Deer hunter injured when boat runs aground

A deer hunter was seriously injured early Saturday morning when a boat ran aground on Melton Hill Lake near the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area, state officials said.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers said three deer hunters who had been drawn to hunt the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area launched an aluminum boat at Solway Boat Ramp and headed toward the management area in dense fog.

Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Christopher Beckler, 47, of Cleveland, Tennessee, was ejected when the boat ran aground near the Freels Bend area, the TWRA said. Beckler had been near the front of the boat using a spotlight to assist his son Dawson Beckler, 21, who was operating the vessel under dark and foggy conditions.

[Read more…]

Greenway, park closures announced during fall hunts

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has scheduled two scout days and three quota hunts on the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area this fall.

During the scout and quota hunt days, these greenways and this park will be closed: Gallaher Bend Greenway, North Boundary Greenway, Haw Ridge Park, and the section of Melton Lake Greenway adjacent to Haw Ridge Park.

The hunts, which are open only to those with a valid TWRA quota permit, will take place on the following weekends:

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Oak Ridge nature walks scheduled for April-June

The 2019 season of Oak Ridge Reservation nature walks continues on Sunday, April 14, with a wildflower and old growth forest walk.

More than 1,100 vascular plants, 72 fish, 34 mammals, and more than 200 bird species have been observed on the U.S. Department of Energy reservation. This year, the public is invited to eight nature walks designed to highlight the rich flora and fauna diversity of the ORR and to demonstrate the work being done to sustainably manage and conserve this resource, a press release said. The series closes with a history talk in August.

Reservations for the following events must be made in advance by noon the Thursday prior to each walk by contacting Tracy Clem at (865) 574-5151 ([email protected]). If weather forces postponement of an event, it will be announced on Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Information Line at (865) 574-9836 (i.e. 574-XTEN) at least two hours before the scheduled start of the walk. Children are allowed on the walks; no pets, please.

Sunday, April 14: Wildflower and old growth forest walk

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Controlled burns scheduled in North Boundary Greenway Area

Controlled burns are scheduled soon on part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation.

DOE’s Oak Ridge Office said it will start controlled burns of woodland areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation that are within the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement East Tract and Parcel ED-6 along North Boundary Road and Wisconsin Avenue in west Oak Ridge.

“Firebreak installation activities supporting these burns will begin in the near future, with ignitions taking place as soon thereafter as weather conditions permit and continuing through December 2018,” a press release said. [Read more…]

TVA, Fish & Wildlife Service announce trout stocking agreement

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have reached a multi-agency agreement to provide continued funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have stocked waters in Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout. The agreement was announced Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, at a press conference beside the Clinch River below Norris Dam. (Photo courtesy Tennessee Valley Authority)

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have reached a multi-agency agreement to provide continued funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have stocked waters in Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout. The agreement was announced Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, at a press conference beside the Clinch River below Norris Dam. (Photo courtesy Tennessee Valley Authority)

 

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have reached a multi-agency agreement to provide continued funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have stocked waters in Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout.

The partnership, which began in 2013, includes the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Since 2013, TVA has been funding trout production by the Service at three national fish hatcheries: Dale Hollow and Erwin in Tennessee, and Chattahoochee Forest in Georgia. The trout are then provided to the following tailwaters: Apalachia (Hiwassee River), Blue Ridge, Boone, Cherokee, Fort Patrick Henry, Normandy, Norris, South Holston, Tims Ford, and Wilbur. Trout-stocked reservoirs in the plan include Fort Patrick Henry, South Holston, Parksville, Watauga, and Wilbur reservoirs.

The four partner agencies announced the new agreement Tuesday at a press conference beside the Clinch River below Norris Dam. The agreement provides partnership funding through fiscal year 2021, a press release said. [Read more…]

Black bear reported in Clinton on Friday

Black Bear at Anderson County High School on Oct. 6, 2015

An archived file photo of a black bear at Anderson County High School on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2016. (Archived file photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

Information from WYSH Radio/Oak Ridge Today

A black bear was spotted wandering through Clinton on Friday.

The city sent out a Code Red Alert to part of the city on Friday morning indicating that the bear had been spotted in the vicinity of JD Yarnell Industrial Parkway and the 1200 block of Seivers Boulevard, heading in the general direction of the Clinton Home Center.

Authorities say that if you see the bear, you should give it a wide berth and notify the Clinton Police Department at (865) 457-3112.

It’s not unusual to occasionally see black bears in East Tennessee in the summer, including in Oak Ridge, Anderson County, Clinton, and the Great Smoky Mountains. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has previously said that Oak Ridge and Knoxville are surrounded by very good bear habitats—including the largest black bear preserve in the world—and it’s not unusual to see up to a half-dozen bears come through the Oak Ridge area each year and at least that many in the Knoxville area. [Read more…]

Rescuers search for missing man in water at Bull Run Park

Rescuers in an Anderson County Sheriff's Department boat search for a missing man in the water at Bull Run Park in Claxton, authorities said Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, 2018. Anderson County Sheriff Paul White is at left in the boat. In front is Knoxville Police Department search and rescue volunteer Candy Stooksbury with K-9 Barnabas, a bloodhound. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Rescuers in an Anderson County Sheriff’s Department boat search for a missing man in the water at Bull Run Park in Claxton, authorities said Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, 2018. Anderson County Sheriff Paul White is at left in the boat. In front is Knoxville Police Department search and rescue volunteer Candy Stooksbury with K-9 Barnabas, a bloodhound. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 11:15 p.m.

CLAXTON—Rescuers searched for a missing man in the water at Bull Run Park in Claxton on Sunday afternoon and evening, but they were not able to locate him.

The search was called off as daylight faded just before 7 p.m. Sunday, more than six hours after the missing man’s pickup truck was located near the park. It’s not clear when the search might resume.

The missing man is reported to be from Knox County, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy. The identity of the man, reported to be 66, was not immediately available Sunday.

Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said the man left his black pickup truck on the side of road across Bull Run Creek from Bull Run Park, The keys were in the truck, and a suicide note was in the truck, White said. The vehicle was parked alongside New Henderson Road at Tracy Allison Lane.

But rescuers aren’t certain that the man is in the water, White said. [Read more…]

Wildlife nature walk at Freels Bend on Saturday, Jan. 20

A wildlife management nature walk is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, January 20, in the Freels Bend area in south Oak Ridge.

“Have you ever seen a deer foraging in a field or heard a field sparrow calling in the distance and wondered what could be done to help these species of wildlife?” a press release said. “Join wildlife experts from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

The wildlife management nature walk in the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area is scheduled from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, January 20. Discussions during the tour, which is rescheduled from a rained-out date in October, will include game species, species of concern, and how to manage for them in fields and forests, the press release said. [Read more…]

Learn about Tennessee’s bats at UT Arboretum on Thursday

Photo courtesy University of Tennessee Arboretum Society

Photo courtesy University of Tennessee Arboretum Society

 

You can learn about the 16 species of Tennessee bats at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge on Thursday.

Sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society, this family friendly program will be led by Pandy English, the assistant chief of biodiversity for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, a press release said. It’s scheduled to start at the UT Arboretum on South Illinois Avenue at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 2.

“We know that bats eat mosquitoes and help pollinate plants, but there is so much more to this mysterious creature,” the press release said.

The program will be at the UT Arboretum Auditorium, which is at 901 South Illinois Avenue. It will include a PowerPoint presentation, bat “show and tell” items, and children’s activities at the end, the press release said. Attendees will learn about bat myths and facts, the characteristics and types of bats in Tennessee, and why bats are one of our most invaluable species. [Read more…]