TFWC Holds July Meeting In Chattanooga

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held its July meeting and among the agenda items, heard a report on a chronic wasting disease (CWD) plan, a report on a long-range deer strategic plan, and a reservoir fisheries habitat update. 

The TFWC was holding its first meeting since May and returning to the Scenic City for the first time since October 2015.

Greg Wathen, of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency director’s office, gave a report to the commission on the progress of the TWRA chronic wasting disease (CWD) Response Plan draft. The plan is divided into four areas.

It includes the agency’s operation goals of preventing the introduction of CWD into Tennessee. A risk assessment system that will maximize early detection of the disease and minimize its impact in the event a positive CWD deer or elk is detected. The final step is to develop an extensive communications strategy to address all aspects of outreach on CWD.

The next CWD plan update is scheduled to be made in two months to the commission at its September meeting.

CWD has been detected in Tennessee’s neighboring states of Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas and most recently, Mississippi. CWD is a fatal, highly-contagious disease, which affects the brain and nervous system of cervids such as deer, elk and moose.

TWRA deer program leader, James Kelly, gave a progress update on the deer strategic plan. Focus group meetings and interviews with commissioners were held in June. A draft plan will be available this fall with a public comment period to follow.

Jason Henengar, assistant Fisheries Division chief, presented a reservoir habitat update. He highlighted techniques used by TWRA over the past 40 years to manage reservoir fisheries statewide. He referenced current projects including bank stabilization work that is underway on Boone Reservoir as well as fish attractors on Old Hickory Reservoir.

Fisheries chief Frank Fiss spoke to the TFWC about the black crappie caught in Loudon County pond that is a new state record and a potential world record.  Lionel “Jam” Ferguson from the East Tennessee community of Philadelphia landed the 5 pounds, 7.68 ounces fish. It was recently verified through genetic testing that the crappie caught May 15 was not a hybrid. Fiss said it is hopeful the new record holder will be able to attend a future TFWC meeting.

Boating and Law Enforcement Division chief, Darren Rider, provided boating statistics through the July 4 holiday from the start of the year. There have been 14 boating-related fatalities and 65 total accidents which have resulted in 22 injuries.

TWRA Assistant Director Chris Richardson provided a positive status report on the ongoing elk raffle. The raffle, which replaced the online auction, will continue through Aug. 15 and is being coordinated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. The raffle tickets are $10 each.  Since the elk hunt was implemented in 2009, TWRA has donated a permit to a Non-Governmental Organization for an individual to join other participants who are chosen from a computer drawing.    

The TFWC will hold its next meeting Aug. 23-24, in Nashville at the TWRA Region II Building.


Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

Congress Passes Measure To Protect Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest

2019 First Day Hike At The Prater’s Mill Historic Site Set For Jan. 1


The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

Congress for passed a measure that would designate as wilderness roughly 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. The measure, included in the Agriculture Improvement ... (click for more)

On New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Prater’s Mill Historic Site there will be a hike organized on the Norma Gordon Nature Loop and the Prater’s Mill Greenway. The guided ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

Congress Passes Measure To Protect Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest

Congress for passed a measure that would designate as wilderness roughly 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. The measure, included in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), commonly called the farm bill, was originally introduced in April 2017 as the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It would protect important watersheds and wildlife habitats ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Former Assessor, County Commissioner Bill Bennett Dies At 82; Was One Of Hamilton County's Most Popular Public Figures

Bill Bennett, who served Hamilton County as assessor of property and a member of the County Commission, has died at 82. One of Chattanooga's most popular public servants, his experiences in a two-room schoolhouse helped hone his career. He was one of six boys, along with one girl, born to Ernest and Mary Roberts Bennett on the Cumberland Plateau. Ernest Bennett farmed and ... (click for more)

County Jail Inmate Dies Early Friday Morning After Having Trouble Breathing

A 57-year-old inmate at the Hamilton County Jail died Friday morning after having difficulty breathing and being transported to a local hospital. He was identified as David Leonard Bulloch. The Sheriff's Office said, "At 3:30 a.m. , Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies assigned to the Corrections Division were made aware that an inmate was having difficulty breathing. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Bill Bennett Was One Of The Best Gentlemen In Politics - And Response (4)

In an era of political haughtiness and ego, we should recognize the life example of public service demonstrated by Hamilton County Assessor Bill Bennett. As I told my friend Bill many times, he and former Governor Winfield Dunn were the best “gentlemen” I knew in politics. He was kind, humble and honest. To honor his legacy, we should all try to carry ourselves a little more ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All right, this one is on me. I knew what I wanted to suggest in this week’s Saturday Funnies and about mid-afternoon yesterday I crafted a story I think a lot of people will like. As soon as I was done, I put the story “in the can,” which is to say I saved it, and then caught up on my phone messages and chores. A couple of hours later I went to retrieve the story and – zip! nada! ... (click for more)