The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a change in a proclamation in regard to future big game tagging and check-in procedures. The vote came during the January meeting of the TFWC which concluded Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region II Ray Bell Building.
The change calls for all big game animals to be checked in at an approved TWRA checking station, on the TWRA website, or by the TWRA mobile application by the end of calendar day of harvest.
Evidence of the big game animal’s species and sex must be available for inspection by TWRA personnel until the animal is checked in. All big game animals taken to taxidermists or to meat processors must be accompanied by documentation on approved TWRA forms or mobile application.
The TWRA is adding a new mobile application for check-ins which will be ready for the 2013 spring turkey season. TWRA is changing its big game tagging system from utilizing temporary and permanent harvest tags to a harvest log.
In other business, the commission heard a report on the recently completed 10-day hog control season held at Catoosa Wildlife Management Area from TWRA Region III Wildlife Program Coordinator Kirk Miles. The control season had a total of 1,565 participants, the heaviest volume coming on the weekend dates. Dogs were allowed to be used during the season and a total of 36 hogs were taken.
A public meeting concerning the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed closure of tailwaters on the Cumberland River and its tributaries to boating traffic was scheduled for Jan 15 and cancelled due inclement weather. The meeting has been rescheduled for Feb. 5 and will be held at Nashville’s McGavock High School. However, a meeting was held on Thursday (Jan. 17) at Upperman High School in Baxter. TWRA representatives were present, including Fisheries Division Chief Bobby Wilson who reported to the commission on Friday that those from the public voiced a unanimous disapproval of the proposal. The TWRA has repeatedly voiced opposition to the closures.
Jason Henegar, TWRA Statewide River and Streams coordinator, gave a report of the re-introduction of lake sturgeon in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The agency has reports of the sturgeon being caught at various spots in the Tennessee River as far north as the Knoxville area and in the Cumberland River ranging to the Land Between the Lakes area.
Don King, TWRA Information and Education Division chief, played a preview of the recently-completed Charlie Daniels Public Service Announcements.
The commission approved a budget expansion for the new Reelfoot Spillway. The funds will be used to establish a lake level flow gauge network, compile data to produce an operation manual, and test the spillway computer system. This initiative will be a cooperative, cost-shared project with the U.S. Geological Survey.
The TFWC scheduled its next meeting for Feb. 14-15, in Nashville. Committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Feb. 14, and the formal meeting is at 9 a.m. on Feb. 15.