Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Elk Hunt Winners Annoucned at TWRC Meeting

NASHVILLE --- Four persons have won the right to participate in Tennessee’s third-ever managed elk hunt. The winners were announced Friday during the June meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region II Ray Bell Building in Nashville.
The four winners, all Tennessee residents, were selected in a computer drawing from 6,840 applicants. The elk hunt is scheduled Oct. 17-21, 2011 at the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
The participants for this year’s hunt will be Richard R. Rutherford of Walland, Terrell S. Holt of Columbia, John Mark Alston of Knoxville, and Jody A. Moore of Loudon. Daryl Ratajczak, TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division Chief, announced the winners.
The fifth participant will be the recipient of a permit that is donated to a Non-Governmental Organization, which this year was the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. That permit will be auctioned on eBay. The auction period will run July 14-23. Fund-raising proceeds are designated for the TWRA Elk Program.
In other business at the meeting, the commission passed proclamations with new language that would allow for land purchases to take place without necessitating a proclamation change. Small tracts of land are sometimes purchased adjacent to Wildlife Management Areas when they become available, especially in West Tennessee.
Stacy Surgenor, manager of the Flintville Hatchery, gave an update on activities at the trout hatchery. Fisheries Division Assistant Chief Frank Fiss gave an update on federal budgets that will eliminate much of the funding for Dale Hollow and Erwin hatcheries which supply trout to several popular fisheries in Tennessee. Both facilities are operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Trout stocking will continue as usual this year. Tailwater and reservoir trout fisheries will receive about 20 percent less trout in 2012 and even deeper cuts are projected for 2013.
Darren Rider, Boating Division Chief, presented a Memorial Day holiday weekend report. There were no boating fatalities recorded during the period. There were five accidents reported and boating officers made 20 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests.
Steve Nifong, Acting Law Enforcement Division Chief, presented an overview of the efforts of TWRA wildlife officers in response to the tornadoes in East Tennessee and the flooding in West Tennessee this spring.
The TWRC will not meet in July. The meeting schedule will resume Aug. 24-25 (Wednesday-Thursday) in Kingsport.