Variety of Topics Covered at September TFWC Meeting
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission heard a 2012 dove report, an assessment of the Caney Fork River, outreach programs in the schools, and an annual presentation from Ducks Unlimited among its agenda items at its September meeting.
Tim White, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Migratory Bird Program Coordinator, gave a report on TWRA’s leased dove field program that began in the 1980s. The program has been successful in providing quality hunting opportunities.
Mark Thurman, TWRA’s Region III Fisheries Manager, presented results of a recent survey of Caney Fork River users. Recreation on the river has seen a definite increase. Thurman reported that from those surveyed, a 99 percent satisfaction rate was reported from anglers with their fishing trip on the Caney Fork and that 78 percent of anglers rarely if ever had negative encounters with a paddler.
Strategies as well as further assessment were developed by various TWRA divisions and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Strategies include education, outreach, signage geared toward educating paddlers on proper river etiquette, and providing litter bags for paddlers to deal with trash.
In addition, following the TFWC meeting on Friday, the TWRA Fisheries Division hosted a Caney Fork River stakeholders meeting.
Don Crawford, the Information & Education Division’s assistant chief, gave a report on the National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) that has been launched in several Tennessee schools. Tennessee was one of the states selected to receive a grant to help schools begin the program. In addition, he gave an update on the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) which has seen tremendous growth and announced that the Seventh Annual NASP State Championships will be held in April 2013 and will return to the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro.
Andrew Peercy from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation gave an update on the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). Representatives from the Henry County team which won the national title in the Rookie Division and the Jefferson County 4-H Patriot Shooters which won the Senior Division were recognized at the meeting.
TWRA Assistant Executive Director Nat Johnson gave a report on the availability of TWRA licenses. There are a total of 841 retail outlets to purchase licenses in the state. In addition, internet sales are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and phone sales are available for 14 hours, six days a week.
Dave Kostersky, from Canada Ducks Unlimited, made his annual presentation to the commission on waterfowl habitat in Canada.
Bill Swan, from the Shikar Safari Club International in Chattanooga, made a check presentation of $4,000 to the TWRA to benefit the elk program.
Daryl Ratajczak, Forestry and Wildlife Division Chief, recognized Tony Hickle in Region IV as the 2012 Wildlife Technician of the Year. Region IV’s Scott Dykes was honored as the 2011 Wildlife Biologist of the Year. Wildlife Division Assistant Chief Gray Anderson was named the 2012 Wildlife Biologist of the Year.
The TWRA will hold its next meeting on Oct. 26 at Reelfoot Lake State Park. The meeting will be held on one day rather than the usual two-day format.