Anyone who has passed over the Tennessee River Bridge may have noticed that the lake has seen a “rise” this week. The lake was at 355.8ft on Friday, and is predicted to crest on Wednesday at 356.5ft. This is due to all the rain we received over the last week, in addition to the melting snow from the previous week. Flow rates have been bumped up by TVA, with flows between 100,000-150,000cfs. Expect the flow to remain in the “strong” category until TVA gets the lake back down to winter pool of 354ft, and with wintertime being the season when we often get most of our rain, it could be awhile before we see the lake to return to normal. The average water temperature was staying around 40 degrees since the rain started, but we did see averages in the mid 30’s last week with the cold weather and snow. The Duck River is predicted to crest on Wednesday at 15ft, and the Buffalo will crest on Monday at just under 9ft. The Cumberland River at Clarksville will crest on Monday at just over 29ft.
This Wednesday (January 31st) will be the end of the regular waterfowl season. This season will continue the trend, over the last few decades, of waterfowl numbers in our area falling off. This is not due to declining waterfowl numbers across the nation, but rather changes in migration patterns, as overall waterfowl numbers across the nation are up. We have seen the Duck River National Wildlife refuge waterfowl numbers increase during the last week of January, but with plenty of food, and water available, the ducks are not moving off the refuge much. The juvenile waterfowl hunt will be on February 3rd and 10th. And the Veterans hunt will be February 4th and 11th. Although the regular waterfowl season is over, the “light geese” season will continue through the end of March. Make sure you check out the waterfowl guide for more information on these hunts.
Other small game hunting opportunities will continue through the end of February, including; squirrel, rabbit, quail, etc. Trapping season will continue through the end of February. I’m not aware of anyone locally buying hides anymore. The only place I’m aware of buying hides is “Fur Harvesters Auction INC” in Canada, and you can visit their web-site at www.furharvesters.com for more information. Also, anyone who plans to ship Bobcat or Otter out of state, you need to contact the TWRA to have the pelts tagged with “CITES” tags before shipping. The tags are available for free, but the TWRA agents must be the ones who tag the pelts. If using Fur Harvesters Auction inc. the furs must be shipped to a US company before going to FHA inc; the one for Tennessee is DJD Fur Company 3110 Wilberforce Clifton Rd. Cedarville, Ohio 45314 (937-903-7688).
A few outdoor events coming up include; the annual Waterfowl/Bald Eagle Tour at the Duck River Bottoms on Saturday February 3rd starting at 12pm until 5pm. (In case of bad weather, call 731-642-2091 for updates). The event is open for everyone, and is free, and will have guided tours, viewing waterfowl and eagles, waterfowl ID, as well as have hot apple cider. The Catfish events are starting this year, with the first one being at Clarksville by the Cumberland River Catman’s Association on February 10th starting at 7am at the Clarksville Marina. Cost is $55 per boat, more information can be obtained by contacting the director, Andy Warrick at 615-202-4764. TWRA has more room for the upcoming “Trapper Training Camp” at the Buffalo Ridge Refuge here in our county, which will be held on February 23-25. Go to TWRA’s web-site; TnWildlife.org and visit the “Events” site and enter 50377 for registration. The ABA Division 40’s next event will be on February 24th out of Lucas Harbor. Contact Eddie Scott for more information. As spring approaches, I’ll have more events to share as they become available.