East Tennessee Outdoors… News for the Week of September 13, 2020

Published 1:25 pm Thursday, September 10, 2020




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I hope everyone had a great Labor Day and you stayed safe.

We are having perfect weather to get out into the outdoors, and all of us need to enjoy our favorite outdoor pastimes now because the snow will be here soon.

Make it a point to make memories this summer and autumn that will get you through the rough days of winter.

Tennessee Boating

Two boating accidents occurred over the Labor Day holiday that resulted in deaths.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, a 23- year-old woman was killed on Old Hickory Lake when she fell and hit her head while boating on the lake.

She then fell into the lake and drowned. Her body was recovered around 9 p.m. Sunday night.

Another accident occurred in Watts Bar Reservoir on Saturday resulting in a boater drowning in the lake.

According to TWRA, this brings the total boating deaths in the state to 24 for the year, an increase of 16 deaths from this time last year.

Often accidents occur when the driver of a boat is impaired because of drinking or drugs. That is why you may have noticed an increase in safety officers on the lake on Labor Day.

The TWRA wardens have increased their patrols to make sure everyone is staying safe and complying with state laws.

Remember that any child who is 12 or under must wear a life vest while on the water. Also, boats must have enough floatation devices for everyone on the boat and have a working fire extinguisher.

Also remember that boaters born after January 1, 1989, must take and pass a boater’s online course to be eligible to operate a motorized boat with a motor of at least 8.5 hp.

Refer to the TWRA Boater’s Guide or their website for more information on online classes and boat license requirements.

Cool Weather

The weather is getting cooler and that means the fishing on all area lakes is getting ready to improve.

All species love the cooler water condition, but in the last few weeks, the water on the local lakes has felt as warm as bathwater.

With the cool nights and warm days, the fish are becoming more active and soon will feed more during the daylight hours, especially the first few hours after daylight and the last few hours before dark.

Keep a close eye on the water temperature because fish seem to like the water temperature between 56 and 60 degrees. When it hits that sweet spot, the fishing should really improve for just about every type of fish. It hasn’t got to that point yet, but give it a few days and it will.

Ginseng Season

Need Christmas money? Try ginseng hunting. The ginseng season officially opened on September 1, 2020, and the season will last until December 31, 2020.

The ginseng root is used for many different purposes in the United States and especially in China. Most of the larger roots are sold to China, and this year’s demand for the root it still to be determined.

One year the dried roots sold for $1400 a pound, but that was a special year. Usually, the roots will sell for between $400-$700 a dried pound. Expect the market for the roots to fluctuate for a few months and then it should settle down.

Remember, only roots that are five years old or older can be sold. They must be from a plant that had three prongs or larger, and they have to be washed and dried before they can be sold for a premium price.

Any seeds taken from the plant have to be planted where the ginseng was harvested. This is to ensure the plant will not go extinct in the wild and can be harvested again in a few years.

Good luck in the outdoors this week and stay safe.