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Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission Updates Fishing Regulations

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - TWRANashville, TN – The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) approved updates to the state’s fishing regulations at its September meeting which concluded Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

The changes came to the commercial fishing, sport fishing regulations, and bait regulations for 2020-22.       

In addition to the fishing regulations, the Fisheries Division announced its 2019 awards. Eric Ganus, who coordinates the agency’s statewide commercial fish, turtle, and mussel programs, was named Fisheries Biologist of the Year. Tim Williams was named Fisheries Technician of the Year and serves as the senior technician at Buffalo Springs Hatchery, the agency’s largest trout hatchery which is located in Rutledge.

Fishing at Land Between the Lakes. (LBL Photo)
Fishing at Land Between the Lakes. (LBL Photo)

An update on chronic wasting disease (CWD) and results from the recent August three-day deer hunt was given by CWD Coordinator Chuck Yoest. This year’s harvest was 586 compared to 798 last year. In the newly created Unit CWD in southwestern Tennessee, there was an increase from 36 to 61. Muzzle loaders were allowed in Unit CWD along with archery equipment.

There have been seven new CWD positives confirmed in the last month from five that were harvested during the August hunt, one roadkill, and one reported sick. The report also indicated that the TWRA expected the number of positives to have a sharp rise. Yoest said he expects some high-risk counties to become positive and several counties will become high-risk.

Yoest reported that the Unit CWD regulations have been well-received. There were eight total public meetings in the area for TWRA officials to meet with the public.

Boating and Law Enforcement Assistant Chief Glenn Moates presented a 2019 boating safety report. The number of boating –related fatalities has seen a drastic reduction so far this year with six. Since 1965, there has been an average of 22-boating-related fatalities each year. In 1965, there were two reported. Other low yearly fatalities were seven in 1995 and 10 in 200.

TWRA bating officers have inspected more than 58,000 vessels this year, almost half being paddle craft. Officers have issued more than 1,200 citations, 925 warnings, made 62 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests, and assisted more than 150 boaters.

Three boating division awards were presented. Region III, District 31’s Joe Fortner was named the Boating officer of the Year, Region II, District 21’s Carl McCoy was the part-time Boating Officer of the Year. Dustin Buttram, who was earlier named the Boating Educator of the Year, was also introduced at the commission meeting. He serves in District 31.

Jenifer Wisniewski, Outreach and Communications Division chief, announced that partnership with Academy Sports resulted in more than 3,200 persons reactivating their licenses. Those who renewed their licenses during the time period were able to get a 20 percent off coupon for use in Academy Sports locations in Tennessee. She said the agency holds to land similar partnerships in the future.


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