Commercial shad season runs from 6 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1 2011 through midnight on Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). Commercial shad fishermen need to be aware that fishing regulations have significantly changed since the 2010 season. The Satilla River and the St. Marys River are no longer open to commercial shad fishing and only portions of the Altamaha, Ogeechee, and Savannah river systems will be open to commercial fishing.
Each year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division recognizes anglers for outstanding and state record catches. Anglers who catch new state records or those who catch a fish that meets or beats a specific weight or length limit for that species (angler award) are eligible for recognition. “Georgia has tremendous opportunities for anglers – making it a great place whether you are just wetting a hook or trying to reel in a new state record,” says the division’s Fisheries Management Chief John Biagi.
Georgia has a diversity of bass that continues to reel in anglers from across the nation. As the only state in the nation with six of the seven black bass species, Georgia stands out as a bass angler’s paradise. This fall, regardless of where you are in the state, bass fishing opportunities abound, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is providing anglers with some helpful bass fishing information.
Fishing and leaf-viewing opportunities combined – what a great way to combine fun fall activities! The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division has five delayed harvest streams available to anglers beginning Nov. 1. “Georgia trout streams are designated as seasonal, year-round or delayed harvest, and different streams offer varying populations of rainbow, brown and brook trout,” says the division’s Trout Stocking Coordinator Perry Thompson. “The delayed harvest streams have special regulations from November 1 – May 14. Since these delayed harvest streams are regularly stocked and the trout are caught and released, catch rates remain high, making them a great destination for new and seasoned anglers alike.”
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division announces the recent appointment of Ted Will as the new Assistant Fisheries Management Section chief. He fills the position left vacant by Michael Spencer who took the position of License and Boat Registration Unit Supervisor. Ted Will previously served as Region Supervisor for the West Georgia region.
A new archery range is open in middle Georgia at the Flat Creek Public Fishing Area, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. “Public shooting ranges are popular with hunters and recreational shooting sports enthusiasts,” says Division Shooting Sports Coordinator Jennifer Pittman. “We were eager to add a range to this public fishing area as soon as it opened in 2009 – and thanks to great cooperative efforts, we are now able to make it available to the public.”
Anglers who frequent the Morgan Falls Dam portion of the Chattahoochee River should be excited to learn about the construction of a new fishing pier, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. The pier, being built by Georgia Power as a recreational improvement for Morgan Falls Dam, will provide great additional angler access below the dam. Completion is anticipated by mid-February 2011.
Saturday, Oct. 16, the opening day of firearms season for deer hunting, also is Turn In Poachers Day in Georgia according to a proclamation signed today by Gov. Sonny Perdue. TIP, Inc., is a non-profit organization protecting wildlife from poachers by increasing public support for conservation rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
With an estimated 50,000 deer-car collisions annually in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division advises motorists across the state to be extra cautious of increased deer and wildlife sightings this fall season. Increased deer sightings occur for a number of reasons – increased populations, habitat fragmentation and mating season are a few. With fall breeding season in full swing – a peak time of year for deer-related car collisions – the division offers motorists some tips and information to help avoid potential collisions.
Prohibiting chronic wasting disease from entering Georgia is an ongoing effort. Anyone interested in wildlife – hunters, wildlife watchers and processors, among others – are encouraged to help keep Georgia’s quality deer herd CWD-free. CWD, a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose, belongs to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the same group of diseases affecting some domestic animals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease.”
For the 2009-2010 hunting season, Georgia reported 45 hunting incidents, 14 of which involved firearms. With the upcoming Oct. 16 opening of firearms deer hunting season, hunters are encouraged to review the ‘Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety’ before heading to the woods. “Ultimately, each hunter is responsible for keeping themselves and others safe while pursuing deer this hunting season,” says Walter Lane, Hunter Development Program Manager of the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “This includes respecting all firearms and being absolutely certain of their target.”
It is finally that time of the year again for Georgia hunters. Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Oct. 16 and lasts through Jan. 1, 2011 in the Northern Zone and in the Southern Zone, through Jan. 15, 2011. “Regulated hunting is the most cost effective and efficient means of managing the deer herd,” says John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management for the Wildlife Resources Division. “In addition, sportsmen and women provide more than $30 million each year to fund wildlife conservation in the state through license fees and self-imposed excise taxes collected on the purchase of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and fishing equipment.”
Since 1993, hunters have been bringing meat to the tables of those in need through the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program. This successful program celebrated serving its one-millionth meal in 2007 and continues to provide opportunities during hunting season for hunters to share their harvest with those in need. Currently, hunters can donate deer at fifteen participating processors through Jan. 15.
Participants can learn to kayak, practice shooting bows and arrows, test their fly tying skills, check out retriever demonstrations, in addition to many other hands-on activities.
SCDNR biologists began to notice recently a decrease in the number of pitcher plants along the ecotone or transition area between two adjacent but different plant communities around the mill pond.
Hunter education courses in Georgia are offered three ways: by classroom, CD-Rom or online. “Because of the importance of the information found in a hunter education course, our agency has made efforts to meet the needs of many users,” says Walter Lane, Wildlife Resources Division’s Hunter Development Program Manager. “The options offered include a traditional classroom course, a CD-rom course and three online courses.”
Though commonly used by deer hunters everywhere, tree stands often are improperly installed and as a result, are considered the leading cause of hunting-related incidents. Different types of tree stands are available, and each type requires the user to be familiar with variations to ensure safety. Following are some recommended safety tips:
Deer season is the most popular time of the year for Georgia hunters, and this year archers get first draw beginning Sat., Sept. 11. Last year, 107,792 archery hunters harvested more than 54,000 deer. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 8, but special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas. Hunters should refer to the 2010-2011 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide available at http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com, at retail license agents or any Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division office.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division reminds all deer hunters, including big game license holders, honorary and lifetime license holders, hunters under 16 years of age and landowners, to obtain a new deer harvest record for the upcoming season. Deer harvest records are required for any person hunting deer, regardless of age, are free of charge and available at http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com or at any retail license agent.
The largest, most successful wildlife conservation program in the world, the Federal Wildlife Restoration Program, is fueled by hunters. Over the past 70 years, hunters nationwide have contributed more than $6.4 billion dollars to wildlife conservation efforts. In Georgia alone, since 1939, hunters have contributed more than $137 million for wildlife conservation in Georgia.