The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a two-day meeting Feb. 16-17, in Nashville at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.
The committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The regular TFWC meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. The public is invited to attend.
The commission will vote on the 2017-18 waterfowl hunting seasons. At the TFWC’s January meeting in Memphis, the TWRA shared proposed season dates and bag limits for all migratory bird species. The TWRA is also recommending an operational sandhill crane hunting season. For the past four years, an experimental sandhill crane hunting season has been held in a limited area in East Tennessee. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved an operational season for Tennessee.
The agency is proposing a two-week shift in the American Woodcock season. Currently this season starts the last Saturday in October and the shift would have it beginning the second Saturday of November. Other seasons will remain intact with only date changes.
Due to recent changes in the timing of the federal regulation process, Tennessee and other states will now set their waterfowl, dove and other migratory bird seasons earlier in the calendar year. Waterfowl seasons had been set in late summer in previous years.
The commission had asked the TWRA to review the big game check-in system which was made at the January meeting. The commission requested the cost of big game harvest survey and tagging options which will be made at the February meeting.
The Biodiversity Division will discuss the lists of species in the state that are deemed endangered, threatened and in need of management. The Code of Tennessee requires the list to be reviewed by the commission every two years.
The Information Technology Division’s 2016 Professional of the Year of the Year will be introduced to the commission.
TFWC Chairman Harold Cannon will call for a report from the TFWC Officer Nominating Committee. The TFWC will elect new officers for 2017-18.
The February meeting is scheduled to conclude the appointments of five commissioners. The out-going commissioners are Jim Bledsoe (Jamestown), Harold Cannon (Lenoir City), Dr. Jeff McMillin (Bristol), Jim Ripley (Sevierville), and Trey Teague (Jackson).