OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK

The stocking of robust Florida bass in Chickamauga Lake has proved so successful that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is considering stocking them in more lakes, including Old Hickory and Percy Priest.
Feb 14, 2014

 

 

Wild game supper: A wild game supper will be held Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Maple Hill Church of Christ.

Lebanon's Mike Graves will exhibit the mounted elk he killed during last fall's hunt, and give a presentation on the hunt. Noted outdoor personality Chris Nischan also is scheduled to attend.

There is no admission charge, but attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite wild game dish.

For more information contact Graves at 615-207-1540.

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Florida bass coming? The stocking of robust Florida bass in Chickamauga Lake has proved so successful that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is considering stocking them in more lakes, including Old Hickory and Percy Priest.

Ten years ago the TWRA stocked Florida bass -- famous for their rapid growth and hard fighting -- in Chickamauga, and last year it was declared the sixth-best bass lake in the country by Bassmaster Magazine.

Due largely to the success of the Florida bass stockings, Chickmauga has become a "destination" lake for thousands of bass fishermen. Could the same happen for Old Hickory and Percy Priest?

TWRA fisheries chief Bobby Wilson says a study will determine that. He says two primary factors are temperature and cover. Chickamauga Lake differs in both from Old Hickory and Percy Priest, but it is possible that the Florida strain could still thrive in one or both lakes.

Once the study is completed, if it is determined that Old Hickory and/or Priest can support Florida bass, the next step will be to obtain the fry and create space in the TWRA's hatcheries to raise the fry to stockable size.

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Trap shoot: Ben Schade won the weekly trap shoot at the Cedar City Gun Club with a score of 39. He was followed by Dan Shaw, Kerry Hale and Tim Whitlock.

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Bear harvest: The TWRA reports 507 bears killed during the recently-completed season, the third-highest total on record.

The state's first agency-controlled bear hunt was held in 1951, with 29 bears killed.

This season's total was below the record 581 taken in 2011, but marked the ninth consecutive season in which more than 300 bears have been checked in.

Despite the growing harvest numbers, the state's black bear population continues to grow. A few decades ago bears were found primarily in the Great Smokey Mountains, but gradually have spread throughout East Tennessee and now are being spotted in several Middle Tennessee counties.

Outside legal hunting seasons or specific hunting areas, it is illegal to harm a bear unless it presents a clear threat or danger to humans or property. If a bear is spotted, the TWRA advises avoiding contact and contacting the local wildlife agent or law-enforcement office.

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Turkey show: The National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its annual show Feb. 13-16 at Gaylord Opryland Resort.

There will be more than 750 booths of the latest hunting gear, outdoor celebrities, hunting seminars, turkey-calling contests and various family activities.

Show times, admission options and other details are available at www.nwft.org

 

OUTDOORS CALENDAR:

 

Feb. 13-16: Wild Turkey Expo, Opryland

Feb. 28: squirrel season ends

Feb. 28: rabbit, quail seasons end

Feb. 28: hunting/fishing licenses expire

Dec.-March: TWRA winter trout stocking

March 29-May 11: turkey season

 

PHOTOS WELCOME: Share your favorite outdoors photos with readers of The Lebanon Democrat by e-mailing them to andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com

 

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