(Updated February 3, 2017)
Dance among those honored by Bass Pro Shops
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bass Pro Shops has presented a series of awards for noted conservation partners of the year including Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) founder Ray Scott; legendary angler Bill Dance; and country music recording artist John Anderson. Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris announced the awards during a special holiday ceremony with Bass Pro Shops associates at the company's headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
"All of us at Bass Pro Shops are proud to honor these individuals for their unwavering dedication to conservation," said Morris who is himself a noted conservationist. "Long recognized and well respected as leaders for their conservation efforts and support, they continue to help restore and conserve our natural resources and important habitats for North America's wildlife."
Dance received the Fisherman's Best Friend Award. Dance is one of the world's most famous and beloved fishermen. "Bill Dance Outdoors" premiered on a Memphis ABC affiliate in 1968 and has been growing in popularity ever since. Today the show is televised nationwide and its host has achieved celebrity status among the nation's 45 million anglers. Dance has received numerous accolades including 23 national bass fishing titles and seven B.A.S.S. titles.
Dance and Morris first became friends when both were on the professional bass circuit and have worked together to promote key conservation issues. Most recently, Dance was instrumental in the formation of Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Morris was still contemplating the project when he and Dance went fishing in the shadow of the Pyramid along with the late Jack Emmitt, Bass Pro Shops' first fishing manager. Morris said if they caught a 30-pound or heavier catfish that day he would commit to the Pyramid transformation. As the legend goes, they caught a 34-pound catfish and the rest is history.
Update on possible world record non-typical deer rack
NASHVILLE --- A buck harvested in Sumner County during the 2016 muzzleloader season, has completed a step toward becoming a world record for a non-typical deer rack. Boone and Crockett officials spent several hours in early January scoring the 47-point buck tabbed the "Tennessee Tucker Buck" as the Nashville headquarters of the TWRA. The buck was harvested by 26-year old Gallatin resident Stephen Tucker. The deer rack scored 312 3/8 in the Boone and Crockett tabulation. The tabulation was held after 60 days had passed since the original "wet" score indicated that the buck was a potential world record. As it stands, the score will break the previous mark of 307 5/8 set by then 15-year old Tony Lovsteun in Albia, Iowa. Tucker made his harvest from about 40 yards. It came on a land that his family has leased to farm for the past 40 years. "I have truly been blessed and I am very thankful," Tucker said after learning the rack's score.
The certification process will now await another step as a pending world record. Another panel of Boone and Crockett scorers will again take measurements at the awards banquet in 2019.
State record yellow perch
CROSSVILLE --- A state record yellow perch is being verified by the TWRA. The fish measured 15 and one-half inches in length and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces. Trent McCoy caught the fish in Lake Dartmore just north of Crossville on Jan. 16. The previous record, a 2 pound, 2 ounce -yellow perch was set by Jackie Kersey at Parksville Lake, Polk County in March 2010.
Trent McCoy, a lifelong resident of Cumberland County, has been angling since the age of 11 when his father and uncle took him fishing for bass and crappie. He scheduled this trip with a friend, Robert Malito, to a lake he had caught a large yellow perch in last year. McCoy's 2016 fish wasn't a record, but was still large enough that he had it mounted. The friends were fishing in about 35 feet of water when McCoy thought for an instant that his line had snagged some submerged brush. Then, he felt the hard tug and knew it was a fish. It had latched on to his Charlie Brewer Slider and he slowly reeled in, knowing he only had a 4-pound test line. McCoy didn't know what was on the line as he reeled, but the first fish of the day was a doozy. Despite the perch's size, McCoy and Malito kept fishing. McCoy's wife encouraged him to bring the fish to the TWRA office the following day, where the weight was taken on a certified scale, paperwork was filled out and biologists confirmed the species.
Travis Scott, TWRA Region III Rivers and Streams Manager, took the measurements of the fish and congratulated McCoy. "Although pending until final paperwork verification, it looks like we have a new record. It's fantastic to see anglers enjoying our natural resources."
2017 Youth Art Contest Announced
JACKSON - Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2017 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest. Each student must submit a portfolio including entry form and artwork to the Visitor Education Center (VEC) by May 10, 2017.
The contest is sponsored by the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Winners in four age categories will have their work published in the Mississippi Outdoors magazine and will receive a complimentary copy of the magazine displaying their work. Winners will also receive gift cards and have their work posted at www.mdwfp.com.
For more information on entry forms and rules visit www.mdwfp.com or call the VEC at (662) 563 - 8068. The VEC is part of MDWFP's North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and is located at Exit 233 east off I-55.
New trout regulations for Little Red River
HEBER SPRINGS – Anglers visiting the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam in Heber Springs will find a few new regulations in place when they hit the water in 2017. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC) voted unanimously to approve many changes which were adopted to help protect the world-famous trout fishery and spawning areas.
Among the regulation changes for 2017:
• The 16- to 24-inch protected slot limit for all trout species on Greers Ferry Tailwater has been removed, and a five-fish daily limit with only one trout over 16 inches allowed has been instituted.
• The no culling regulation has been expanded to cover all species of trout on the Greers Ferry Tailwater. Once a trout of any species is caught and placed on a stringer, in a fish basket or in a livewell, it must be kept and counts toward an angler's daily limit.
• The Cow Shoals Seasonal Catch-and-Release Area is now a year-round catch-and-release area.
• Fishing times at Cow Shoals Catch-and-Release Area are from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset from Oct. 1-Dec. 31.
All trout regulations for 2017 are available in a copy of the 2017 Trout Fishing Guidebook.
WMA renamed to honor George Dunklin Jr.
LITTLE ROCK – The AGFC approved a motion to rename Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area in Arkansas and Jefferson counties to honor George Dunklin Jr. at its January. The area's official name is George H. Dunklin Jr. Bayou Meto WMA. Dunklin served on the Commission from 2005 to 2012. During his term, he was involved in the renovations of both Halowell Reservoir and the Wrape Plantation, two of the rest areas that offer food for migrating waterfowl and help attract ducks to Bayou Meto WMA. He also has served as President and Chairman of Ducks Unlimited, and has been inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Fame. He was named the Budweiser Sportsman of the Year in 2009, and donated the $50,000 awarded from that honor to additional habitat work on Bayou Meto WMA.
Fish cover permits available at Norfolk and Bull Shoals
MOUNTAIN HOME - The Army Corps of Engineers' Mountain Home Project Office is offering a limited number of fish cover permits on Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes. A fish cover permit allows an individual to cut up to six cedar trees, six inches or smaller in diameter at the stump, from designated areas of the shoreline and sink them into the lake for fish habitat. Only 50 permits on Bull Shoals and 50 permits on Norfork will be issued on a first come, first served basis starting at Jan. 31, from the Corps of Engineers Project Office at 324 W. 7th Street, in Mountain Home. Many of the best fishing locations on Norfork and Bull Shoals are above brush piles that attract and hold various species of fish. Call Natural Resource Specialist Dylan Edwards at 870-425-2700, ext. 1431, if you have questions.