It is time to comment on the new sport fishing regulations for 2020-2022. The proposed changes by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are now issued biannually. Following is a summary. Complete details can be found in the news section at www.tnwildlife.org. The deadline for the comment period is Sept. 12. If approved, the sport fishing changes would become effective March 1, 2020.

Statewide: The TWRA wants to remove the time-of-day restriction and one-pole limit restrictions on wild trout streams. It feels that these restrictions are no longer needed for management of these fisheries. Concerning crayfish, there will be many more prohibited streams listed from which crayfish can be harvested, used, as well as streams that crayfish can be harvested and used as bait.

There will be many lakes, streams and areas that will have minor changes in regulations in manner of taking, size limits and daily creel limits. For the complete list, and for the proposed commercial fishing regulations, see the news section at www.tnwildlife.org.

Comments may be sent (by Sept. 12) by email to fishingreg.comments@tn.gov with “2020-22 Fish Comments” in the subject line; 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 September meeting.

HUNTING: Now that the squirrel and dove seasons are underway, the September parade of hunting seasons is fast approaching. Wood duck and teal seasons are Sept. 14-18 with a limit of six, maximum two woodies. Teal continues Sept. 19-22 without wood ducks.

Statewide raccoon/opossum hunting begins at sunset on Sept. 19 and runs until Feb. 29; and, last but not least, archery deer begins on Sept. 28, as does archery bear. More details as each season arrives.

ELK LOTTERY: The 15 hunters who will participate in the 2019 Tennessee Elk Hunts have been chosen. A total of 8,201 persons registered for the opportunity to participate in this year’s hunt. Tennessee began its elk hunt in 2009 with five participants selected from a computer draw.

Selected for the archery-only hunt on Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 are Jacob Dwayne Swafford (Knoxville), Hunter Eugene Luna (Charlotte), Johnathon Paul Sullivan (Hilham), Lennon Gregory Haggard (Lexington), Matthew Vinton Smith (Whitwell), Charles Glenn Lambert (Nolensville), and Daniel Tracy Webb (Bells).

The gun hunt (muzzleloader and archery equipment included) will be held Oct. 12-18. Selected to participate are John Wilhoyte Barron (Lewisburg), Josepth Scott Bumpus (Dickson), Tyson James Weller (Henning), Kevin Wayne Pebley (Rocky Top), Jeffrey Lynn Miller (La Follette), and John Bradley Combs (Harrison).

The youth permit winner is Jacob R. Clark (Dayton). The youth hunt will be held Oct. 5-11. This will be the eighth year for the tag which is designated for youth ages 13-16. There were 341 applicants for this hunt.

The seventh permit was presented to a non-governmental organizational, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. Previously the permit was auctioned to the high bidder. For the second year a raffle was held with tickets sold for $20 each. Dennis Freidline (Frankfort, Ind.) is the grand prize winner and will participate in the Oct. 12-18 hunt.

Four other persons had their names drawn in the raffle and will receive prize packages. The other raffle winners are Conner Campbell (Centerville), DeWayne Raines (Knoxville), Gregory James (Pleasant View), and Philip Jacobs (Dickson).

All hunt permits are valid on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and can also be used on private lands (with landowner permission) within the Elk Restoration Zone in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan and Scott counties. Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 53 elk have been legally harvested.

Last year twelve hunters took animals for an extraordinary success rate of 80 percent, the best since the program began in 2009. In the archery hunt all seven bowhunters filled their tags. The sole young sportsman tagged out and four of seven rifle hunters scored.

There were 56,405 tickets sold in the 2019 elk raffle, an increase of 33,921 from last year’s inaugural drawing. The raffle grossed more than $677,000, almost doubling last year’s total. Proceeds from the auctioned tag are designated for the elk restoration program.

Email wiest.tom@gmail.com to share your news with Tom Wiest.

Tom Wiest is a long time columnist on all matters outdoors. He welcomes news, questions and comments from readers.

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