TWRC Holds March Meeting with Results of Deer Population Survey Presented
Friday, March 16, 2012 | 06:45am
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency presented results of road-based thermal imaging surveys that were conducted in the winter of 2011 to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission during the commission’s March meeting that was held at the TWRA Region II Ray Bell Building.
Agency personnel surveyed all regions of Tennessee based on randomly-selected 10-12 mile routes with just under 300 routes completed. Regional estimates range from 6.8 – 29.4 deer/square mile with a statewide average of 13.4 deer/square mile.
This generated a post-harvest estimate of 586,000 deer in Tennessee. It marked the first time the agency has estimated the population and the results will provide solid management guidance in the future for TWRA wildlife biologists. TWRA biologists have spent the last five years investigating new ways to estimate Tennessee’s deer population.
Also at this month’s meeting, a presentation on the TWRA brook trout restoration effort was given, specifically in regard to Sycamore Creek in East Tennessee. The Southern Appalachian Brook Trout is the only native trout to Tennessee and the agency has been working toward restoring the population. These endeavors have included restoring a brook trout hatchery building at Tellico Trout Hatchery, brood stock verification, collecting brood stock and distributing brook trout fingerlings.
The commission approved a motion to have the TWRA to include several items in its April meeting presentation addressing wildlife and hunting season issues as well as updates associated with the control of wild hogs in the state. The commission has asked the TWRA to re-address the current limit of non-family designees as related to wild hog control efforts on large acreage tracts.
Also, establish no less than a 10-day period whereby the state will partner with the public in its wild hog control efforts on Catoosa Wildlife Management Area and other WMAs deemed appropriate. This period would allow for the use of dogs by the public in its assistance to the agency. It would be appropriate for the staff to recommend how the period would be implemented, including the 10 days not necessarily being consecutive in consideration to the WMA’s other activities and seasons.
The commission approved a rule amendment to the Rules and Regulations for Animal Importation–Importation of Wildlife Carcasses, Parts and Products. This rule prohibits the unauthorized importation of any cervid carcasses or parts that are from areas where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been identified. This is being put in place to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease into Tennessee’s wild white-tailed deer and elk populations, as well as captive non-native deer and elk populations.
The TWRC will hold its next meeting April 12-13 (Thursday-Friday) in Nashville.