TWRA’s winter trout-stocking program includes Reelfoot Pond

TWRA’s winter trout-stocking program includes Reelfoot Pond

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:02 pm

The TWRA winter trout stocking program is well under way with a fresh batch of trout just stocked in the Reelfoot Pond, which is located on the property of the former Reelfoot Packing Co.
The program has one more year of stocking area city owned lakes and ponds. The regular stocking of the Reelfoot Pond in Union City was stocked this past Wednesday and will again be stocked on Jan. 18. They will only stock the Reelfoot Pond and not the Moose/VFW pond.
The winter trout stocking program of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency got the program under way on Dec. 1 and has plans to release more than 88,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March.
The program provides numerous close to home trout-fishing opportunities for Middle and West Tennessee anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing.
The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit.
For more information, you can go to www.tnwildlife.org
With the recent cold spell and new water everywhere, new ducks hit the area — and now they have left again from reports.
This is a welcome sight for some, but others are still having a tough time. Water is everywhere, which has caused what ducks that are in the area to really be scattered, a very low number in the first place, according to many.
Water levels on Reelfoot have stabilized for the time being or did until the rain spell we had Wednesday night and Thursday. Reelfoot remains at least 14 inches or so above the normal level. This should really make it easy for everyone who is navigating on Reelfoot Lake. This should also make it easier for the folks who hunt the grass holes on Reelfoot. Water levels will increase just a little with the most recent rains.
Last year at this time, Reelfoot was pretty low and the water ended up coming in February of this past winter season. These rains have been an answered prayer for most.
The mid-week rains also helped the lake rise even more. Be very careful as I have heard reports of boats running over Iron poles that are in the water to mark stumps and other objects and doing damage to their boats.
As the winter-type weather moves into the area, eagles become a focal point down around the Reelfoot Lake area and I have some information to pass along to you from the folks down at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office at Reelfoot Lake. This is just a reminder again about the eagles down at Reelfoot Lake.
Beginning Thursday, the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge at Reelfoot Lake started conducting bald eagle tours. There is no cost for the tour and each tour will last 2-3 hours. The tours will be offered Thursday through Saturday, ending Feb. 25. Tour times are 8 a.m. and noon, and reservations are required due to limited space. Five visitors can be taken per time slot. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and to bring cameras and binoculars.
A spotting scope will be provided and binoculars are available for visitor loan. The tour takes visitors on both units of Reelfoot NWR, which are Grassy Island and Long Point. Other areas will also be visited where eagles are spotted on a regular basis. Both refuge units have observation towers for viewing eagles, waterfowl and other wildlife. Grassy Island, which has a newly-built boardwalk with railings, provides a photogenic viewpoint of Reelfoot Lake, while Long Point provides excellent viewing opportunities for eagles and a wide variety of waterfowl.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nationwide is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The service manages the 150 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 550 National Wildlife Refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.
It also operates 69 National fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations.
The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of moneys in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
For further information or to make reservations for tours, contact Reelfoot NWR at (731)538-2481. Tour times go quickly, so reserve your spot early.
Here are what fishing reports I have for this week.
Reelfoot Lake
Bill Hutchens fished a couple of hours on Monday and kept 13 pretty nice crappie. Also on Monday, my dad, Lanny, and one of his fishing buddies, R.C. Crews fished four hours, having 16 keepers with 12 of them being a very nice grade.
Kentucky Lake
On Monday, Ray Wilson and his fishing partner, Kenny Davis, kept 25 crappie. Gene Crabtree and Larry Isbell also had a good day on Monday, keeping 55 crappie. They caught theirs on jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles by Berkley.
Here is some news from the TWRA. Applications for the 2012 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts will be accepted through Feb. 8, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced.
Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org. Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 8. Mailed applications will not be accepted.
The areas available for the hunts are listed on the instruction sheets. Hunters have up to 12 choices, but will be drawn for only one. Applicants may not use the same hunt code more than once. There are a total of 19 hunts listed. No person may apply more than once.
A permit fee will not be charged to Annual Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Sportsman (Types 401-406) license holders or Senior Citizen Hunters (Type 166) with an Annual Senior Citizen Permit (Type 167). TWRA will pay the agent fee for these transactions. For all other license holders, the cost is $10 per permit, plus the agent fee. When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed. Hunters will receive a receipt with a confirmation number when the application is complete.
Hunters with Internet access may apply beginning Dec. 14 for a spring quota turkey hunt. Hunters can click on Buy a License On-Line. Once the Internet site has been accessed, hunters can follow the on-screen directions.
If you have anything that you might want to share with our readers as in stories, photos or events taking place in the outdoors, please let me know by emailing me at brentcallicott@gmail.com or call me at 731-446-3678 .
Til next week’s column.
Catch ya on the water folks
Brent

Published in The Messenger 12.16.11

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