Genetic Testing Verifies New State And Potential World Record Black Crappie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
From left, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record black crappie fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins
From left, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record black crappie fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received results from a genetic analysis and is verifying a new state record black crappie caught by an angler from Philadelphia, Tn.  Application for world record status will have to be submitted by the angler to the International Game Fish Association.  

It’s been a long four-and-a-half weeks since Lionel “Jam” Ferguson landed the big fish from a pond near Paint Rock, Tn. but the final results have no doubt been worth the wait.  This week, TWRA received verification from Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that Mr. Ferguson’s fish is a pure strain black crappie without any hybrid genes and is being certified as the new state record.  At the time it was caught, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds verified the fish as a black crappie but submitted a fin clipping for genetic testing in order to rule out the minute chance of hybridization between a black and white crappie. 

According to TWRA’s fisheries division, Mr. Ferguson’s black crappie weighed 5 lbs. 7.68 oz. on scales certified by the State of Tenn. Weights and Measures Division, which outweighs the former state record of 4 lbs. 4 oz. caught by Clyde Freeman in Brown’s Creek Lake in 1985.  The current world record black crappie weighing an even 5 lbs. was taken from a private lake in Missouri in 2006, according to the International Game Fish Association.  TWRA will, if needed, assist Mr. Ferguson with the world record application process by providing our state application, genetic analysis from Prairie Research Institute, and professional observations from our fisheries biologists.  Although not part of the state record requirements, Mr. Ferguson’s fish measures 19 ¼ inches in length with a girth of 17 ¾ inches. 

TWRA Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss said, “TWRA wishes to congratulate Mr. Ferguson by breaking a state record that’s been held for 33-years and looks forward to assisting him with the world record application process if needed.”   

TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins.



Celebration Of National Public Lands Day Event Sept. 29 At Cumberland Trail

Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail in Spring City invites the public to join them from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 to celebrate National Public Lands Day and the 50th Anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Cumberland Trail will have a snake/insect booth, a creek stomp (weather permitting), a gift shop and will be joined by the Tennessee Wildlife ... (click for more)

Reflection Riding Celebrates 32nd Annual Fall Native Plant Sale This Weekend

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center presents the Fall Native Plant Sale on Friday , Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. With family programs throughout the weekend and an impressive selection of plants native to Tennessee, the Fall Native Plant Sale is the region’s best option for new and experienced gardeners wanting to stock up on native trees, ... (click for more)

10-Term Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd Dies

Marilyn Lloyd, who represented the Third District in Congress for 10 terms, has died at the age of 89. Ms. Lloyd got into politics after her husband, TV anchor Mort Lloyd, was killed in a plane crash in 1974. Mort Lloyd had won the Democratic primary to oppose Rep. Lamar Baker. The party chose her to go on the ballot in his place, and she defeated Congressman Baker. She was ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Couple Robbed Of Over $56,000 In Items; Believe Facebook Post May Have Tipped Off Thieves

A Soddy Daisy couple reported a theft at their residence netted thieves over $56,000 in items. The couple said the thieves may have picked their residence because they posted on Facebook that they were vacationing in Gatlinburg. Michael Lee Leming, 42, has been arrested in the case. However, only $10,600 of the stolen items were recovered. Leming is from Dunlap, but was ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dumb Ain’t A Crime

As half of America wonders how a Texas school superintendent still has a job, the other half of the country now understands that being dumb is no crime. Minutes after the Houston Texans dropped a ugly 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, an upset educator – obviously with a full head of steam -- pounded this sentence out on his Facebook page: “That may have been the most ... (click for more)