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Regional Roundup!

(Updated Octber 13, 2017)

 

Tennessee

Public Comment on Commercial Filming, Motion Picture Production and Still Photography of West TN National Wildlife Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to allow commercial filming, motion picture production and still photo uses on Reelfoot, Lake Isom, Chickasaw, Lower Hatchie, and Hatchie Refuges and is requesting public comments. A compatibility determination to allow a non-wildlife dependent use is required and public comments are encouraged. Comments will be accepted from October 13-October 27, 2017. Comments can be sent to 309 N. Church St. Rm. 201, Dyersburg, TN 38024. The compatibility determinations can be found at any of the refuge offices or at www.fws.gov/westtnrefuges/.

Please contact the refuge office at (731) 287-0650, or check out our website at www.fws.gov/westtnrefuges/ for further information.

Lower Hatchie NWR 2017-2018 Waterfowl Quota Hunt For Champion and Little Champion Lakes

Lower Hatchie NWR announces dates and application procedures for the 2017-2018 waterfowl quota hunt for Champion and Little Champion Lakes during waterfowl season on the refuge. Permits will be limited to 8 per weekend on Champion Lake and 4 per weekend on Little Champion Lake. Successful applicants are eligible for only one hunt per lake. Signed refuge permits, a signed and affixed Federal Duck Stamp, and applicable State licenses are required.
To apply for a quota hunt permit, type or plainly print the following on the front of a U.S. Postal Service Postcard (Unofficial postcards will be discarded prior to drawing);

• Name (A total of 4 hunters may apply on the same card. One name on the front, 3 names on the back)
• Address
• Phone number with area code
• Indicate one weekend preference during the TN state waterfowl season, by date.
• Indicate lake preference (Champion Lake or Little Champion Lake)

Youth Hunters: Both the youth hunter and his/her supervising adult must apply together on the same postcard to be selected for a quota hunt.
Youth Waterfowl Hunts will be drawn separately. On a postcard include Youth Hunt and Lake Preference.
Youth Waterfowl Hunt Dates- Feb. 3th, 2018 and Feb. 10th, 2018.
Postcards for the waterfowl hunts on Champion Lake and Little Champion Lake must be postmarked during the month of October. Submission of more than one postcard per lake will result in disqualification of the applicant.

Send postcard in an envelope addressed to the Refuge Ranger to:
Reelfoot NWR
4343 Hwy 157
Union City, TN 38261

Applicants selected will be notified by mail.

For more information, call Tara Dowdy at (731) 538-2481 or visit the Lower Hatchie NWR website at fws.gov/refuge/lower_hatchie to find the Public Use Regulations virtual brochure.

Landrum named TWRA boating officer of the year

Josh Landrum has been selected as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2016 Boating Officer of the Year. Landrum serves as a boating officer in TWRA District 21, a 12-county district in Middle Tennessee, which includes several rivers and streams and the five major reservoirs of J. Percy Priest Cordell Hull, Cheatham, and Barkley.
Landrum led the state in the number of boating under the influence arrests (BUI) with 19 and was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at the organization's annual Night of Remembrance for his efforts. He prosecuted seven boating-related drug cases. Landrum inspected more than 750 recreational boats and issued close to 100 court citations for violations. He was the lead investigator on five incidents and assisted on several others.
In other duties as a wildlife officer, he conducted more than 100 access area, fishing, wildlife, and wildlife management area checks. Landrum coordinated TWRA support of U.S. Marine Week in Nashville and three other major public events in the area.
A native of Hamilton County, he joined the TWRA in 2011 as a wildlife officer in Houston County before moving into his current position three years later. He earned his degree in fisheries and wildlife management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2007. He worked three years for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources before returning to his home state.

Cooperative effort underway to battle Asian carp

In a continuing effort to help assure Kentucky and Lake Barkley reservoirs remain top fishing and boating destinations, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is partnering with the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee to battle the invasion of Asian carp. In addition, the Tennessee General Assembly's Asian Carp Task Force, chaired by District 75 (Henry, Benton and Stewart counties) Rep. Tim Wirgau, recently helped acquire $75,000 to purchase equipment beneficial to cultivating the local commercial industry. Commercial fishermen harvested more a million pounds of Asian carp in 2016, with most of these fish netted from Kentucky portions the lakes, according to the TWRA.
Aware of the 2016 results, the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee, with financial help that Rep. Wirgau worked to obtain, will meet with local businesses to identify their needs for helping the commercial Asian carp industry be even better equipped to remove carp from Kentucky and Barkley lakes.
While Asian carp are a major concern for how they could eventually effect native fish populations, so far they have not done so in Tennessee.
"Fortunately, at the current population density of Asian carp has not had any measurable impacts to our sport fish populations," said Frank Fiss, the chief of TWRA's Fisheries Division. "However, that could change if the carp populations become more prolific as they move upstream in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.
"We need a successful commercial industry to make sure we keep their numbers down," said Fiss.
TWRA is also cooperating with the Tennessee Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit at Tennessee Tech University to monitor all life stages of carp throughout the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

2017 free youth deer hunt registration

Youth between the ages of 10-16, who are hunter safety certified and who have never harvested a deer, are eligible to win a spot in what has become an annual special hunt. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host the hunt in conjunction with the opening day of the 2017 Tennessee Young Sportsman Deer Hunt on Saturday, Oct. 28. Youth from various regions from across the state have participated in the event held at Buffalo Ridge Refuge in Humphreys County.
A total of 30 young hunters will be selected to participate. The area incorporates a variety of wildlife management practices and totals more than 2,000 acres of prime deer habitat. Treestands will be provided including three which are handicap accessible.
A Friday night cookout will be held. Sites will be available for those who wish to camp (participants must provide their own camping gear). Breakfast and lunch will also be provided Saturday.
TWRA will hold a drawing and the winners will be notified by Oct. 20. Confirmation packets will be sent to the successful participants that will include directions and a list of items to bring as well as a list of area hotels. Winning hunters are responsible for providing the appropriate Tennessee hunting license and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult at least 21 years of age or older.
Interested hunters may complete an application and mail it to the following address: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Youth Deer Hunt Giveaway, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. Applications can also be faxed to (615) 781-6543. All applications must be received by Oct. 15. For more information or to receive an application, contact Donald Hosse, TWRA Wildlife Education Program Coordinator at [email protected] or (615) 781-6541. Applications are also available on TWRA's website at www.tnwildlife.org.

Elk hunt participants announced

The 15 people who will participate in the 2017 Tennessee Elk Hunts have been selected. A total of 8,664 persons registered for the opportunity to participate in the 2017 hunt. Tennessee began its elk hunt in 2009 with the participants selected from a computer draw. TWRA Region IV Wildlife Management Program Coordinator John Mike announced this year's participants at the meeting.
Selected to participate in the archery-only hunt Sept. 30-Oct. 6 are Johnny Lankford Delaney (Chattanooga), Edgar Michael Galaway (Brighton), William C. Harris (Smithville), Jimmy E. Hilliard (Maryville), Brandon T. Metcalf (Greeneville), Matthew Douglas Meyer (Knoxville), and Larry Wayne Rosenbaum (Dickson).
Gun, muzzleloader, or archery equipment is allowed in the Oct. 14-20 hunt. Selected to participate were James L. Blackwell (Chattanooga), Doug C. Gougher (Jasper), Kimberly Ann Mayfield (Etowah), Gary W. Ownby (Clinton), Floyd Eugene Roach (Knoxville), and Darvis Gary White (Greeneville).
The seventh permit was presented to a non-governmental organizational, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. The permit was auctioned with a bid of $13,000 was made by Alabama resident Tim Fisk. Fund-raising proceeds from the auctioned tag are designated for the elk restoration program.
The youth tag permit winner is Reed A. Johnson (Manchester). This will be the sixth year for the tag which is designated for youth ages 13-16. The TFWC voted to allow a full week for the youth participant for the first time this year, rather than a two-day weekend hunt. It will be held Oct. 7-13.

Mississippi

MDWFP Fisheries Bureau Director wins national award

Larry Pugh, the Fisheries Bureau Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) received the Award of Excellence from the Fisheries Management Section of the American Fisheries Society (AFS). The American Fisheries Society is an international organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate inspirational leadership in the fishery profession and substantial achievements for AFS and fisheries resources. Pugh was presented the award at the Society's 147th annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Pugh, a native son and avid angler, has served as the Bureau Director since 2013, and is very dedicated to the State's anglers and fisheries resources. Under Larry's leadership, the bureau has funded progressive research regarding hatchery production of sport fish and improving fish communities in our state lakes. He has partnered with adjoining states to battle invasive species like the Silver and Bighead carp which negatively impact sport fisheries. In addition, he has advocated for innovative management strategies that enhance Mississippi's nationally recognized crappie fisheries.

Arkansas

Endangered Ozark hellbenders making comeback

The dwindling population of the endangered Ozark hellbender took a positive turn this summer when Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists released more than 100 of the rare aquatic salamanders to the Eleven Point River. It was Arkansas' first stocking of captive-bred hellbenders from a breeding program at the St. Louis Zoo, and part of a larger effort to restore populations of the endangered species in the Eleven Point, one of only three streams where Ozark hellbenders persist after decades of declining numbers.
"We're stocking the captive-produced Ozark hellbenders to try to maintain the population and hopefully to bolster the population," said AGFC herpetologist Kelly Irwin. "This is the first time that we've released individuals back into the wild in Arkansas that were reared from the wild or captive-produced egg clutches."
Ozark hellbenders were placed on the federal endangered species list in 2011. The species inhabited the Spring River in robust numbers as recently as 30 years ago but has disappeared from the Spring over the past 15 years.
"What was once a very abundant population in the Spring River has gone extinct for all intents and purposes," Irwin said.

Lindsey is new superintendent at Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Billy Lindsey has been promoted to the role of superintendent of Bull Shoals-White River State Park. Lindsey has been the Assistant Superintendent at Mount Magazine State Park. He has previously served as owner/manager of Lindsey's Resort in Heber Springs for over 38 years and is a past State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commissioner for over 28 years.
"Billy Lindsey is a natural fit for Bull Shoals-White River State Park," said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann. "With his extensive knowledge of resort management along Arkansas's premier trout fishing rivers, deep understanding of the tourism industry and as an exceptional park professional he will serve the region very well. I look forward to seeing the positive influence Billy will have on the park and the surrounding area."
Tracy King, Region 2 supervisor said, "I am honored to have Billy Lindsey working with us in the north central part of Arkansas. As superintendent, Billy becomes only the fifth superintendent in the 62-year history of Bull Shoals. His diverse background in management, supervision, tourism, and his positive disposition, makes him the perfect fit. His career with the ADPT family spans over 30 years and his experience and dedication towards excellence is second to none. He will take Bull Shoals to the next level through his strong leadership."
King is a native of Parsons, Tenn., and a graduate of what was then known as Memphis State University.

 

 

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