Tenn. boaters do great job in opening weekend
By Tom Wiest | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is reporting that there were no boating-related fatalities reported over the 2013 Memorial Day holiday weekend. This is the third consecutive year that the unofficial start to the summer boating season has been free of boating fatalities.
During the Memorial Day holiday period from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27, there was a total of eight reported boating accidents for the second straight year. Three of the accidents resulted in injuries and the other five were property damage accidents.
TWRA officers made 11 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests statewide, three of the arrest resulting from boating accidents. The BUI arrests were a decrease of 11 from 2012 Memorial Day weekend. There have been nine boating-related fatalities in Tennessee. There were seven fatalities at this time last year.
• The popular program of stocking trout in the tailwaters below the dams of the Tennessee River System will continue for three more years, according to an agreement worked out in Nashville recently. Thanks to this program several world-class trout fisheries have been created here in East Tennessee, including the Clinch River below Norris Dam and the reservoirs and dams on the Ocoee River.
Water temperatures and habitat in these waters are not conducive to breeding, so stocking needs to be done annually. The cooperation of many agencies is necessary to provide the fish and habitat, and a working group has been formed to facilitate long term success. These agencies include: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and three federal fish hatcheries.
Details on this trout hatchery working group are currently being developed. The agencies will be seeking representation, ideas and input from angling groups, local and regional businesses, tourism organizations and the local governments that realize the direct and indirect benefits of having fishable trout waters in their communities.
Through this three-year hatchery funding agreement, trout will continue to be stocked for recreational fishing in reservoirs or tailwaters at 12 TVA dams in Tennessee and Georgia: Apalachia Dam on the Hiwassee River; Blue Ridge Dam on the Toccoa River; Cherokee Dam on the Holston River; Ft. Patrick Henry Dam on the South Fork Holston River; Normandy Dam on the Duck River; Norris Dam on the Clinch River; Ocoee Dam No. 1 on the Ocoee River; South Holston Dam on the South Fork Holston River; Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River; Tims Ford Dam on the Elk River; Watauga Dam on the Watauga River; and Wilbur Dam on the Watauga River.
These trout are not necessarily intended for catch-and-release. Take ‘em home and enjoy ‘em for dinner.
• As summer gets underway, check out the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak for the Family Summer Camp activities beginning June 8 and continuing through July 14. Nearly every day there will be free activities and workshops where everyone can learn the skills they need to enjoy great outdoor adventures.
All workshops are approximately 20 minutes in length and kids will get a free lanyard and earn a free, collectable pin. For a complete schedule, go to http://www.basspro.com and click on the Kodak/Sevierville store site.
Contact Tom Wiest at (email@example.com)