The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented its proposed 2019-20 fishing regulation proposals during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August meeting at the TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building.
The public is invited to provide comments on the proposals. The deadline for sport fishing comments is Sept. 14. To provide comments, email TWRA at email@example.com, or write to TWRA Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204.
The commission will vote on the sport fish and commercial fish regulations at its Sept. 20-21 meeting to be held in Knoxville. If approved, the sport fishing changes would become effective March 1, 2019.
One proposal for this area is bait fish. Skipjack herring, gizzard shad, and threadfin shad may not be transported away from the water alive from the Mississippi River and Barkley, Kentucky, and Pickwick reservoirs and any tributaries or oxbows of these waters.
This restriction would not apply to the Duck River above Normandy Dam. These bait species are similar in appearance to small Asian carp. This proposal would reduce the risk of accidentally introducing Asian carp into new waterways, says TWRA.
HUNTER SAFETY FIELD DAY
The TWRA offers field days throughout the year for those who take online hunter safety courses. The field day is required for completion of the online course where live firing sessions and other information are held.
The TWRA will host one on Sept. 15 at Holly Fork Shooting Complex here in Henry County. It begins at 9 a.m. Participants must have taken an approved online course prior to the field day and have proof of completion. Pre-registration for the field day is required at www.tnwildlife.org.
The next TWRA hunter safety classroom course is scheduled for Oct. 1-6 at Hulme Sporting Goods in Paris. Participants must also register online for it as well.
FRIENDS OF NRA
The Henry County Friends of the NRA will host its annual appreciation banquet on Sept. 29 at the Quality Inn Paris Convention Center, 1501 E. Wood St., Paris. Tickets are $30.
Hulme Sporting Goods has donated two rifles for door prizes. Each early bird ticket purchased will be eligible to win a Remington .308 Model 783 rifle. You must purchase tickets by Sept. 15 for an early bird drawing. And a door prize — Ruger 10/22 Takedown Camo Rifle 22LR will be given away and you must be present to win both door prizes.
Tickets can be purchased locally at Hulme Sporting Goods and from JMC Firearms. You can also purchase tickets online at www.friendsofnra.org/tn/events. For additional info on the event contact Robert Horner at 333-9151.
OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC
PREDICTS MILD WINTER
Sunshine or snow? Be in the know — read The Old Farmer’s Almanac to get the scoop.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is North America’s most popular and longest continuously running almanac. Now in its 227th edition, the publication has been a trusted source for weather, astronomy, folklore and more since 1792, when George Washington was president.
This winter, the publication expects to see above-normal temperatures almost everywhere in the United States, except in the Southwest, where it’s predicting a colder-than-normal season. It’s still going to be wintery, of course, but it won’t be an especially frigid year. The milder-than-normal forecast is because of a decrease in solar activity and the expected arrival of a weak El Niño, which will prevent cold air masses from lingering in the North.
In terms of precipitation, the book is predicting above-normal levels for most of the country, except in the Southeast, southern California, the nation’s midsection, and parts of Alaska and Hawaii, where normal or below-normal precipitation amounts are expected instead.
As for snow, the book’s editors expect to see below-normal levels of snowfall in areas that normally get snow, with the interior West and a small part of the nation’s midsection being the snowier-than-normal exceptions.
FISHERMEN WAIT ON COOLER DAYS
Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene has seen a slight transition toward cooler nights and early mornings lately as anglers yearn for a chill in the air. Fall isn’t here yet but every day makes its arrival closer. The season officially arrives on Sept. 22.
Surface temperatures this week have dropped slightly to the 83- to 84-degree range, which is down a degree or two from last week. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
Lake levels were stable throughout the Labor Day holiday period as TVA usually attempts to hold the water during the popular recreational holiday, which sort of signals the end of the summer boating season.
Elevation is projected to be in the 356 range in the Kentucky Dam sector this weekend and perhaps fall slowly by next week. Upstream around the New Johnsonville sector, lake levels are projected to be slightly lower at 355.9 as TVA continues its slow but gradual curve toward winter pool.
Not much rain has fallen in the Tennessee Valley the last two to three weeks, so runoff has been pretty much nil. Therefore, current in the Tennessee River channel has been light and non-existent some days, which has a detrimental effect on the summer catfish bite.
Most summer catfishermen depend on the current to stimulate baitfish movement along the main river channel. With current comes movement and activity of shad schools; without it the bite is usually sluggish.
A few reports from catfishermen have come in lately with most of the fish hanging around the 35 to 40 foot depth range. Baits of choice have been chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Overall the summer bite has been below average, however.
Crappie action continues to be slow across the reservoir and not many boats have been on the lake lately. Hopefully the bite will improve in the weeks ahead as surface temperatures fall back into the 70s.
Traditionally, crappie begin to move back toward midrange depths by mid-September as they’re following their forage. Shad transition from deep venues into midrange depths and that usually lures the crappie so hopefully anglers will see some improvement soon.
Stakebeds and brushpiles in the 9- to 13-foot range should start attracting crappie soon. And, anglers should continue to pick up a few scattered fish from the main lake ledges around depths of 14 to 16 feet.
The crappie and catfishing is not the only arena suffering as bass fishing has been ho-hum too. Not many reports have come in lately from successful anglers.
A few boats have continued to fish the typical summer pattern of main lake ledges with big deep diving crankbaits and Texas rigged worms but bites have been tough to come by. Same goes for the shallow pattern as anglers haven’t had the aquatic vegetation to target and the gravel banks and exposed crappie beds haven’t given up many fish as of late.
Slightly cooler conditions are in the forecast and rain is also in the picture. Perhaps that will give the fishing scene a must needed boost.
DEER WEEK ON TV
The Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel will kick off deer Week beginning Sept. 17 with a wide range of programs.
On the menu will be Hunt Masters, Realtree Outdoors, Whitetail Fix, Live2Hunt with Cody and Kelsy, Jim Schockley’s Hunting Adventures, Primos Truth About Hunting, Jackie Bushman Show, Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector, LL Bean Guide to the Outdoors, Ted Nugent and more.
For schedules log onto www.deerweek.com.
Saturday-Wednesday — Wood duck/teal combo season.
Thursday through Sept. 16 — Teal-only season segment.
Sept. 14 — TWRA fishing comment deadline.
Sept. 15 — Friends of NRA early bird ticket purchase deadline.
Sept. 15 — TWRA field day, Holly Fork Shooting Complex.
Sept. 16 — Early resident goose day ends.