For those concerned citizens who would like to beautify their communities, here is some state money to help. The TWRA has grant dollars available to assist community organizations, civic groups, watershed organizations, and conservation groups with riparian tree planting projects. The best tree planting season in Tennessee is December through March. The TWRA will accept proposals through Dec. 1, 2019.
Five grants of $500 each are available for each of TWRA’s four regional Aquatic Habitat Protection projects, a total of $2,500 per region. The grants require the group to have a nonprofit tax number. The projects are to be completed, the money spent, and a report submitted by June 30, 2020.
Applicants should have complete contact information in their request, including the leader’s tax number. The proposal should also include the name of the stream, county or counties involved, and the project area and description. For more information contact Della Sawyers at 615-781-6577 or by e-mail at Della.Sawyers@tn.gov.
Hunters, watch out for the color purple in the field. Just as a flash of hunter orange means “do not shoot”, a splash of purple on a tree or fence means “no hunting or trespassing”. In 2017 Tennessee joined a growing number of states with a new law that simplifies a landowner’s task of posting his property.
Once a traditional “No Trespassing” sign has been posted in a prominent place, the law authorizes property owners to provide notice that trespassing is prohibited on their property by marking trees and posts with purple paint as an alternative to posting signs. The purple mark can be an “X” or a vertical stripe at least one inch wide and eight inches long placed in the baseball strike zone (three feet to five feet high) for easy viewing. Trespassing in Tennessee is a Class C misdemeanor which can result in a $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail.
When buying your hunting licenses this fall, consider getting one of the collectible “hard-card” hunting and fishing licenses. It has a beautiful wildlife scene on the front of the card (driver license sized) and lists all of your current licenses on the back; it costs an extra five dollars.
The hard-cards began in 2017 with a woodland white-tailed buck, now retired. The second artwork issued is an airborne largemouth bass. The latest design to choose features a flock of mallards and a Labrador retriever in a flooded woods. Licenses are available at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional offices, license agencies, on the TWRA website www.gooutdoorstennessee.com , and at the TWRA “On the Go App.”
The largest trout tournament in the Smokies, the 21st annual Smoky Mountains Trout Tournament, will take place on the weekend of Oct. 5-6 on 20 miles of the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. At least 10,000 trout are stocked immediately prior to the event.
The top prizes will be $250 for the largest trout and $250 for the smallest trout. Other prizes will include trophies for the top three anglers in four divisions, cash awards, fishing equipment, and gift certificates to restaurants, hotels, and local attractions.
The entry fees are $25 for one day or $40 for both days. Cash prizes will go to the four divisions of adults and youths, both locals and tourists. Register or get more information at www.rockytopoutfitter.com, or call Rocky Top Outfitters at 865-661-3474.
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved updates to the state’s 2020-2022 fishing regulations at its recent September meeting in Nashville. The time-of-day restriction and one-pole limit on wild trout streams were removed. Wild caught trout from certain waters may only be used as bait in their home waters.
Some sport fishing regulations were changed in some smaller lakes, such as: Carroll, Graham, Glenn Springs, Pin Oak (in Natchez Trace S.P.), and Fort Patrick Henry. There will be bait restrictions on many more streams where the harvest, use and possession of crayfish are prohibited or limited to their home waters. For more details see the news section of www.tnwildlife.org.
The TFWC also reported on the second annual August “velvet antlered” deer hunt. This year’s statewide harvest was 586 compared to 798 last year. In the newly created Unit CWD in southwestern Tennessee, there was an increase from 36 bucks to 61. This year muzzleloaders were allowed in Unit CWD along with archery equipment.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will implement Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations on 36 trout waters in 20 western North Carolina counties on Oct. 1.
Under Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters between Oct. 1 and June 5, 2020. No natural bait may be possessed, and anglers can fish only with artificial lures with one single hook. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.
The Wildlife Commission stocks Delayed Harvest Trout Waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.
The Commission reminds anglers fishing Delayed Harvest Trout Waters to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, such as whirling disease, gill lice and didymo, by:
Cleaning equipment of all aquatic plants and animals and mud.
Draining water from boat, live wells and equipment.
Drying equipment thoroughly.
Never moving fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another.
For a complete list of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, stocking dates, information on regulations and trout fishing maps, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page. Get N.C. Wildlife Updates — news including season dates, bag limits, legislative updates and more — delivered free to your Inbox from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Go to www.ncwildlife.org/enews.
Consider joining the Anglers for the Bahamas campaign as it races toward $4 million in support of the island nation devastated by Hurricane Dorian; plus, there is an additional $1 million personal donation and challenge from Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris.
In its first four days alone, 81,000 anglers have donated through Anglers for the Bahamas to help the people of the Bahamas by uniting with worldwide relief leader, Convoy of Hope, a highly regarded 501(C)(3 not-for-profit charity with emergency responders currently on the front lines throughout the Bahamas.
At all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores, customers can round up their purchases or make an additional donation at registers. To encourage even broader support, customers who donate at least $5 or more in Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores will receive a limited-edition Anglers for the Bahamas bumper sticker. Johnny Morris will be adding to these contributions at 25 percent. To donate directly to relief efforts, please visit www.AnglersForTheBahamas.org.
The generous community-support program Hunters For The Hungry (HFTH) is positioned for another stellar year. The 2019 season starts with more than 80 processors in 66 counties throughout Tennessee, and every processor has funds to accept donated deer at no cost to the hunter.
One donated deer provides as many as 168 protein meals for Tennesseans in need and is distributed to food banks and soup kitchens across the state. More than 600,000 meals were supplied by the program last year. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation sponsors the HFTH.
There are two ways to help HFTH help the needy in your county or neighborhood. One is to give venison or other wild meat to the program – a few pounds or often an entire deer. The other way is to give cash to help defray the cost of processing the meat. To donate money or learn more about other TWF programs, go to www.tnwf.org or call Matt Simcox at 615-353-1133.
Hunters can drop off a whole deer donation at no personal cost. Each year HFTH covers tens of thousands of dollars in processing fees for donations. If deer donations surpass available funding for this season, hunters can pay a reduced, $50 processing fee. A complete list of participating processors is available on the above TWF website.
Hunters for the Hungry will test – through the TWRA – every deer donated within Unit CWD for chronic wasting disease, as well as many of the donations made in Region 1. Only whole deer donations will be accepted in Unit CWD and the counties that border it. Pound or Pack donations, which allow hunters to give a portion of their harvest, will continue to be accepted in the rest of the state.
In an abundance of caution, HFTH will discard all donations that test positive for CWD. There is no evidence CWD is transmitted to humans but the CDC still recommends against eating CWD-positive meat. For more information about HFTH, visit www.tnwf.org/HuntersForTheHungry.
The 2019 autumnal (September) equinox occurs on Monday, Sept. 23 at 3:50 a.m. EDT, when the Sun is positioned directly over the Earth’s equator and moving south. In other words, the Earth’s rotational axis is perpendicular to the Sun.
Daylight is waning rapidly every day. In late September the Sun rises (due east) nearly one minute later every day, and the Sun sets (due west) about one-and-a-half minutes earlier every day. For East Tennessee sunrise will be at 7:24 a.m. and sunset will be at 7:31 p.m. The actual “equinox” or equal periods of day and night does not occur in this area until Sept. 26.
The animals sense autumn instinctively. It triggers mating in deer, migration in waterfowl and other birds, and hibernation activities in bears and groundhogs.
EDITORIAL: Walmart Never Was a Gun Store
By RICHARD MANN, in The Hunting Wire email@example.com
A lot of folks are outraged at Walmart discontinuing the sale of ARs and now certain kinds of ammunition. I guess they feel like this monster corporation has betrayed them, and that we should boycott or punish them for not supporting the Second Amendment. Well, um, we should have never started buying our gun stuff there in the first place. We abandoned real gun stores for convenience, and to save a couple dollars. Gun stores went out of business, and here we are.
I could not care less. In fact, it would not bother me if Walmart stopped selling guns, and gun and hunting related accessories all together.
They’ve never been a real gun/hunting store anyway. Though I’m sure there are exceptions, those behind the counter are, in most cases, not qualified to sell or even handle a gun, and I doubt any of them know the difference between a caliber and a cartridge. And based on my experience; their enthusiasm for customer care almost equals my interest in cat videos.
We’ve seen the death of the local gun shop. With that, we’ve lost places where real and practical knowledge could be dispensed. Walmart has contributed to this near extinction; they retail firearms so cheaply the local guy cannot compete. (Few realize how small profit margins are on guns.) What they fail to deliver is service—service before, during, and most importantly, after the sale. And those conducting the sale do not have the experience to get that feeling when someone is trying to buy a gun with possible bad intentions in mind. (You do realize an FFL dealer can deny a sale to anyone they think might be a danger, don’t you? Local gun shop owners take this seriously.)
And then there’s the knowledge they do not possess to share. Local gun shops are operated by folks who are experienced with, and passionate about, what they do and the things they sell. That passion carries over to the customer. The absence of that passion is like a cancer to the gun and hunting industry. It’s why Walmart could care less about your firearms or hunting interests—they have none of their own. It’s also the reason some gun manufactures are struggling; they hired management types from other industries who lack our passion.
Be mad at Walmart if you like, I could not care less what they sell. When I buy gun stuff I’m going to buy it from a guy who smells like Hoppe’s #9; a guy who was installing a trigger on a rifle that morning; a guy who closed his shop early yesterday to go to the range; a guy who frequently has a shop full of like-minded folks bitching about anti-gunners; a guy who knows what a pre-64 model 70 is; knows who Jeff Cooper was; and who actually gives a damn if I hit what I shoot at, or ever come back in his shop again.
With this help from Walmart the local gun shop can once again be real. With all the new gun owners in our ranks, they’ve never been needed more than right now! You think Walmart is a gun store? Well, bless your heart. You’ve never been in a real gun store, have you?
Reminder: The public comment period ends Sept. 12 for the new sport fishing regulations for 2020-2022. These proposed changes occur biannually now. To see all of the proposed changes, go to the news section at www.tnwildlife.org. Following is a summary.
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 to firstname.lastname@example.org with “2020-22 Fish Comments” in the subject line. The Commission will vote on the sport fish and commercial fish regulations at its September meeting.
The Labor Day holiday, the last hurrah of the 2019 summer boating season is Aug. 30 – Sept. 2. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, such as boating under the influence (BUI), not using life jackets, and other reckless operation.
In 2019 on Tennessee waters there have been six boating-related fatalities, 15 fewer than at the same time last year. There have been 36 serious injury incidents and 40 property damage incidents. TWRA officers have made 53 BUI arrests.
During the 2018 Labor Day boating weekend, there was a single fatality which involved a personal watercraft on Tims Ford Lake. TWRA boating officers made five BUI arrests. Officers investigated other incidents which involved seven serious injuries and three which had property damage.
If you enjoy social media, then you should check out the new Tagboards from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Here you can share your outdoor experiences by using #tnwildlife, #tntrophyroom or #tnboating on your favorite social media site. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Vine, or Flickr, by using one of these hashtags, you can share memories with the TWRA, your friends and family. Make sure your posts are public; private posts will not make it to the board. Click here and visit one or all three tagboards.
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, fishing on the even years and hunting on the odd years. Following is a summary of the proposed fishing regs. 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 cannot be harvested or 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 email@example.com 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.
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will have its monthly meeting on Aug. 15-16 in Greeneville at the General Morgan Inn. Committee meetings begin at 2 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, and the regular meeting starts at 9 a.m. Friday. The public is invited to attend.
On Friday morning the 2019 winners of the 14 drawn permits to hunt Tennessee elk will be announced. This will include seven quota permits for the archery only hunt Sept. 28-Oct. 5, one permit for the youth hunt Oct. 5-11 and six permits for the Oct. 12-18 general hunt with gun, muzzleloader and bow. The winners of Tennessee elk raffle, sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, will also be announced.
A summary of the August handheld duck blind drawings will be presented. The format for this year’s drawing changed Also, a recap of recently-held public listening sessions will be given. A preview of proposed changes to the sport fishing and bait proclamations will be made, including the changes requested by the Commercial Fisheries Advisory Committee.
The TWRA’s Biodiversity Division will give an update. To remain in compliance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cooperative Agreement and to avoid state audit findings, the Biodiversity Division must review the State Threatened and Endangered Species list every two years. The list is scheduled to be reviewed in November 2019.
The fifth Calendar Photo Contest (for the 2020 calendar) for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has an entry deadline of Aug. 31, 2019. The TWF wants photos that represent the beautiful landscapes, natural resources and wildlife of Tennessee. Tip: It is good to focus on the Tennessee state parks, wildlife management areas and national forests; and, again this year, winter scenes and aquatic species are in short supply. So, if not this year, plan now for next year.
Winning photographers will receive a display copy of their photo, a $20 gift card and TWF apparel; the two top winners will receive gift cards of $200 and $100. Go to https://tnwf.org/photocontest for more details, helpful tips and to enter the contest.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation is one of the largest and oldest organizations in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation of the state’s wildlife and natural resources through stewardship, youth engagement, and conservation policy. TWF sponsors Hunters For the Hungry, Scholastic Clay Target Program, TWF Youth Hunting and Fishing, and other conservation programs. Learn more at https://tnwf.org.
Are you having trouble scheduling the time for a hunter education class? For many years there has been an online alternative with an online written exam and a required field day for live shooting; but, now there is an exemption to the field day for those 21 years or older. The following steps are required:
Complete the online class at www.huntercourse.com/usa/tennessee or at www.Hunter-Ed.com. These courses costs $29 and they are interactive, narrated, and offer daily (including weekend) live customer service via email or telephone. For those age 21 or older, complete the form provided for the field day exemption and mail, fax or email it with required documentation and payment to the address listed on the form. To request a form contact the Hunter Education Coordinator at 615-781-6538. Your certificate will arrive in three to five business days after submission.
The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best natural fireworks shows in the northern hemisphere, but this year its peak nights will be competing with a waxing full moon, washing out many of the smaller shooting stars. So, this year begin your viewing the weeks before the peak.
The Perseid climaxes each year on the nights of Aug. 11-12 and 12-13, building steadily the preceding three weeks and dropping off rapidly after Aug. 13. On a dark night expect to see 60 to 100 shooting stars per hour over the entire sky, and more large “fireballs” than any other meteor shower.
The best viewing times are after midnight, but any time after dark will do. Binoculars are not necessary. Find a dark sky and clear horizon far from city lights and get comfortable (lounge chair, snacks, insect repellant, etc.). It is a great time to go night fishing, too.
The Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through the debris from the orbital path of the comet Swift-Tuttle, last seen in 1992 and anticipated again in 2126 ( 133-year cycle). The flight paths of the shooting stars will appear to originate in the constellation Perseus in the northeast, but they will occur all over the sky.
For those who want to help wildlife in Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has these suggestions:
1. Buy a fishing or hunting license (even if you don’t fish or hunt): License dollars are the main source of revenue for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency that conserves and manages more than 1,400 species of wildlife in Tennessee. Especially for those who don’t hunt or fish, there is now a “Friend of Wildlife” license package available at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com that is a good investment in wildlife conservation. Your purchase will help continue wildlife conservation and development of recreational opportunities for future generations.
2. Let wildlife stay wild: Some animals might seem like they need help, but they don’t need rescuing. Babies of some species are left alone all day and rely on camouflage for protection. If you do happen upon a truly injured animal, there is a list of wildlife rehabilitators at www.TNwildlife.org.
3. Avoid feeding wildlife: Feeding wildlife can lead to serious problems. Human food is not healthy for wild animals and they do not need it to survive. Wild animals have specialized diets and can become malnourished or die if fed the wrong foods. Also, animals cannot distinguish food from wrappers or foil and can get sick eating these items.
4. Do not litter: Most people know litter is bad for the planet, but it is also bad for unsuspecting wildlife. Everyday items such as drink cans and plastic bottles can be deadly for animals, even dogs and cats. Animals of all kinds often mistake trash for food or shelter. Harm to animals can be avoided if litter is disposed properly.
5. Turn your yard into good habitat: Creating habitat in your home’s yard is beneficial to wildlife. Habitat is a combination of food, water, shelter, and space arranged to meet the needs of wildlife. Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small animals. Trees, shrubs, and other plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
6. Appreciate the biodiversity of Tennessee! We are blessed in Tennessee with lots of wildlife to see. We have than 300 bird species to the 320 different types of fish; we are the salamander capital of the world (56 different kinds), and 22 different frogs and toads. Get outside and look and listen for all of these Tennessee residents.
The TWRA is a diverse operation. From hunting, fishing, and boating, to protecting non-game species and creating watchable wildlife opportunities, the TWRA serves the citizens of Tennessee. The Wildlife section of www.tnwildlife.org is a great reference point for more in-depth information on what people can do to benefit our wildlife resources.
The future appears bright for the famous snail darter. The Center for Biological Diversity, former federal biologist Jim Williams and law professor Zygmunt Plater have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lift Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from snail darters.
Thanks to government and citizen efforts, the little fish has now successfully achieved recovery and is no longer in danger of extinction. This news comes on the heals of another proud ESA success: The recovery and delisting of the Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear.
The three-inch-long fish gained fame in the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case Tennessee Valley Authority vs. Hill. The court upheld the newly passed Endangered Species Act at the request of conservationists and others who sought to protect the fish and its free-flowing habitat, along with 300 family farms, from the construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s highly controversial Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River.
When Congress later exempted the Tellico Dam from compliance with the conservation law, scientists introduced the endangered fish into other rivers. Because of the Act’s habitat protections and improved dam management, which includes pulsing for minimum flow and measures to increase oxygen, populations of the fish have now expanded to waterways in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Age 65 or older? Which senior citizen hunting license is right for you? Here is a breakdown of the three special licenses available, not counting the Lifetime Sportsman license.
Annual Senior Citizen Hunt/Fish/Trap (Type 164): Costs $5 each year; no supplemental licenses are needed (waterfowl, and big game for gun, muzzleloader and archery); must pay fees for quota hunt applications, special licenses and WMA permits.
Annual Senior Citizen Sportsman (Type 167): Costs $50 each year; no supplemental licenses are needed; no cost for quota hunt applications and non-quota hunt permits.
Permanent Senior Citizen Hunt/Fish/Trap (Type 166): costs $50 one time only; no supplemental licenses are needed; must pay fees for quota hunt applications, special licenses and WMA permits.
Skinner Mountain Wildlife Management Area, located in Fentress County on the northern part of the Cumberland Plateau, has nearly doubled in size. The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, announced on July 10 the protection of 3,041 acres that have been added to the state’s WMA.
The newly conserved forestland will be open to the public for hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, and other recreational activities, while continuing to support the local economy through sustainably harvested timber production.
This new area of Skinner Mountain WMA is located within a dramatic landscape of gorges, cliffs, waterfalls, and caves. It includes frontage on the East Fork of the Obey River and provides significant habitat for a variety of endangered and declining species of bats, mussels, migratory songbirds, and plants. The Mountain Eye Cave system is located within the newly conserved lands, providing critical habitat for 11 bat species of concern.
“The addition of these new lands at Skinner Mountain WMA is a conservation win for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Ed Carter, Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “It provides permanent protection to an area of high biological and recreational value.”
The entire Skinner Mountain Forest plays a major role in sustaining the water quality of the Obey River watershed, including Dale Hollow Lake and 43 miles of streams, filtering nearly 18 billion gallons of water annually.
The Conservation Fund makes conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, it is redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Check it out at www.conservationfund.org.
The TVA-sponsored PBS series “Tennessee Valley Uncharted” is back with Season Five. Fishing, hiking, exploring caves, sampling tasty treats, hiking with llamas – it’s all here in TVU’s brand new season. Take a journey through the Tennessee Valley as hosts Erick Baker and Ariel Nicole explore its unique natural wonders, urban secrets, recreation destinations, and hidden gems. Check your local station guide for listings, or go here to play the episodes.
Congratulations to 17-year-old Erica Brock from LaFollette, Tennessee. Erica won Best of Show in the 2019 Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. Her creation has become the 2019 Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp, a collectible state waterfowl stamp that is produced annually and sold for conservation education.
The program is an art contest managed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and designed to teach students the importance of conserving wetlands habitat and waterfowl. It pairs science, the arts, and other core subjects to creatively teach greater awareness of our natural resources. The Tennessee program is sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation.
Erica’s winning entry is a pair of redheads created with mixed media using a combination of colored pencil, acrylic and pastel. Erica received the $1,000 Jeanette Rudy scholarship provided by the TWRF, along with other prizes, including a framed 2019 Federal Duck Stamp Print. The national contest winner’s artwork is used for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp each year.
The public is invited to purchase the collectible stamp for $11 each; they are not required for hunting. Each state stamp is numbered and printed in full color, measuring 1 3/8 by 2 inches. In addition all previous stamps are available. Funds from the sale of the stamp will be used for habitat improvement. Go to the Programs section of www.twrf.net, or contact the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge by telephone at 731-642-2091.
Heads Up! Be advised that on the weekend of July 5-7 “Operation Dry Water” will be underway nationwide. The TWRA will be participating. Originally, Operation Dry Water was the weekend before the Fourth of July, used by law enforcement agencies to focus boaters’ attention on Boating Under the Influence (BUI) education and enforcement. The intention is to reduce alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water.
This year it will be ON the Fourth of July weekend. TWRA boating officers will saturate high traffic areas on reservoirs across the state. Along with promoting life jackets and other safety practices, officers want boaters to be aware of the enhanced effects of alcohol use on the water. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications.
Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 percent or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that alcohol is the leading contributing cause to fatal accidents. Keep your pilot dry. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.