NASHVILLE — The March meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission included an Asian cap update by Frank Fiss, Chief of Fisheries, on how these fish that have invaded Tennessee’s waterways. Wild populations of black, grass, bighead, and silver carp have established populations in the Mississippi River, and grass, silver and bighead carp have already entered the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems.
Fiss said during his presentation that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) always reminds anglers that these invasive species should never be used as live bait, because this could spread them into additional waters. Control efforts are currently limited to commercial fishing.
TWRA recently secured federal funding and will be partnering with Tennessee Tech University to conduct research needed to learn more about future control strategies beyond commercial fishing.
Mike Butler, chief executive officer of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, presented a resolution approved by the federation’s board of directors. The resolution called for the TWRA to formulate a statewide strategic whitetail deer management plan. The last strategic plan for whitetail deer has expired. The resurgence of whitetail deer is regarded as one of the state’s greatest conservation restoration stories.
Lynn Barrett, from the TWRA Geographic Information System (GIS), gave a demonstration on the new interactive WMA map for the hunting public. The map was developed by using existing Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) software. Usage indicates the map has been viewed more than 46,000 times. GIS staff is currently working on information a new map for anglers and is always looking to improve and upgrade the existing WMA map.
The next meeting will be April 26 at the TWRA Region II Building.