Spring City, TN - This year, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will be expanding its Florida Largemouth Bass (FLMB) stocking program.  TWRA has chosen to expand to four additional reservoirs on the
Tennessee River
.  This expansion will include Watts Bar and Nickajack Reservoirs in Region 3.  Region 3 personnel have chosen three areas where FLMB will be stocked on Watts Bar.  These areas are: Caney Creek Boat Ramp, Big Springs Access Area, and Rhea Springs Boat Ramp.

Region 3 Reservoirs Biologists have surveyed the chosen ramps.  Each ramp will offer unique opportunities for the fingerling fish.  All three ramps will have access to deep water and offer a variety of shoreline types and cover.  However, Watts Bar does not have aquatic vegetation like
and Nickajack Reservoirs.  Aquatic vegetation offers fingerling fish refuge from predators; this helps the fingerlings to survive.

Research has shown that brush can be used to give fingerling fish cover and protection from predators.  In order to increase survival rates of the newly stocked FLMB in Watts Bar, the Region 3 Reservoirs crew has decided to host a work day at each ramp where FLMB will be stocked.  Our plan is to anchor trees and brush to provide cover for the fingerlings. 

TWRA will supply all the materials for this project. Officials said, "We are inviting anyone interested to participate in this project with us. We will be using blocks to anchor cedar trees at varying depths around the boat ramps. TWRA will provide all the rope, blocks and trees needed for this. We will be doing this project from the bank. TWRA is asking that no one bring boats, instead bring waders. We will drag the trees from the bank. Using waders, we will be able to anchor trees at summer pool depths of two to eight feet. This will provide adequate cover and feeding opportunities to these fingerlings. This will increase the survival of the FLMB."

The schedule for the work days are:

Big Springs Access Area, March 14 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Caney Creek Boat Ramp, March 20 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Rhea Springs Boat Ramp, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

For more information, contact:

Chris Morton                                    

Office: (423) 476-1404                              

Cell: (865) 209-3603                                                         

Email: chris.morton@tn.gov