UNION CITY, Tenn. — The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved slight adjustments to hunting seasons at its May meeting which concluded Friday at the Discovery Park of America.
The commission heard a spring turkey hunting season report, an update on quail management, the monitoring of sports fisheries, the latest to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s “On the Go App,” and the upcoming Tennessee Conservation Raffle. In addition, several TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement and staff were honored during the two-day meeting.
The commission approved the proposals of adding Henderson County and applicable WMAs therein to Unit CWD, clarification of eligible test results to the Replacement Buck Program, and the addition of Beech River and the Natchez Trace State Forest in the Henderson County portion only to the August deer hunt. Other items on the proclamation include the addition of events at Buffalo Ridge Refuge in Humphreys County and the movement of a youth dove hunt from Owl Hollow WMA to the nearby Mingo Swamp WMA for safety reasons.
The 2021 spring turkey season had a harvest of 32,703 which is less than year’s record-breaking harvest, but in line with the 5-year average. The two-week delayed season for nine counties where the population is a concern, saw a decrease in harvest of 1,020. The TWRA will offer no regulations after the first year of changes and the harvest rate study (gobbler banding project) continues.
The Northern bobwhite is the state game bird of Tennessee and was once abundant across much of the state. The TWRA is involved with several partners in restoration efforts. Efforts include to identify and prioritize areas for sustainable populations, population monitoring, annually measure statewide harvest and hunter effort, and increase interactions with stakeholders.
An overview was presented on methods used to monitor fish populations and anglers. Fish surveys are conducted annually on most major fisheries. A subsample of fish is used to describe the age and size structure of the population, and ultimately other parameters which govern the dynamics of the fish population. These surveys and analyses provide the foundation for decisions regarding fishing regulations and stocking programs.
An update on the TWRA “On the Go App” will be given. The app features new addition with a goal to improve customer service, harvest reporting, and easier to read. The Tennessee Wildlife Foundation’s Tennessee Conservation raffle will begin in the coming weeks with new prizes packages added.
The TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division recognized Josh Landrum as the Boating Officer of the Year. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to wildlife officers Seth Snow, Jonathan Ferrell, and Chase Rich, and Lifesaving Awards were presented to wildlife officers Ricky Lyle, Ethan Davis, Sgt. Matt Brian, Sgt. Brad Bagwell, Jeff Serbin, Clay Hetland, Matt Norman, and Kaleb Stratton.
The Tennessee Wildlife Federations presented its Conservation Communication Awards to TWRA Outreach and Communications Chief Jenifer Wisniewski. The Ged Petit Award, in honor of a late TWRA employee, was given to the TWRA Public Duck Hunting team.