Crossville, TN – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission heard several fishing-related items, including an update on Tennessee’s statewide trout fishing programs, among its business conducted at its September meeting held at the Crossville Hampton Inn.
The commission, which will approve the 2011 sport fishing regulations at its October meeting, heard an update on a pair of changes. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency decided to keep its original recommendations concerning the size limit on crappie at Whiteville Lake in Hardeman County and the closed fishing zone in Cherokee Reservoir.
As was discussed at the August commission meeting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that shovelnose sturgeon be listed as a “similarity of appearance” species with the federally endangered pallid sturgeon. Proclamation 10-12 amends the commercial fishing proclamation to prohibit the take (harvest) of this species by commercial fishing activities in Tennessee. In addition, due to the action taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on shovelnose sturgeon, the agency is proposing to prohibit the harvest of this species by sport fishing methods as well. If sturgeon are accidentally captured, they should be released immediately.
Frank Fiss, TWRA Fisheries Division Assistant Chief, presented an overview of the state’s trout program, which included the species stocked, number produced, status of the trout hatcheries, and future management plans for various trout fisheries. TWRA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services annually stock 2.1 million trout in Tennessee waters. The stocking program supports an estimated 640 miles of trout fishing.
The TWRC approved TWRA’s proposal to lease approximately 4,100 acres of land in an area known as Dry Creek in southern Hardin County as a Wildlife Management Area. TWRA was contacted by Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) with an offer to lease the land. The five-year lease agreement starts with the current hunting season. In July 2013, the Agency will pay a $3.00 per acre lease fee, for two years. In 2015, TWRA and PCA will evaluate the conditions of the lease and negotiate new lease terms as appropriate.
TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter briefed the commission on a state initiative to file a petition with the federal Office of Surface Mining seeking to declare certain lands along the ridge tops in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Areas as lands unsuitable for cross-ridge mining and mountain-top removal mining. The agency was asked to participate in a committee that is formulating the language for the proposed petition.
The meeting concluded Thursday (September 23rd). The TWRC will hold its October meeting at Pickwick Landing State Park. The meeting will be held October 27th-28th.