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

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The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority board on Monday gave approval for construction of an approximately 520-space economy parking lot with shuttle service to the terminal. For the first time in more than six years, the board also passed a parking rate adjustment that officials said more closely aligns with comparable airports in neighboring cities. “The Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Lamar Alexander Will Not Seek Re-Election In 2020; Officials Respond; Haslam Seriously Considering Race

Senator Lamar Alexander announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2020. Afterward, Governor Bill Haslam said he would seriously consider seeking the seat. Senator Alexander, 78, said, " I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate in 2020. The people of Tennessee have been very generous, electing me to serve more combined years as Governor and ... (click for more)

Opinion

An Open Letter Concerning The Proposed Ooltewah Waste Treatment Facility - And Response

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority and County Commissioner Tim Boyd want to build a sewage treatment plant in my backyard. I bought my house in Ooltewah in 1994, raised my children here and worked hard to pay it off. My home has been my small piece of the American Dream. Now, the WWTA and Commissioner Boyd want to reward my hard work by taking away about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Loving Hands…

For a great part of my life that I spent with my family at the former Chattanooga News-Free Press, we were in a lockjaw fight with the family who owned the Chattanooga Times. Up until the 1970s the two newspapers existed under the same roof, splitting expenses, but that got sour when the Times had a lot more “expenses” than we were duty-bound to share. So then my grandfather ... (click for more)