Michael Neal Joins TWRA In Battle Against Aquatic Nuisance Species

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Professional bass angler, Michael Neal joined Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) in the fight to stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species in Tennessee waterways. Neal travels with the FLW Tour and fishes throughout Tennessee and the U.S. Having fished his entire life, he’s seen the effects of ANS and hopes to bring attention to the issue.


ANS include any non-native species, plant or animal, which has a negative impact on the environment, economy and public health.

Some of the commonly known ANS in Tennessee include Asian carp, zebra mussels and hydrilla.  ANS are spread primarily through human activities such as emptying ballast water, dumping bait buckets, using dirty fishing gear and intentional release. The impacts are shocking. According to the ANS Task Force (2011), a national group overseeing the impact, education and control of ANS, “The costs to control and eradicate invasive species in the U.S. alone amount to more than $137 billion annually.”


Sport fishing in Tennessee was estimated to have $1.1 billion dollar impact across the state in 2001 (U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service).  
Neal recognizes the impact ANS can have not just on bass fishing, but the rich diversity of Tennessee’s waters. Neal stated, “TWRA does a great job managing our fisheries; but without everyone’s involvement to stop the spread of ANS, their job is much harder. He continued, “Tennesseans are rich in water and diversity. We have beautiful places to fish and boat. Why not join in the effort to care for it?” Neal has filmed public service announcements for the agency and added the ANS logo on his boat and truck.


TWRA Region 3 reservoirs crew and the Region 3 streams crew have worked diligently to educate and provide means to stop the spread of ANS. The reservoirs crew shares the message Clean Drain Dry and more with high school fishing teams. They provide a free seminar and hands on learning activities that invite these teams to protect our resources. The streams crew has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and Tellico Plains High School to provide gear cleaning stations for anglers. So far, two have been installed with an additional 10 ready to be placed throughout the region. 

Additionally, TWRA leaders participate on national committees to ensure leading research is implemented.


The burden of this issue weighs heavily on TWRA and the agency is grateful to partner with Michael Neal, other states and organizations to stop the spread of ANS. However this issue is truly in the hands of the public. Individual actions have the ability to affect our waters and the agency encourages all recreational users to join in the battle. Visit stopaquatichitchhikers.org to learn more.


TDEC Commissioner, Staff Join Conservation Kid To Help Kick-Off River Rescue With Cleanup At Harrison Bay State Park

Mystery Plant 690: Cypress Vine, Red Morning-Glory

Green Thumb Garden Club Meets Oct. 10


Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers and department staff from across the state joined forces with Cash Daniels, the “Conservation Kid” his younger ... (click for more)

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The Green Thumb Garden Club of Ooltewah/Collegedale will meet on Monday, October 10 at 7 p.m. at Chestnut Hall (in the Commons), 4950 Swinyar Dr. in Collegedale. The presenter will be Master ... (click for more)



Outdoors

TDEC Commissioner, Staff Join Conservation Kid To Help Kick-Off River Rescue With Cleanup At Harrison Bay State Park

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers and department staff from across the state joined forces with Cash Daniels, the “Conservation Kid” his younger brother and his mom, to kick off the 34th annual Tennessee River Rescue Thursday at Harrison Bay State Park. Teams of volunteers tackled trash at two locations along the park’s approximately ... (click for more)

Mystery Plant 690: Cypress Vine, Red Morning-Glory

Allow me to tell you a few things about some members of the Morning-glory family. There must be nearly 2,000 species in this family, and as native plants, they are distributed pretty much all over the world, in temperate and tropical regions. Many of these species are viny, either climbing or crawling (sometimes both): the scientific name for this family is “Convolvulaceae”, which ... (click for more)

Breaking News

42-Year-Old Man Drowns At Marina On Chickamauga Lake Saturday

A 42-year-old Hamilton County man drowned at a marina on Chickamauga Lake on Saturday afternoon. TWRA Officers responded to a 911 call around 2 p.m. for a missing person. A man loading a Bayliner cabin cruiser boat had disappeared. Witnesses said the man backed his truck and trailer and was attempting to load his boat. He exited the boat and was attempting to keep the ... (click for more)

Fleischmann Praises The Release Of Matthew Heath From Captivity In Venezuela

Representative Chuck Fleischmann on Saturday praised the release of Tennessee resident and Marine Corps veteran Matthew Health, who had been held captive in Venezuela for over two years. “Praise God that Matthew Heath has been released from his wrongful captivity and is coming home to his family. Throughout the over two years that Matthew was held, his family never gave up ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Vaccine That Could Cure America: Reversing Roe

Dobbs v. Jackson, reversing almost 50 years of abortion on demand, is existentially a legal and moral/ethical vaccine for the United States. Why? While the legal challenges and political fighting will continue for some time, this is the greatest reversal of a Supreme Court in its history. It is worth noting that official Reconstruction lasted almost 25 years in the old Confederacy. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In October

The frost has yet to get to my garden but as I collect orchids and onions for an October delivery it is downright chilly. Thank goodness for the afternoon sun as we prepare to plant our winter rye grass seed and wish for more rain. As is my monthly custom, there is an abundance of orchids and onions to deliver on this first day of October so let’s get going … AN ORCHID to Dr. ... (click for more)