(Updated January 31, 2019)
TWRA supplies commercial fishermen with gillnets
As part of a larger concerted effort by multiple state and federal agencies in the Ohio River Basin, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has developed an Asian Carp Harvest Incentive Program (ACHIP). As part of the new ACHIP program and while supplies last, commercial fisherman enrolled in ACHIP shall receive a one-time distribution of 15 TWRA-supplied gillnets from a contracted Wholesale Fish Dealer. A subsequent offering of TWRA-supplied gillnets will be distributed to commercial fisherman enrolled in ACHIP who harvest no less than 60,000 pounds in a 6-month period. The ACHIP program was implemented on Sept. 18, 2018 and already through the month of November has reimbursed ACHIP-contracted wholesale fish dealers for 262,333 pounds of Asian carp.
TWRA launches new smartphone app with enhanced features
The TWRA is launching a new smartphone app, "TWRA on the Go," with enhanced features to make it easier to hunt, fish, boat, and enjoy wildlife. Android users can install the new app through Google Play. IPhone users may go through the regular Apple Store.
Users will have the ability to access a copy of their current license, store multiple licenses on one phone, buy licenses, check deer or turkey with or without cell phone service, see harvest data, access Tennessee rules and regulations, use geo-locating tools to enhance the recreational experience, and determine sunrise/sunset times based on GPS location. Users will continue to have the opportunity to use features from the previous app. The "Stay Connected Page" provides easy access to TWRA's newsroom and social media.
There is also an interactive map to find TWRA wildlife management areas (WMAs), physical check station locations, and duck blind locations. The "Hunter's Backpack" is where hunter education courses, a summary of hunting seasons, and full versions of the agency hunting guides are available.
For anglers, "Fisherman's Tacklebox" includes, fish identification, interactive maps to find boat ramp and fish access information, fish attractor locations, trout stocking locations, and trout stocking schedules.
On the app's boating page, the "Boating Locker" includes boat regulations, safety checklists, boating education information, navigational aids, and recommended boating equipment.
Winter stocking resumes
The TWRA's winter trout stocking program has resumed and will continue at selected locations through the middle portion of March. The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing. The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit. Anglers are reminded that a trout license is needed in addition to the fishing license. Please note that the dates and locations are subject to change. Updates can be found on TWRA's website at www.tnwildlife.org.
Annual photo contest underway
The agency is accepting entries for its 2019-20 photo contest for publication in Tennessee Wildlife's annual calendar issue. All interested photographers are invited to submit up to 10 of their best photos on fishing, hunting, boating, and wildlife species native to Tennessee. The photos will be reviewed for publication in the annual calendar edition of Tennessee Wildlife, which is the summer issue. If a photo is selected for the calendar edition, the photographer will receive a cash stipend of $60.
Photographers must submit their photo entries by the March 20 deadline. Photos must be horizontal (landscape), in JPEG format, and submitted on a CD. They must be sized to print no smaller that 8-1/2x11 and resolution should be at least 300 pixels/inch.
Photographers must be sure to provide their name, address, phone number, and e-mail address with their disk. Disks cannot be returned.
Entries may be mailed to Tennessee Wildlife, Calendar Issue, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. Tennessee Wildlife is the official magazine for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Subscription rates are $10 for a year, $17 for two years and $25 for three years.
An unexpected guest visits Arkansas
A rare visitor from the coastal marshes took an extended break in Arkansas during the first two segments of duck season. A whooping crane, one of the most recognized birds listed on the federal list of endangered species, spent the last three months bouncing around east Arkansas, primarily in fields between Roe and Aberdeen in western Monroe County. The female crane, labeled L4-17, has been a bit of a nomad during the last year, spending time in Louisiana, Alabama, Mexico and Oklahoma before settling into Arkansas last October.
According to dates provided by LDWF, the crane was first located by transmitter in Arkansas near Hartman on October 5. She then hopped around, being seen near Lake Dardanelle and the shore of Lake Atkins before settling in at a rice field between Roe and Aberdeen in Monroe County from mid-October until mid-December.
The crane is part of a reintroduction effort between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the International Crane Foundation and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Whooping cranes were transported to the coastal marsh of Vermillion Parish from a captive flock at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland beginning in 2011.
Just after Christmas, the crane left Arkansas and travelled to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in north Alabama, a popular wintering location for Sandhill cranes. The refuge also is a temporary home for a small group of whooping cranes that are part of a separate reintroduction of an eastern migratory flock. L4-17 arrived to join a dozen other whooping cranes and roughly 10,000 Sandhill cranes currently at the refuge.
Taking a step forward in turkey conservation
This spring turkey season Mississippi will take a step forward in turkey conservation and management through a mandatory harvest reporting system. Mississippi will now join many states in requiring hunters to report their turkey harvests that will allow for a more detailed look at our turkey populations.
There will be three ways to report your turkey: the MDWFP Hunting & Fishing app, www.mdwfp.com, and by telephone. Of these ways to report your harvest, we strongly encourage hunters to take advantage of the app because it will be the quickest and easiest. Once you have a profile setup in the app, you will be able to complete the reporting process in under a minute.
Mandatory harvest reporting of turkeys allow for more precise resource management. It would:
• Monitor populations and harvest data more effectively than an annual hunter survey. The details gathered will improve regulatory decisions and allow for adaptive approaches to management.
• More thoroughly evaluate the impact of season frameworks on turkeys, hunters, and hunting success.
• Provide - for the first time - timely and efficient county level harvest data, allowing MDWFP to identify areas with low harvest rates that we could target as areas that need to be improved.
• Identify Mississippi's turkey hunters, which would allow for directed polls and surveys to understand the desires of this hunting group.
• Demonstrate to the hunting community that harvest management and bag limits are important and especially critical to those species that have a season limit.
MDWFP will accept applications Jan. 15 – Feb. 15 for Wildlife Management Area (WMA) permitted turkey hunts. Participating WMAs include Bienville, Black Prairie, Canal Section/John Bell Williams, Caney Creek, Canemount, Caston Creek, Copiah County, Leaf River, Malmaison, Sandy Creek, Sunflower, Tallahala, Twin Oaks, Upper Sardis, Ward Bayou, and Yockanookany.
MDC reports final deer harvest for season more than 290,300
Missouri's 2018-2019 deer-hunting season ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary total harvest of 290,339 deer. Top counties for the overall season were Franklin with 5,826 with deer harvested, Callaway with 5,545 and Howell with 5,350. Of the 290,339 deer harvested, 136,776 were antlered bucks, 30,116 were button bucks, and 123,447 were does.
Hunters harvested 284,477 deer during the 2017-2018 deer hunting season. The most recent record season was in 2012-2013 with a total harvest of 313,254.
Deer hunting ended with the close of the archery season. Preliminary data from MDC showed that hunters checked 54,447 deer during the archery season.
Fall archery turkey hunting also ended Jan. 15. Preliminary data from MDC showed 2,095 turkeys harvested. Top counties for the archery turkey season were Callaway with 56 birds harvested, Franklin with 44, and Monroe with 38. For the previous year, hunters harvested 2,426 turkeys during the fall archery season.
MDC reported eight firearms-related hunting incidents during the 2018 fall deer and turkey hunting seasons. Three were fatalities with two occurring incidental to hunting while at hunting camps and one was a self-inflicted incident in the field. Of the five non-fatal incidents, four were self-inflicted and the fifth occurred when the shooter shot a victim while swinging on game.