(Updated September 1, 2017)
May named assistant TWRA director
Michael May has been named assistant executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). He moves into his new role after serving as TWRA's Information Technology (IT) Division chief since September 2011. May will handle a variety of administrative duties.
"The enthusiasm and energy that Michael displays toward every project we have undertaken is remarkable, said Ed Carter, TWRA Executive Director upon making the announcement. "I look forward to that same professionalism and leadership in his new role. His outgoing personality will be an asset not only inside the Agency but in building further working relationships with our sister agencies and federal partners."
As IT Division chief, May was responsible for overall direction and administration of TWRA's statewide computer programming operations. He played a major role in the implementation of Brandt Information Services as the agency's new license vendor during the past year. During his tenure, May and his division were also honored by the Tennessee Wildlife Officers Association with the 2013 President's Award, which signified outstanding service and dedication to the Tennessee wildlife officers.
Prior to being named IT Division chief, May was an Information Resource Support Specialist 4 from 2003-11. He originally joined the TWRA in 2000. He was an Information Resources Support Specialist 2 & 3 for General Service before his return to the TWRA.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, he continues to serve in the rank of Chief Master Sergeant in the Air National Guard. He was one of six Outstanding Veteran Employees working in state government honored by Gov. Bill Haslam and the State of Tennessee in the 2014 Veterans Day observance.
New Freshwater Commercial Fishing Regulation Proposed
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposed rule change to allow the use of slat baskets by licensed commercial fishermen in Pools A through E of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Slat baskets are round or square boxes made of wood or plastic used to catch catfish. Comments on the proposed rule change will be taken through Jan. 16.
For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi, visit www.mdwfp.com or call (601) 432-2200. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.
Beware of Misprint in Mississippi Outdoor Digest
The MDWFP would like all sportsmen and women to be aware of a misprint concerning White-tailed Deer bag limits and legal buck main beam length in select hard copies of the 2017-2018 edition of the Mississippi Outdoor Digest. On page 16 of the Mississippi Outdoor Digest under the section titled "Bag Limits," the text should read:
"The bag limit on Delta, Northeast, East Central, and Southwest zones antlerless deer is three (3) per annual season. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one (1) per day, two (2) per annual season."
Also on page 16, the table titled, "LEGAL BUCKS" should show 13" for the Southwest Zone under the "MAIN BEAM" column.
Transportation of big game harvested in other states
Mississippians traveling out of state to hunt big game this fall need to be aware of a new rule affecting the transport of their trophy. In May 2016, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks passed 40 Miss. Admin Code, Part 2, Rule 2.7 Prohibition on Cervid Carcass Importation, to protect Mississippi from chronic wasting disease (CWD). Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects cervids and has been found in 24 states and three foreign countries. A cervid is a member of the deer family and includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, red deer, sika deer, and fallow deer. Rule 2.7 states that it is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory, or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed by either the state wildlife agency, state agriculture agency, state veterinarian, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Target infrastructure operation dates for popular duck-hunting areas set
Biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) have developed later target dates for managing water control infrastructure on greentree reservoirs the AGFC manages. Operation of water control structures will not begin on most areas until Nov. 15, in an attempt to mimic natural historic flooding timing more closely than previous management. The change is intended to protect beneficial red oak species within the systems while still offering duck hunters the opportunity to enjoy hunting Arkansas's famous flooded timber.
Consistent flooding during the growing season changes the make-up of bottomland hardwood stands, replacing willow oak and Nuttall oak with more flood-tolerant species such as overcup oak and elm, which are of much less benefit to ducks using the area.
Luke Naylor, waterfowl program coordinator for the AGFC, says the November dates set this year are only a first step in the process of changing how these critical wetlands are managed.
Visit www.agfc.com/gtr for a list of proposed flooding dates on AGFC-managed greentree reservoirs.
Partnership sweeps away debris in Norfork Lake
The AGFC staff from Mountain Home teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove dangerous debris left from massive spring floods which paralyzed parts of North Arkansas and created extremely hazardous conditions for boaters on Norfork Lake this summer. The lakes are receding from the flood now, but many areas within floodplains in North Arkansas and South Missouri were devastated when historic floods swamped the region from April 28 to April 30. Roads, bridges and buildings were swept away and crushed under the force of current spawned from up to 12 inches of rain in less than two days. The water levels and dangerous conditions eventually subsided, but the mess left behind may take years to be removed completely.
One of the hardest hit areas was the North Fork River in Missouri, which flows into Norfork Lake. Flooding destroyed cabins and houses, overtopped bridges, and swept away trees. During the flood, Norfork rose more than 11 feet in 24 hours, resulting in massive amounts of natural and man-made debris.
Biologists modified habitat barges, special pontoon boats rigged to place trees and other aquatic habitat into the water, to remove the harmful debris. A pulley system was added to tow away large items or winch them into support boats. Biologists also used another barge to load items.
101 got the good news
Thousands of Arkansans had been waiting on pins and needles for weeks to find out if they were one of the lucky few who drew a chance at harvesting an alligator in Arkansas this year. Well, 101 individuals got the good news. The permit draw was held up due to some unforeseen issues with the process, and officials with the AGFC apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused some hunters. Arkansas's 2017 alligator season is Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25, and hunting is only allowed at night. All permit winners must attend a hunter orientation class before being issued their temporary tags.
Permit winners are allowed up to three assistants during the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon and dispatch the alligator. Arkansas alligator hunters must completely subdue the gator before finishing it with a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang stick using shot no larger than no. 4 common shot.
Bird hunting opens
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds hunters that migratory bird season started Sept. 1 with the opening day for dove, snipe, and rail, followed by teal hunting starting Sept. 9, and woodcock Oct. 15. Mourning doves, Eurasian collared doves, and white-winged doves may be taken from Sept. 1 through Nov. 29 from one half hour before sunrise to sunset with a combined daily limit of 15 and a combined possession limit of 45 for all species. MDC provides numerous conservation areas around the state for dove hunting, including many planted with crops of sunflower, corn, millet, wheat, and buckwheat to attract the popular game birds. Find conservation areas for dove hunting and dove-field maps online at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/dove-hunting-areas.
Wilson's snipe (common snipe) may be taken from Sept. 1 through Dec. 16 from one half hour before sunrise to sunset with a daily limit of 8 and a possession limit of 24. Sora and Virginia rail may be taken from Sept. 1 through Nov. 9 from one half hour before sunrise to sunset with a combined daily limit of 25 and a combined possession limit of 75 for both species.
Hunting season for blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon teal runs Sept. 9 - 24 from sunrise to sunset with a combined daily limit of 6 and a combined possession limit of 18 for all species. Hunting season for American woodcock runs Oct. 15 through Nov. 28 from one half hour before sunrise to sunset with a daily limit of 3 and a possession limit of 9.
Conservation Commission welcomes new commissioner
Gov. Greitens announced the appointment of long-time conservationist and outdoor enthusiast Nicole Wood to the Missouri Conservation Commission. The Governor has appointed Wood to a term that expires June 30, 2023. Wood replaces James T. Blair, IV, of St. Louis whose commission appointment expired. Wood's appointment will be subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate. Wood is the director of operations at Woodland Operations and Maintenance, where she is involved in the daily management of 20,000 acres of land in the Missouri Ozarks. She is only the fifth woman appointed to the Conservation Commission in the Department's 80 year history.