(Updated December 2, 2013)
TWRA'S 2013-14 Winter Trout Stocking
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March. The trout will average about 10 inches in length. There are exceptions (see state regs) but the daily creel limit is seven with no length limit.
The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing.
A complete listing of streams and dates can be found at www.tnwildlife.org.
Wild Hog Control For Tennessee's Public Lands
In Region I, on the Land Between the Lakes WMA, wild hogs may be taken incidental to any hunt.
In Region III, wild hogs may be taken incidental to deer hunts on the following WMAs: Alpine Mountain, Bridgestone-Firestone Centennial Wilderness, Catoosa, Skinner Mountain, Standing Stone State Forest, and Tellico Lake. Wild hogs may be taken on any deer or bear hunt on South Cherokee WMA. There are also the following wild hog control seasons in which the use of dogs is permitted: two five-day control seasons on Catoosa WMA and one three-day control season on Skinner Mountain WMA.
In Region IV, wild hogs may be taken on any big game hunt on the North Cherokee; any deer or turkey hunt on Kyker Bottoms Refuge; and on any hunt, small game or big game, on the Foothills WMA and the entire North Cumberland WMA.
On the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, wild hogs may be taken with a special permit during any deer hunts and by small game hunters after the deer season.
Refer to the regulations for individual WMAs and public hunting areas to determine how and when hogs can be taken.
Wild hogs can also be taken incidental to scheduled bear-dog hunts.
Wild Hog Control For Tennessee Landowners
Landowners have more opportunity than ever before to control wild hogs on their properties. They can shoot wild hogs year-round during the day without limit and trap with bait outside of big game seasons. Furthermore, landowners may obtain an exemption from their TWRA regional office enabling them to kill wild hogs at night using a spotlight, and to trap year-round. Family members and tenants that qualify under the Farmland Owner License Exemption and up to ten additional designees may help private landowners with wild hog control efforts. For properties over 1000 acres, an additional designee per 100 acres may be assigned. No licensing requirements exist for landowners or their designees. In order to renew each year, exemption holders are required to report the number of hogs killed on their property and the manner in which they were killed to TWRA.
ATTENTION: ON JULY 31st, 2014, LEASE EXEMPTIONS FOR HOG ERADICATION WILL EXPIRE. Hunting lease members that were assisting landowners with wild hog eradication efforts will need to be placed on a landowner exemption if they wish to continue with eradication efforts. Restrictions on the number of individuals per exemption may apply.
Don't Plant Fescue – Spread the Word
Many hunters and landowners have the idea that tall fescue is good to plant as a cool-season forage for deer and other wildlife. This is far from the truth. Fescue is by far, the worst planting to improve wildlife habitat; it is toxic to many species of wildlife, cattle and other livestock.
Because of the toxicity of the plant, most wildlife simply avoids eating it and finds no protective cover from its lack of vertical structure. Much of the decline in the state's quail population can be attributed to the planting of fescue. We must squelch this belief among hunters and land managers that fescue is good to plant for wildlife.
Biologists all over the southeast U.S. have long agreed fescue is a poor wildlife cover and food source. In fact, nearly all stands of fescue are infected with an endophytic fungus that lives within the plant that produces chemicals causing the fescue to have toxic qualities. The alkaloids are found throughout the plant, but are especially concentrated in the seeds, and leaves. The irony of this situation is the chemicals act as a feeding deterrent causing animals not to eat the fescue, except as a last resource. As a result, the plant ensures a place for itself and out-competes other grasses and forbs resulting in further degradation of the habitat for wildlife. Fescue, no matter the type or variety are poor choices for improving wildlife habitat.
Studies have proven the negative effects of infected fescue diets on a wide range of domestic and wild animals.
Treat existing stands of fescue with glyphosate. Mix the chemical according to label instructions and apply on a day above 60 degrees; this generally provides a good kill. One spray may not be enough so a second spraying may be required if fescue shows up later during the spring green-up. Treat with glyphosate again. The acres treated can be managed as wildlife habitat by prescribed burning, block disking or direct wildlife beneficial plantings or allow native plants to provide habitat.
The bottom line, everybody, hunters, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and the general public need to help spread the word about the effects of this toxic plant to wildlife and how it provides very poor vertical structure as wildlife cover and has no food value. Remember: Don't plant fescue.
For more information on improving your land for wildlife and how to manage your fescue go to www.agfc.com/habitat and click on the 2013 Private Lands Map.
Knock Out Nuisances
Nuisance animal regulations have been developed in Mississippi to provide homeowners and landowners legal options for management and control of these species.
Any nuisance animal control or management program must begin with an assessment of the conditions that may attract wildlife to a location that develops into a nuisance situation. Wildlife in both rural and suburban areas will utilize food sources, as well as buildings and other physical structures that are not intended for use by wildlife.
Depending on the situation, once wildlife become accustomed to food sources or structures, deterring them may be very difficult or seem impossible. In many cases, a nuisance situation exists due to conditions created by humans. Some nuisance wildlife situations may be amplified during poor wildlife population health conditions, poor habitat conditions, or during nesting, young rearing, and denning.
In other situations, wildlife will merely take advantage of opportunities that exist within their home range. Nuisance animal regulations provide opportunity for homeowners and landowners to protect their property against nuisance animals and the damage that they may cause.
These species are defined as "nuisance animals" in the State of Mississippi: wild hogs, beaver, coyote, fox, nutria & skunk.
Nuisance animals may be hunted, taken, killed, chased, or pursued during daylight hours on private lands and/or on public lands where the governmental agency charged with the management of said lands has passed laws or regulations allowing the taking of nuisance animals, from opening day of deer archery season to the last day of February and during spring turkey season with the type of weapons and ammunition legal to hunt with during that season.
Outside of the above mentioned time-frames, the hunting of nuisance animals is allowed during daylight hours on private lands with no caliber restrictions.
Persons hunting nuisance animals during nighttime hours from one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise, with or without the aid of a light, are restricted to using standard rim-fire rifles or handguns no larger than .22 caliber long rifle (all magnums excluded) and/or shotguns with shot size no larger than No. 6.
Except for the following: Landowners and leaseholders may hunt nuisance animals year-round at any time of day or night with no caliber restrictions only on the lands that they own or lease.
Designated agents of landowners and leaseholders may hunt nuisance animals year-round at any time of day or night with no caliber restrictions, provided that the designated agent must have written permission from the landowner or leaseholder in his or her possession, when hunting.
Permission letters must be signed and dated by the landowner, shall include the contact information of the landowner and the designated agent, and must specify a date of expiration.
For more details visit http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/nuisance-wildlife.aspx.
Don't Spread Nuisance Carps
It's illegal to use these invasive, non-native fish as live bait. Asian (black, silver and bighead) carp were imported into the United States to clean algae from tanks in commercial fish farms and sewage treatment plants. Due to releases or escapes caused by flooding, they've spread in recent decades and thrive in many rivers. They are also becoming a threat to lakes.
Large silver carp can leap 10 feet into the air when startled by boat motors and potentially causing serious injuries to passengers in moving boats and tear up gear.
Both silver and bighead carp are plankton feeders and they deplete food used by native sport fishes such as bass and crappie when they are young.
The most likely way that Asian carp will reach a lake is if anglers carry them in water-filled bait buckets onto the lake. A live fish being placed on a hook can escape into the water and anglers are prone to dumping unused bait into a lake when the trip is over. It's illegal to use Asian carp as live bait but may use them as bait if the fish are dead. It is recommended that netted bait fish be placed on ice in coolers where the temperature shock kills the carp but keeps them fresh for use as bait. Don't dump unused live bait!