Fish and Wildlife Commission Concludes First 2022 Meeting in Dyersburg
DYERSBURG, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s first 2022 meeting included a preview of the 2022-23 Tennessee migratory bird hunting, a report by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Fisheries Division on specific projects, and a pair of guest presentations. The two-day meeting concluded Friday at the Lannom Center.
The TWRA’s recommendations for the migratory game bird hunting seasons. were for the statewide season dates and bag limits to fall within federal frameworks. There have been no changes to the federal frameworks and will reflect only calendar changes.
The commission did discuss the possibly of having one statewide season. Currently, there is a Reelfoot Zone which is held for two days prior to the start of the statewide season.
TWRA Fisheries Division Chief Frank Fiss provided an update describing the work that TWRA Fisheries staff has done since 2020 to improve fishing at many of the Bill Dance Signature Lakes locations. Fisheries staff have been surveying fish populations, improving habitat, stocking fish, and installing fish feeders.
The Bill Dance Signature Lakes project was unveiled at the final TFWC meeting of 2021. TWRA and the State of Tennessee will invest $15 million in improvements both above and below the water at 18 lakes which bear fishing legend Dance’s stamp of approval.
The commission approved a request for $2.5 million to make major renovations at Herb Parsons Lake. The 177-acre, TWRA lake in Fayette County has been selected as a Bill Dance Signature Lake. TWRA plans to improve all buildings, grounds, and fishing amenities at this 70-year-old facility to provide excellent fishing opportunities.
Dr. Brad Cohen provided a report on waterfowl study tracking the movement of ducks and how hunting pressure and other variable impact waterfowl. More than 450 mallards were tagged and included 66 percent adults, 58 percent males, and 42 percent females.
The study includes assessments to find abundance, quality, and real-time assessment of habitat availability. The study confirms that the mallards stay in the West Tennessee area throughout the winter. In the summer, the mallards travel to a wide-range from the outskirts of Chicago to northern Alberta.
David Blackwood, from the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, reported to the commission about White Oak WMA restoration. Goals for the restoration work include restore nature habitat, increase accessibility, and protect the existing wetland. White Oak WMA consists of bottomland hardwood forests, permanently flooded wetlands, upland hardwood, and mixed pine forests.