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Regional Roundup!

(Updated May 3, 2017)



Becoming an Outdoors Woman 2017

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will host the 2017 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop June 2-4 in Crossville at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center. The relaxed atmosphere of the BOW workshop is aimed at women, and an opportunity for those 18 or older to learn outdoor skills usually associated with hunting and fishing. However, the workshop provides useful for other outdoor pursuits and interests. Workshop participants will have a chance to take a variety of courses over the three days and the classes are taught by experts in their respective fields. There will be special programs in the evenings.
This year's workshop offers classes in introduction to firearms/safety, successful fishing skills, advanced fishing techniques, all-terrain vehicle operation, basic archery, introduction to paddleboards, boating safety education, outdoor cooking, wild edible foray, beginning fly fishing, nature photography basics, basic canoeing, basic shotgun, survival skills, backyard habitat, map/compass, introduction to muzzleloading, introduction to turkey hunting, introduction to deer hunting, introduction to waterfowl hunting, basic trapping, reading the woods, discover scuba, and stream ecology.
The workshop fee is $225 and includes lodging at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center, meals, T-shirt, and a 2017-18 Tennessee Hunting and Fishing License. Registration is taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications may be obtained from the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org, or any TWRA regional office. For more information contact Donald Hosse, Wildlife Education Program Coordinator, at [email protected] or telephone (615) 781-6541.

New TFWC commissioners announced

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission recently introduced its five new commissioners in its meeting chaired by Jamie Woodson at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's Region II Ray Bell Building. The new commissioners introduced were Angie Box (Jackson, TFWC District 8), Brian McLerran (Moss, District 3), Kent Woods (Kodak, District 2), Dennis Gardner (Lakeland, Statewide), and James Stroud (Dyersburg, Statewide).


Four State Fishing Lake Record Fish Caught In One Weekend

The MDWFP Fisheries Bureau announced that four state fishing lake record fish were caught recently. Ray Newsome of Columbia caught a lake record bluegill (11 ounces) and redear sunfish (12 ounces) at Lake Columbia in mid-April. On the same day, Sue Thornton of Crystal Springs caught a lake record crappie at Calling Panther Lake that weighed 2.2 pounds. On April 16 a lake record largemouth bass weighing 6.57 pounds. was caught at Lake Lamar Bruce by Phillip Pannell.
Each angler will receive a record fish certificate from MDWFP, and a copy will be on display at the lake offices and on the lake's information page of MDWFP's website. Fish that qualify for a state lake record include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, and catfish. Potential record fish must be verified by a member of the Fisheries Bureau staff.

Trace State Park Lake Drained for Dam Repairs

The MDWFP is in the process of draining Old Natchez Trace Lake at Trace State Park to complete dam repairs. The lake was lowered in 2016 to begin reconstruction of the downstream slope. Winter rains and the development of additional slides forced the contractor to postpone work until the area dried. Officials with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Dam Safety Division, inspected the site in early April. The original slide on the downstream slope has significantly worsened, and slides on the upstream slope have reached a point that the dam core may be impacted. MDWFP was directed my MDEQ to immediately open the valve and drain the lake in preparation for dam repairs in summer 2017.

Fishing will be allowed while the lake is draining and all creel and length limits will be removed. Fishing licenses and lake permits will be required. Anglers may only fish with one rod and reel or pole. No other fishing gear is allowed. After the main lake is drained, the area will be closed to public use during the renovation period. Other activities, including fishing in the smaller lake near the Park entrance, will remain open.

Youth fish camp National Fish Hatchery in Tupelo

The MDWFP, Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will host a Youth Fish Camp at the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Tupelo June 20-21. The camp is open to youth ages 11-15. The purpose of the camp is to introduce Mississippi's youth to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing.

"The camp is much more than children going fishing," said MDWFP Fisheries Bureau Assistant Director, Larry Bull. "Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises led by MDWFP fisheries biologists, MWF volunteers, and hatchery personnel will help students gain a better understanding of fish, fishing, and fisheries management."

Due to limited space, only 20 campers will be accepted. Camp applications can be completed online at the Mississippi Wildlife Federation's website http://mswildlife.org/events/camp-fish/. Paper applications can be obtained from MDWFP by calling (601) 432-2200. Mail completed applications to MDWFP Camp Fish 2017, Attention: Larry Bull, 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211. All applications must be received by June 12. Accepted participants will be notified by June 16.

Officers uncover illegal hog selling operation

Mississippi Conservation Officers in South Mississippi recently dismantled a group responsible for the illegal selling and transporting of wild hogs. The illegal trafficking operation was discovered when a concerned citizen tipped off local officers of what they believed was a "possible illegal situation that concerned them greatly."
Christopher Miley and Mandy Miley both of Franklinton, LA were charged with the following: Importation of wild hogs, transporting wild hogs without a permit, unlawful selling of wild hogs, and trapping in Mississippi without the appropriate license. Bethanie Toothman of Sulphur, La., Sierra Miley of Tylertown, Miss., were charged with unlawful sale of wild hogs.


Bowfisherman arrows state record spotted gar

Jerrime Tucker of Conway used his bow to take the biggest spotted gar ever recorded in Arkansas, topping a mark that had held for almost 12 years. Tucker was bowfishing in Lake Conway when he caught the spotted gar, which weighed 12 pounds, 5 ounces, setting the mark for largest spotted gar taken with unrestricted tackle. Unrestricted tackle is anything other than rod and reel. The previous mark of 11 pounds, 12 ounces was set by Joseph Miller of Clinton, who took his fish on April 9, 2005, in Lake Overcup. Tucker's record-setting gar, which measured 41.3 inches from tip of nose to tip of tail and had a girth around the dorsal fin of 10 inches, was weighed at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Mayflower office. Tucker was fishing with Brandon Capps of Jacksonville.

Springdale residents arrested in elk-poaching case

Three Springdale residents have been arrested for poaching two bull elk in north-central Arkansas. The dead elk were found earlier this year on a county road near the Newton/Madison county line. Arrested in the case were Rebecca Burkett, 27, her husband, Clifford Lee Burkett, 52, and Joyce Stout, 57.

Rebecca Burkett was charged with fleeing a wildlife officer, taking of elk prohibited, criminal trespass, hunting wildlife in closed season, aiding and abetting, hunting from the road and big game checking requirements. Clifford Lee Burkett was charged with hunting out of season, criminal trespass, and aiding, accompanying and abetting. Joyce Stout was charged with hunting from the road, fleeing an officer, criminal trespass, hunting wildlife in a closed season, taking of elk prohibited, big game checking requirements, criminal trespass, and aiding accompanying and abetting. Possible fines for Rebecca Burkett total $12,870, potential fines for Clifford Burkett total $5,000 and Joyce Stout faces fines of $6,420.


MDC finished CWD testing for season with no recent cases found

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has concluded its 2016-2017 sampling and testing efforts to find chronic wasting disease (CWD) in free-ranging Missouri deer. Through the cooperation and support from hunters, private land owners, taxidermists, and others, MDC tested more than 25,500 deer during the past season and found nine cases of the deadly disease, as previously reported: one in Adair, three in Franklin, one in Jefferson, two in Macon, and two in St. Clair counties.
The two cases in St. Clair County were the first CWD detections found in the western part of the state. The case found in Jefferson County was the first for that county.
In response to finding CWD in Jefferson and St Clair counties, and because of the detection of CWD in 2017 in hundreds of deer in northwest Arkansas near the Missouri border, MDC is expanding its CWD Management Zone from 29 to 41 counties for fall 2017.

MDC reports feral hog numbers for first quarter 2017

MDC wildlife biologists on the feral hog strike team have tallied up feral hog numbers for the first three months of 2017. The first quarter yielded a total of 2,332 feral hogs removed by MDC, partner agencies, and private landowners, which is nearly half of the total number of feral hogs removed in all of 2016. Southeast Missouri removed a total of 1,124 feral hogs in the first quarter, which is where the highest density of feral hogs occurs.
Feral hogs have expanded their range in the U.S. from 17 to 38 states over the past 30 years. Their populations grow rapidly because feral hogs can breed any time of year and produce two litters of one to seven piglets every 12 to 15 months.


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