TWRA News

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports there was one boating-related fatality over the 2021 Labor Day holiday period from September 3-6.

The fatal incident occurred Saturday evening, Sept. 4 on Percy Priest Lake in Rutherford County. Jose Alatorre and a 6 year-old girl, believed to be his daughter, were reported to have fallen off a jet ski. He was able to tread water long enough for kayakers to paddle and bring the young girl to safety. The 40 year-old resident of Smyrna went under the water and a nearby boater made several attempts to find the man. His body was recovered shortly before 11 p.m. that night.

A Hamilton, OH, man is in critical but stable condition after he and a female fell while standing on the bow of a boat and were run over on Norris Lake in Campbell County.

William Tyler Sharp received deep lacerations from the vessel’s propeller and was airlifted to UT Medical Center. Gabriella Wimmer of Marysville, OH, was treated and released from Tennova Medical Center North. Cincinnati resident Madison Fantelli has been charged with underage alcohol consumption and reckless operation of a vessel.

Each of the incidents remain under investigation by TWRA. Overall, there were five serious injury incidents, five property damage incidents reported, and two boating under the influence (BUI) arrests made over the holiday weekend. The report is compiled from the four TWRA regions.

The Labor Day holiday fatality marks 18 boating-related fatalities in 2021. The number is down from the 24 reported through the same period last year.

CWD-positive deer found in Henry County

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) staff responded to a call in Henry County about a 3.5 year-old doe who was thin and exhibiting strange behavior. Multiple tests confirmed that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was present. This result changes Henry County status to positive and Weakley County to high-risk. As a result, carcass transport, feeding, and mineral placement regulations are immediately triggered in both Henry and Weakley counties. For more information visit CWDinTennessee.com.

“While this is unfortunate news, we have employed a rigorous CWD surveillance program developed by world-renowned CWD modelers, biologists and epidemiologists since 2018,” said Stephanie Durno Karns, TWRA wildlife health specialist.

“We have sampled over 800 deer in Henry and Weakley counties, far exceeding our testing goals. The message to hunters in these counties is to know the rules around transport and feeding, get your harvests tested, report any sick deer you see via our website, and keep hunting. Hunters are our greatest ally in fighting CWD.”

This unfolding situation will be addressed at the upcoming Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting in Kingsport, Sept. 16-17. Any decisions regarding other regulations will be made at that time.

Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission instituted deer carcass exportation and wildlife feeding restrictions to positive and high-risk counties to best manage CWD in the state. Supplemental feeding of wildlife is banned in high-risk and positive counties. Therefore, placement of grains, salt products, and other consumable products for wildlife is prohibited. The ban does not apply to feed placed within 100 feet of a residence, feed placed in a manner not accessible to deer, or feed and minerals as the result of normal agricultural practices. Food plots are still legal in affected counties. More information about CWD is available at CWDinTennessee.com.