Residents Urged To Use Caution As Heavy Rains Bring Flash Flood Warning

Genetic Testing Verifies New State And Potential World Record Black Crappie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
From left, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record black crappie fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins
From left, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record black crappie fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received results from a genetic analysis and is verifying a new state record black crappie caught by an angler from Philadelphia, Tn.  Application for world record status will have to be submitted by the angler to the International Game Fish Association.  

It’s been a long four-and-a-half weeks since Lionel “Jam” Ferguson landed the big fish from a pond near Paint Rock, Tn. but the final results have no doubt been worth the wait.  This week, TWRA received verification from Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that Mr. Ferguson’s fish is a pure strain black crappie without any hybrid genes and is being certified as the new state record.  At the time it was caught, TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds verified the fish as a black crappie but submitted a fin clipping for genetic testing in order to rule out the minute chance of hybridization between a black and white crappie. 

According to TWRA’s fisheries division, Mr. Ferguson’s black crappie weighed 5 lbs. 7.68 oz. on scales certified by the State of Tenn. Weights and Measures Division, which outweighs the former state record of 4 lbs. 4 oz. caught by Clyde Freeman in Brown’s Creek Lake in 1985.  The current world record black crappie weighing an even 5 lbs. was taken from a private lake in Missouri in 2006, according to the International Game Fish Association.  TWRA will, if needed, assist Mr. Ferguson with the world record application process by providing our state application, genetic analysis from Prairie Research Institute, and professional observations from our fisheries biologists.  Although not part of the state record requirements, Mr. Ferguson’s fish measures 19 ¼ inches in length with a girth of 17 ¾ inches. 

TWRA Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss said, “TWRA wishes to congratulate Mr. Ferguson by breaking a state record that’s been held for 33-years and looks forward to assisting him with the world record application process if needed.”   

TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, Loudon Co. Wildlife Officer Anthony Chitwood, Jam Ferguson with his record fish, and TWRA interns Austin Archer, Paul Mallicoat and Lindsey Elkins.



USA, UAW Host Youth Fishing Event To Dedicate Piers At Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp On Chickamauga Lake

Kids of all ages wet their lines Saturday at a youth fishing event at the Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp on Chickamauga Lake outside Chattanooga. Hosted by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and United Auto Workers Local 42, the free event celebrated a new courtesy pier and restored fishing pier at the site.  Youth received a complimentary fishing rod and reel provided by Pure ... (click for more)

Additional Tennessee Counties Quarantined For Emerald Ash Borer

Three Tennessee counties have been quarantined for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) after detection of the forest-devastating insect, bringing the total number of Tennessee counties under a state and federal EAB quarantine to 62. Cheatham, Giles, and Maury counties have been added to the list of areas restricted for the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber, and other material ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Under Flash Flood Warning As Heavy Rains Continue

Heavy rains throughout Monday brought water over many Hamilton County roads and into some businesses. The front area of the Mapco in the 8100 block of Standifer Gap Road was a small lake. The Sheriff's Office said, "Drivers in the Middle Valley and East Brainerd Road areas are encouraged to avoid driving in low lying areas. All drivers should exercise caution. "Drivers ... (click for more)

Mountain City Club Considering Sale Of Downtown Club To Developer Defoor

Officials of the Mountain City Club are considering sale of the property at Eighth and Chestnut to a developer. Dan Saieed, club president, said the board was approached by developer Byron Defoor with an offer for the property. He said the club is facing declining membership and extreme  financial issues so is considering the offer. The Defoor group developed the nearby ... (click for more)

Why I'm Voting Republican And So Should You

For much of my life, the commitment to the Democratic Party has puzzled me. I was raised to analyze both sides of issues and to make an intelligent decision based upon that information. The values of self-reliance, hard work, and individual liberty that I grew up with were the same American values that have made this country exceptional. As I have grown older, I have witnessed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT’s Genius Stroke

If all goes as (very carefully) planned, the most dynamic president to be hired at the University of Tennessee since the legendary Andy Holt retired in 1970, will be ushered into office today by the university’s board of trustees. The selection of Randy Boyd to take over his ala mater is a genius stroke and certainly seems to solidify two of life’s greatest truths. The first ... (click for more)