new positive cases of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer and five elk during the 2018-19 deer hunting season. Among these were positive cases on the northern edge of Scott County and the eastern edge of Searcy County. To ensure compliance with the AGFC Code of Regulations, any county where a wild or captive cervid tests positive for CWD and any county within a 10-mile buffer of a positive CWD sample will be included under the CWD management zone regulations.
Inclusion within the CWD Management Zone will mean new regulations concerning baiting and feeding wildlife, hunting on public and private land within these counties, and movement of harvested deer. Supplemental feeding of wildlife is not allowed within the entire CWD Management Zone; however, baiting is allowed from Sept. 1-Dec. 31 for hunting purposes.
The following wildlife management areas will be relaxed by the new regulations concerning CWD: Cedar Creek WMA, Muddy Creek WMA, Norfork Lake WMA and Sylamore WMA. Within these WMAs, button bucks will now count toward a hunter's antlerless bag limit and antler size restrictions such as the three-point rule will be removed.
Visit www.agfc.com/cwd for more information about chronic wasting disease in Arkansas.
Smallmouth bass being tagged on Crooked Creek
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists are collecting and tagging smallmouth bass for angler-based research on Crooked Creek near Yellville. Dozens of smallmouth in this blue-ribbon fishery will sport yellow and red tags inserted alongside the dorsal fin worth a monetary reward.
"Anglers catching a tagged fish can clip the tag off close to the skin and turn it in for a cash prize," said Paul Port, fisheries management biologist at the AGFC Mountain Home office. "They can keep the fish if it is of legal size, or release it and simply keep the tag."
Anglers can call the number on the tag (877-425-7577) to report the catch and get instructions on where to mail the tag to redeem their prize. They should be prepared to report the tag number, the date and time of the catch, the catch location, the fish's length and whether it was kept or released. Anglers can mail or bring tags in person to the AGFC Mountain Home Regional Office at 201 East 5th Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653.
Largemouth bass stocked at five lakes
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked largemouth bass into five lakes across the state. Moon Lake in Coahoma County and Bee Lake in Holmes County received over 50,000 fingerling northern largemouth bass. Recently renovated state fishing Lake Mary Crawford in Lawrence County was stocked with 2,600 bass. Florewood River Plantation Lake, located near Greenwood and enrolled in MDWFP's Community Fishing Assistance Program, was stocked with 250 largemouth bass.
Bay Springs Lake in northeast Mississippi was stocked with approximately 110,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass.
Moon Lake reopens
High water at Moon Lake in Coahoma County has receded to a safe level and as a result, officials have reopened the lake to recreational boating. For more information visit www.mdwfp.com or call (601) 432-2200. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.